Toyota Yaris 1.3XS Review - 60000km's

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JohanM
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Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:35 pm

I have decided to put this out here, as we all do drive not only our beloved 4x4 Toyota's but some of us have a daily runner or run about.

So this is my review of the Yaris 1.3 after clocking up 61000 km's in two and a half years.
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As with previous smaller capacity hatchbacks that I have driven of various makes for over a year whilst being in the used car trade, I am still biased. Maybe its not such a good thing but then again very few small hatchbacks give you such a varied driving characteristics.

You can drive like miss daisy in town and it will be so quiet and almost just too effort less if you feel like you are almost not doing anything, only to be driven at the next opportunity like a real hot hatch, tyres squealing through the corners and having the motor spinning through all the gears right up to the 6200RPM limiter. It is able to cruise at 120 - 140 all day and the six speed box shifts really smooth at speeds and some longer uphills require stirring the box, but even when using the box, the engine never gets very intrusive in the cabin. I have caught myself more than once cruising at speeds that would cause me to be locked up on highways and even single lane roads. The engine needs to loosen up for it to really shine. The first 15000kms it felt okay driving but sometimes felt a bit like a over spec engine that doesn't deliver.... After 15000'kms the motor started to shine and it really revs through the gears. I would have a loved a slightly longer 3rd gear when overtaking as it stops at 124km/h in 3rd but 4th is a quick shift and effortless and the motor stays within the powerband and getting you in front of the vehicle being overtaken.

I have pushed it once to see where it would stop and with an optimistic speedo showing way higher than what I expected. I will not mention it here as it would cause a stir...

Fuel consumption varies between 5.5l/100 km at 120 - 130 on the open roads with the aircon on to 7.2L/100 in town when driven like a hot hatch. Average between town and open road is 6.1l/100km...

No its not the best in class for a 1300cc engine, but very few other small size vehicles provide you the abillity to drive normal or even do some low flying on the highways for long times at end without any complaint from the vehicle. I have had no need to top up oil or coolant on this vehicle between services, even when being driven like a bat out of hell for prolonged distances, it delivers unquestioned reliability that is always there. It doesn't complain and just takes it in its stride. I haven't had to worry about getting there or back, it always starts and never leave you wondering....

It doesn't like to be loaded heavy and then having to race up long inclines. It is a 1300 yet it feels like a 1500 or bigger motor in traffic as it is very zippy and quickly takes a gap provided you use the VVTi motor properly. Lazy driving gives you a lazy relaxed cruise that is more like a bigger sedan.
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Instrumentation is legible in all conditions and the steering controls for the radio is really well placed. I would have liked to have slightly better audio system as it can run out of power on rough tarmac roads keeping the musing going nicely when driving at speed. Yet again this can easily be fixed with 2x extra speakers in the rear doors (space & wiring is there) but for a run around the system is adequate and even can keep you entertained.

The trip computer is very usefull and from the 42L tank I manage to drive +/- 550 - 600 km's on +/- 36 Liters of fuel. Range is really accurate based on driving style and when it shows 0 to go the light will be on also with approx 50km's of range @ speeds below 100km/h. I haven't pushed it that far yet as I dont like to run the pump dry and risk getting stranded on the side of the road, thus its my theoretical calculation.
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The cabin is spacious and light. the driving position is very comfortable even on long distances. Steering is light and gives you good feedback. The aircon is really cold and cools down quickly and keep it cold. The controls fall easily to hand and you dont really have to stretch to reach it. You can notice a small power loss in summer with the aircon on, but not so that you would turn it off. I rarely turn it off even when overtaking. The boot is sizeable enough to take 2 people's luggage for a weekend away or even longer. It boast a double volume boot with a removable floor that makes it bigger, enough to fit 4x hi lid ammo boxes in with space to spare. With all seats featuring 3 point seat belts it is a handy and in my view a very noticable feature that is seldom in this class.

Handling is very predictable however on broken surfaces in hard cornering the rear will step slightly out of line if pushed hard, yet it corrects easy enough. The nose will under steer when pushed hard, but a quick lift off will bring it back in line.

In almost 3 years of owning the Yaris I have really grown to love it, and given the choice of buying the Etios or the Yaris I will buy the Yaris again. It just rides better and is a lot quiter inside that the Etios. Performance on both is really good and in certain places the 1500cc will give the 1300 a good run, all round the 1300 is more than enough for commuting and with 6 well spaced ratios it can easy be a fun car to drive.

The brakes are really sharp and might cause you when used inattentively you most likely will view the insode of the windscreen a bit closer than normal, so no need to have chiropractor just let somebody drives it that is not used to really sharp brakes. Has caused some really good laughs with it but in general the brakes really stop well and quickly. The ABS is really good in helping keep control when having to steer hard and brake sharp.

Some of the things that I discovered since owning it:

The foot rest could have been covered in harder wearing carpet and the floor could have been made from some different material that would be easier to keep clean, you really have to vacuum the car inside to get the carpets looking clean. Maybe im just full $%^t but it could be better.

The space saver fits on the rear wheels and in the manual it says that you have to change the space saver to the rear wheels only and use the rear alloy rim for the front wheel in event of the front wheel having a puncture. Silly in my view but it is to do with stability and also the off set off the space saver rim doesn't fit over the brake caliper. I will correct this in the near future with replacing it with a full size alloy rim. It will make the boot quite a bit smaller but as it is used only around town and to work and back most of the times boot space is not of concern to me.

Tyre size is a bit odd which could lead to expensive tyre prices, but it pays to shop around.
I managed to get 60000'kms from the factory fitted set Bridgestone tyres. I have replaced them last month with Pirelli tyres @ R880 per tyre which was very reasonable as the Bridgestones was quoted @ 1200 per tyre.

The front end is tight and keeping it clean is not to much work. White is not the most practical colour for this vehicle as the front end shows stone chips and bugs quickly. Silver will be best in my view, but i could only get the white one when I needed it, so now I own 3 white vehicles....

Don't judge the single front wiper blade. The single wiper does a great job at keeping the windscreen clean in rain, even heavy downpours the car feels stable and visibility is great all round. I never feel like I cannot see clear enough.

Cross winds is noticable but much less than in other rival products. The headlights might look slightly puny, but they give a great spread of light on dim and brights really make the road ahead much more visible and evenly lit. I'm never afraid to drive at night with this as I can clearly see, something that most compact vehicles struggle with. Some rivals are bordering on mediocre for lightning compared to the Yaris lights.

I have only had the windscreen washer pack up, but it was replaced under warranty in a quick jiffy and even got my car washed when I just stopped by the service centre to notify them of it. The whole process took them 30 minutes including getting my very dirty car back shining from the wash bay.. The team at my service centre really delivery service excellence and maybe thats why I will buy it again, even a lot off people had advised me to not buy it. I really enjoy my baby almost hot hatch....

It's not a perfect car, but for what it offers it is really great fun to own and drive and even other people that drives luxury brands are impressed by how it rides and the cabin space.

In general it is really predictable and to some that is really boring.. To me it is stress less motoring, not having to think or worry, and just get the key, get in, and drive..

So if you are looking for something that is a great all round without to many compromises, go drive one and see for yourself, its fun in the city.
Johan Marais

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pietpetoors
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Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:42 am

Thanx for sharing Johan. Agree with you, is nice to have a hassle free, economical small car. I will now have to replace the factory fitted tyres on the Aygo, currently on 101k km.
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Scott
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Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:44 am

My yaris(1.3) is the older or first in SA now 10 years old and 200000KM on clock and has been a good little car.However my economy is not as good.

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Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:53 pm

Nice write-up Johan.

Scott, try cleaning the MAF sensor and throttle body. After 200 000kms it probably needs it.
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ChrisF
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Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:50 pm

Hi Johan, very interesting write-up.

I have test driven this car a few times. Never got my head around no power at low revs and then insane power above 4000 for a split second before the rev limiter kicked in .... I much prefer the extra long gears in the Etios, even though I know it is not as economical. Just so much more drivable, clocked 55 000km in its first three years. Should immediately add, the spec and finishes on the Yaris is far better than the Etios.

The other thing I did not like at the time, and am now used to in my current Toyotas, is the way the rev limiters blurps up when you press the clutch.

Do you know if the 2015/16 model is the same in this respect to what I would have driven in 2010-2012 ?

2014 a collegue had a Yaris as a rental in Joburg. Not sure if it was the altitude, or just this everything or nothing approach of the motor, but this is the only car that he has specifically instructed to never ever be on his rental list again. Think he had it for 3 or 4 days, just never "gelled" with it.

Scott
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Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:28 pm

Thanks Nishan will look into it.

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Shimano
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:34 pm

Our 2013 Yaris on 62k and still going strong. :thumbup: Nice report Johan. :clap:
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