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2009 Toyota Yaris

Overview
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2009 Toyota Yaris Review

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For 2009, the Yaris continues as Toyota's subcompact value leader, which makes sense since it's also Toyota's only subcompact offering. Having replaced the slow-selling Echo two years back, the Yaris has gained in popularity and, although it remains the smallest and least expensive vehicle in the Toyota brand line-up, it is still packed with value. Set to do battle with the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and lesser rivals like the Chevrolet Aveo and Kia Rio, the Yaris must cover a lot of ground. Of the three distinctly different Yaris models it's the Liftback that make the more expressive design statement and, although the Sedan is nearly 19 inches longer than the Liftback, all three 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 cute subcompact, the 2009 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 2009 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 2009

A new five-door Liftback joins the lineup, while cruise control is made available on both the three- and five-door models. New standard equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbag and satellite capability on the optional radio offerings.

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.

2009 Toyota Yaris Details
2009 Toyota Yaris photo Interior

The 2009 Toyota Yaris Sedan and Liftback share many things, but the instrument panel is where they part ways with their domestic rivals. 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 to look at, for example, the speedometer. 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 body styles share a slight family resemblance, their individual personalities are miles apart. 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 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 not the case for the Toyota Yaris, however, which offers a tilt wheel, air conditioning, intermittent wipers, six airbags and color-keyed mirrors and door handles. More notably, the Yaris Sedan offers six-way adjustable front seats with driver's seat height adjustment, something not usually found in the subcompact segment. Missing from the standard equipment list is a radio and rear defroster, but both can be had by opting for the Convenience Package.

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 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, which add a rear wiper/washer to the mix.

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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2009 Toyota Yaris Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 713 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

Works for me

By on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Storage, fuel economy, rilability"

Cons: "Center instruments are poorly lit during the day."

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

"I Looked at all the then new 2008 sub compact hatch back cars in its class and decided on the Yaris hatch. Even though Consumer reports hated the car I liked it the best over all and I don't regret that decision 6 years later. The extendable sun visors, 3 glove boxes, cup holders that heat or cool your drinks are just some of the handy features not found on its competitors that has kept me from trading it in on a new car. So far nothing has gone wrong either. There are people who have over 400k miles on their Yarises without an engine overhaul! The actual combined mileage for my hatch back has been 34mpg. 45 mpg is obtainable on flat straight highways and the sedans can get 50 mpg with finesse. I like the quirky styling of my super cute cartoon like car. It's a keeper."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

one owner, no long trips only driven locally,

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"this car was purchased from the dealer in Richmond ky. has only been driven locally. excellent conditions, all maintance done by dealer, oil changed every 5k miles. excellent second car. great mileage. great first car for student."

This car has been the best one ive ever owned

By on Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price zippy easy to park turns on a dime"

Cons: "could use a sixth gear"

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

"this car is the best ave mpg about 40 comfort is great for a tiny car reliability is freegin awesome never had it fail in any way shape or form"

Love this car

By on Saturday, May 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,100

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Nimble and fun, great mpg"

Cons: "Not much room for luggage if you have 4 passengers"

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

"Really fun vehicle to drive, it's nimble and quick, has no problem cruising at 80 on the freeways, but it's forte is city driving. It is small enough on the outside that it can park where other cars cannot, and it's turning radius makes it capable of u turns where no other cars can do it. Yet it is quite roomy inside. Gas mileage is superb, usually 40 on the highway, 45 if you keep it under 65 mph. I have had it 8 years and not one repair."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

dependable, solid little car for the price

By on Sunday, May 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "solid feel, great price, fabulous gas mileage"

Cons: "small back seat, drifts a bit at higher speeds"

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

"I don't carry any passengers; it's just me driving it, so it doesn't matter that the back seat is quite small for larger adults. For kids it would be perfect. The best thing about this car is the gas mileage. I get nearly 40 mpg because I don't do jack-rabbit starts and I drive pretty much the speed limit. It handles very well; however, since it is so light, it does tend to drift a little on the freeway at higher speeds. But city driving it's the best. It corners great and fits into parking spaces with ease."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great dependable little car

By on Thursday, April 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"I have loved having this car. It is reliable, tough, and gets me where I need to go. Love the gas mileage. Don't love the location of the cup holders but that is not a reason to own a car. :)"

8 people out of 13 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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