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2008 Toyota Yaris

Overview
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2008 Toyota Yaris Review

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Fresh from its U.S. debut last year (after a successful eight-year stint in Japan and Europe), the 2008 Toyota Yaris continues as Toyota's subcompact value leader. Unlike its other vehicles that first launch outside the U.S., Toyota decided to keep the Yaris name across all global markets. The Yaris replaced the Toyota Echo as the smallest and least expensive vehicle in the Toyota brand lineup with two distinctly different Yaris models; the Sedan and the three-door Liftback. Of the two, the Liftback's exterior makes the more expressive design statement and, although the sedan is nearly 19 inches longer, both vehicles share the same chassis, engine and drivetrain.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you trust Toyota for reliability and are in the market for a tiny subcompact, the 2008 Yaris fits the bill. You might also need to be open to a few curious looks on the street---the Yaris sports a distinctively "Euro" design.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you like more conventional styling or have a penchant for performance driving, the 2008 Toyota Yaris will not meet your needs. It's a simple, four-cylinder economy model with a whimsical design---not a sporty performer by any stretch.

What's New for 2008

The sport-themed Liftback S joins the Yaris lineup, featuring color-keyed front and rear bumper spoilers, sport seat fabric, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, rear defroster, rear wiper and an AM/FM/CD player with MP3/WMA capability and universal mini-jack port.

Driving the Yaris

Driving Impressions The four-cylinder engine of the Yaris has Toyota's variable valve-timing system (known as VVT-i) and dual overhead camshafts and is rated at 106 horsepower. There is a light, almost effortless...

feel to the Yaris in steering and during moderate acceleration; however, the engine seems strained when asked to deliver more. With this relatively small engine we found the Yaris a little lacking in performance when traveling at 60 mph-plus speeds on the highways. This is a shortcoming for Toyota since one of the main competitors---the Honda Fit---has a few more horses (109 horsepower to Yaris' 106) and is much more fun to drive. This kind of subtle difference may not impact you but, if you're in any way interested in quickness and responsiveness, the Yaris might fail to impress.

Flexible Seat Adjustments
The Yaris Sedan provides four-way adjustable front seats and fold-down rear seats that provide nearly 13 cubic feet of cargo space.

Roomy Cabin
The Yaris boasts the largest wheelbase in the subcompact arena. This is most noticeable in the interior leg and head room in both front and back seats.

2008 Toyota Yaris Details
Interior

The 2008 Toyota Yaris Sedan and Liftback share many things, but the instrument panel is where they part ways. Both vehicles have the center-stacked "waterfall" type gauges borrowed from the Lexus design philosophy. The disconcerting aspect is that at night there are no gauges or little lights in front of you, causing you to have to turn your head slightly to the right (and thus take your eyes away from the road) to look at, for example, the speedometer. This design has become a cost-savings device among international vehicles, because it allows easy production changes when the driver's side is placed on one side or the other depending upon where the car is being sold. Another unusual trait of the Yaris interior is that the waterfall gauge panel provides a bit of a "cave" section behind it, allegedly providing storage space. This oddly-sized space might allow for balancing a small map, but anything more sizable would be precariously perched. Overall, however, the interiors of both the Sedan and Liftback seem roomier than you'd expect for the sizes of the vehicles.

Exterior

The most pronounced difference between the Yaris Liftback and the Yaris Sedan is that the Sedan is nearly 19 inches longer . Though the two vehicles share a slight family resemblance, their individual styles are miles apart. Of the two, the Yaris Liftback has the more unusual exterior styling, with a pronounced short front overhang and an exaggerated "bulldog" stance. As slight as the front end seems, the wide flat-back design of the hatch door appears solid and substantial, providing a low, easy opening to the cargo area. The mesh grille treatment on the Liftback version further differentiates its exterior look from the slat-grille design of the Sedan. The four-door Yaris Sedan styling seems rather traditional at first glance. It, too, has the short sloping overhang in front but the traditional sedan look is evident by the high arch of the roofline and windows that helps provide decent head room for those in the back seat.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In this, the least-expensive segment of them all, the idea is to get the advertised price as low as possible, so the standard equipment list is usually short. This is especially true in the case of the Toyota Yaris. For instance, on the base Yaris model, no radio of any sort is included as standard equipment and, on all models, front-side and side-curtain airbags are optional. To be fair, the standard list does include driver and front passenger airbags, air conditioning, power steering, tilt steering wheel and color-keyed mirrors and door handles. More notably, the Yaris Sedan offers four-way adjustable front seats with driver's seat height adjustment, something not usually found in the subcompact segment.

Optional Equipment

Notable on the Yaris' list of options are keyless entry and a rear window defogger, both of which are standard on some competitors. A simple solution to getting the basic features you probably want (on the Sedan) is to add the Convenience Package, which includes an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability and auxiliary input jack, 60/40 split folding rear seat, 15-inch wheels with full wheel covers and rear defroster; and/or the comprehensive Power Package, which includes anti-lock brakes, an upgraded sound system and interior, alloy wheels, cruise control and power door locks, windows and mirrors. Those two packages are slightly different for the Liftback models. Individual options include front-side and front and rear side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes.

Under the Hood

The Yaris Sedan and Liftback share the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i), producing 106 horsepower. This is enough power to tool around town, but maybe not enough to take a chance at passing a Mack truck on a two-way highway with an oncoming car in sight.

1.5-liter in-line 4
106 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
103 lb.-ft of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/36 (manual), 29/35 (automatic)

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2008 Toyota Yaris Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 723 Ratings for the 2007 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Excellent vehicle! Value, MPG, Performance!

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 211,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent value, great performance and handling."

Cons: "Putting the 12V receptacle in the center console."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car in March 2011 through a used car dealer affiliated with my credit union. It had 60,600 miles. In 3.5 years, I have driven it 150,000 miles as a courier vehicle, in town (70%) and on the highway (30%). The only thing I have had to replace was the battery (fall 2011); the rest has been regular maintenance (oil changes, tires, shocks, brake pads and shoes). This car has delivered everything I have asked of it (30-32 MPG in town, 38-40 highway). When I need to replace it, I am going to buy another Toyota (this car is my 3rd Toyota)."

awsome car 40 mpg no problems except wheel bearing

By on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "cheap to keep"

Cons: "seats arent very good"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought my car new it is a great money saver 40 mpg super reliable only repairs have been wheel bearings but at 160000 miles it hasnt even gone through an exhaust yet.still the orig battery, 4 snow tires and she will go anywhere in the winter. i will buy another and recomend them highly not comfortable seats...for long trips its tough. but not paying the gas man is everything to my budget"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Happy with my Yaris

By on Monday, August 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great on gas, good price, zippy feel"

Cons: "Hard to see, small for passengers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I've had my Yaris for 7 years now, and it's been an extremely reliable car the whole time. I originally wanted a cute, small car, and the Yaris fit the bill perfectly. And now, I have a longer commute to work (50 miles each way) so I'm glad I have such a fuel efficient car to take me back and forth. Being so small and light, it does okay on snowy/icy roads if you take it easy, but I have gotten stuck in a few snow banks. It's fun to drive and feels very zippy, especially on curvy back roads. In terms of size, sometimes I feel like other drivers have a hard time seeing me, and passengers don't really enjoy sitting in the back seat. Overall my Yaris has served me well!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

From SUV To 2 door hatchback Yairs

By on Thursday, August 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Safety, sleek, fun to drive, great gas mileage"

Cons: "not large enough cup-holder,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

this is not my car, but the same year and color. I'm sorry car I need photo's of you.

"When I first had an accident in my Rav4 (due to a illegal turn on a 2 lane highway), big fan of Toyota, I was completely devastated. But the body shop I DROVE IT TOO. Told me it was fixable and not too worry. My then insurance company told me they stopped writing at 7,000.and they were going to total it. I was mortified, I love my RAV4 like a child. I fault the insurance company tooth and nail to save my baby. I even tried to rescind my claim. They would have no part of this, it was my option. I researched this prior to fighting. Finally after too much stress I finally gave up. The SUV was almost paid off. I had lost my job and was working maybe 21 hours a week elsewhere far away. I needed transportation. Not buses went out to the country from Reston, VA. I've been driving so ling I knew nothing about buses. I went to my friend who is a general manager at a Toyota dealer where I was a dedicated customer. He had 3 cars on the floor and wanted to put me into a corolla, (coincidentally my first car back in the 80's)it sat beside a NEW RAV4. I wanted it so bad but knew I couldn't afford it. I saw this little car, I snuck up on it, I loved the color, pearl blue. There was a 1000. cash back on it I believe or may 500. ? The one that I sat it was so basic, not even an electric window. Woe, really a pain I thought, but good exercise. Finally my friend found one that had power windows. Only 3 in stock end of year. I said okay let me get this one. I was still missing my Rav4 but this little car was spiffy. I bought it and had to get used to it no lie there, it was hard. I bought a manual only one with power windows. I learned on a manual and I thought, I'd save a lot of gas. Great mileage for low gas. The only problem I had was not being used to being so low to the ground, from a small SUV and had trouble parking, haha. I pulled in pull back out in again until I was centered. Someone would hit my car with door dings anyways and a major dent mad me so mad. I love this car!!! Great gas mileage, fold down back seats for hauling my animals in their carriers of course. Sleek design, not really as small I had originally thought. It also makes me feel great I am saving gas, people even think it's a Prius, I wish I could have afforded it to be more green. I LOVE MY CAR for so my reasons. Better for the economy and for my pocket with is mostly empty, still looking for a FT job. Wish I could work for Toyota in their headquarters representing them that how much I approve of their safety features and the cars quick reaction. I'm so sorry my YARIS I prejudged you against my Rav4. You have never let me down, so dependable, shiny and zoom, zoom. Please forgive me. Sincerely I love you."

this is not my car, but the same year and color. I'm sorry car I need photo's of you.

For an economy car, you cannot get better.

By on Thursday, August 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,232

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Absolutely the best economy car you can get."

Cons: "placement of the cup holders."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We have owned this car for 8 years now, and have never had to replace a single part. This car does NOT fall apart, regardless of age. And, even if something did need replacing, this car is not difficult to fix or modify. Regarding modifications, there are a ton of after market mods that can be done to it. This car is modified so easily, and by so many people. Some are purely for personal reasons, but some are extremely helpful to the car in general. One such modification would be lowering the car, as it is so lightweight that is has a tendency with wind issues when driving on the highway. Lowering even 1.5 inches helps a lot. My only dislike of the car- and I think this goes for many a Yaris owner- is the placement of the cup holders in the front seats. They designed the car with the cup holders right in front of the air vents! So, lets keep my drink cool, but not myself? Was a nifty look when I first saw them, but it didn't take long to realize the placement was horrible. Final say on this car-- This is one of the best purchases we have ever made."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

really good car

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Handles well, good gas mileage"

Cons: "Blind spots, minor recalls"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"CONS: No cruise control available when purchased. Air/heat controls inconveniently located & hard to read. No lumbar support. Large blind spots. Many minor recalls. PROs: Handles well. Great pickup when needed. Good gas mileage. Seats 5 adults or 4 plus an infant seat. Wide cargo area."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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