Discover The Worst Used Toyota Yaris Years to Avoid

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Looking to buy a used Toyota Yaris? Toyota is known for its reliable vehicles, with the Yaris being one of their popular compact models.

However, not all Yaris years are created equal.

When you’re on the hunt for a used car, it’s important to know which years to avoid so that you don’t end up with a lemon.

As you delve into the world of used Toyota Yaris cars, some model years to steer clear of are 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

These years have seen more reported issues and lower reliability ratings, according to industry reviews and NHTSA statistics.

In particular, the 2010 model has faced problems with exploding airbags, which is not something you want to deal with as a car owner.

worst Toyota Yaris years

Years to Avoid

As per used Toyota Yaris, there are a few years you should avoid if you’re considering purchasing a pre-owned model.

Understanding which years to steer clear of will help ensure that you get a reliable and high-quality Yaris.

The worst years for the Toyota Yaris are generally regarded as 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

During these years, the Yaris faced some significant issues and complaints from customers. Let’s take a closer look at each problematic year.

2007 Toyota Yaris

This year marked the first entry of the Yaris into the market. As with many first-generation models, the 2007 Yaris had some issues, including problems with the airbags and overall build quality.

Ensuring your safety and reliability in a vehicle is vital, so it’s best to avoid the 2007 model year.

2008 Toyota Yaris

Just like the previous year, the 2008 Yaris had airbag concerns, along with a few additional complaints, mainly surrounding the brakes and suspension.

Considering brakes and suspension are essential components of a vehicle, it’s wise to bypass the 2008 model.

2009 Toyota Yaris

The 2009 model year saw some improvements, but it still wasn’t entirely problem-free. Issues with paint peeling and the engine and transmission raised concern among Yaris owners.

To avoid potential headaches with paint and mechanical components, it’s better to skip the 2009 Yaris.

2010 Toyota Yaris

While some aspects of the Yaris improved in 2010, it still faced some significant problems.

This year, customers reported electrical system malfunctions and ongoing airbag issues. These issues make the 2010 Yaris a less than desirable choice.

Luckily, the Yaris improved in the following years. As you’re searching for your perfect Yaris, it’s a good idea to consider models from 2011 onwards, as these years offer greater reliability, safety, and performance.

TIPS: Let’s treat you to this small car battle between Toyota Yaris vs Mazda 2 similarities and differences.

Known Issues and Problems

Steering and Suspension

One aspect you should be aware of is the steering and suspension problems you might face with some Toyota Yaris models.

Issues like vibration and a harsh ride may signify a problem with the suspension system. Regular maintenance is critical to ensure any issues are caught early and fixed before they become more severe.

Engine and Transmission

Although the Yaris is quite reliable, some owners have reported issues with the engine and transmission, such as the check engine light coming on.

To prevent unexpected surprises, it’s essential to be aware of potential problems, perform regular maintenance checks, and address any concerns as they arise.

In comparison to its competitor, the Honda Fit, the Yaris might have some disadvantages in terms of engine and transmission reliability, but it remains a solid option in the subcompact car segment.

Exterior Paint and Rust

Exterior paint and rust have been identified as common problems among certain Yaris models.

Peeling paint and rust formation might be frustrating, but they can be managed with proper care and maintenance.

Make sure you inspect your Yaris regularly for signs of paint peeling or rust development, and address them promptly if needed. Maintaining your car’s exterior can go a long way in preserving its appearance and value.

Recalls and Safety Ratings

Over the years, there have been several recalls on various models. Let’s look at some key points:

  • In the past, certain models of the Toyota Yaris have been recalled for compliance issues with federal motor vehicle safety standards, such as Gulf States Toyota recalling some model years between 2005 and 2010. It’s essential to verify if the Yaris you’re considering has been affected or not.
  • In evaluating the safety ratings for a Toyota Yaris, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a valuable resource. Their 5-star safety ratings help consumers compare vehicle safety when searching for a car. More stars indicate higher safety levels.

For example, the 2012 Toyota Yaris 5 HB FWD has a safety rating available on the NHTSA website, which can provide crucial insight into the safety features and performance of the vehicle.

Safety features have evolved over the years, and newer models tend to include more advanced technologies. Some of the safety features you should consider when looking for a Toyota Yaris are:

  • Automatic emergency braking: A system designed to reduce the severity of a collision or avoid it entirely by automatically applying the brakes when a detected obstacle is too close. This feature can make a significant difference in accident prevention.
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): ABS prevents wheels from locking up during braking, which helps maintain steering control and reduces skidding, especially on slippery surfaces.
  • Traction control: This system helps maintain control by reducing wheel spin during acceleration, particularly during adverse road conditions or unfavorable weather.
  • Stability control: A feature that helps prevent skidding and rollovers by selectively applying brakes and controlling engine power when your car detects a loss of control.

Keep these recalls and safety features in mind when researching the best Toyota Yaris model for your needs.

By focusing on safety ratings and available features, you can better assess the suitability of a specific Yaris to your lifestyle and driving preferences.

Fuel Economy and Efficiency

With its smaller size and efficient engine, the Yaris boasts impressive gas mileage overall. However, just like with any car model, some years perform better than others when it comes to fuel efficiency.

In general, some of the best Toyota Yaris model years for fuel economy are 2019, 2018, and 2016.

As a Yaris driver, you’ll appreciate the savings in gas expenses and the reduced environmental impact.

One of the most pleasant aspects of driving a Yaris is its remarkable ability to sip fuel gently.

For example, the Yaris Hybrid is praised for being remarkably fuel-efficient, especially in urban settings where stop-and-go traffic is common.

To maximize your Yaris’ fuel economy, consider adopting some fuel-efficient driving habits, such as:

  • Maintaining a steady speed
  • Accelerating and braking smoothly
  • Avoiding excessive idling
  • Properly inflating your tires

With these simple tips in mind, you’ll get the most out of your Yaris’ MPG and enjoy lower fuel costs over time.

Reliability and Repair Costs

It’s essential to keep in mind the reliability and repair costs of different model years.

Some years have proven to be more reliable than others, so knowing which ones are the best can help you make an informed decision.

The best Toyota Yaris model years are 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.

These models have shown to be more reliable and are less likely to experience significant issues during their lifetime.

On the other hand, some model years have reported more problems, so make sure to do proper research before buying.

When it comes to repair costs, the Toyota Yaris has a relatively low annual repair cost of $333. This makes it an attractive option as a reliable vehicle since it sits well below the average repair costs of other cars.

Keep in mind, though, that repair costs may vary depending on the specific model year and the type of issues you may encounter.

Here are some factors to consider when evaluating the reliability of a Toyota Yaris:

  • RepairPal ratings: Look for the RepairPal reliability ratings to get an idea of how different Yaris models compare with other vehicles in the market.
  • Common issues: Research any common issues associated with the Yaris model year you’re interested in, such as body issues or mechanical failures. This will give you an idea of what to look out for and how much it might cost you down the line.
  • Maintenance costs: In addition to annual repair costs, consider the routine maintenance costs such as oil changes, tire rotations, and regular inspections. These expenses can add up over time, so it’s essential to weigh them in your investment decision.

By taking these factors into account, you should have a better idea of which Toyota Yaris model years are the most reliable and cost-effective for your needs.

Alternative Subcompact Cars

If you are looking for alternative options in the subcompact car category, there are several great models to consider aside from the Toyota Yaris. Let’s explore some popular choices that might suit your needs.

Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent is another economical and reliable choice in the subcompact category. It offers excellent fuel efficiency and a comfortable ride for daily commuting.

A few of the key problems with the Accent reported engine failure while driving, a less-than-impressive interior design and reduction in power in some model years.

However, you may find the Accent’s practicality and affordability appealing.


If you’re interested in a sportier subcompact car, the Mazda2 is an excellent choice. With its engaging driving dynamics and attractive design, the Mazda2 is a fun-to-drive model that stands out in its class.

Beware of some Mazda2 common issues such as road noise and limited interior space, but these trade-offs might be worth it if you value a dynamic driving experience.

Kia Rio

The Kia Rio is another alternative, offering a balance between affordability and modern features.

With a well-designed interior and user-friendly infotainment system, the Rio makes for a comfortable daily driver.

Some drawbacks to consider are a lack of advanced safety features in Rio and so-so fuel efficiency compared to competitors. Weigh your priorities when considering this model.

Nissan Versa

Nissan Versa is a popular subcompact car known for its roomy interior and comfortable ride. It offers excellent visibility and some advanced safety features in recent model years.

However, it’s important to note that there are some models to avoid for Nissan Versa due to continuously variable transmission (CVT) that may feel sluggish, and some users report build quality concerns.

Honda Fit

The Honda Fit is a well-rounded subcompact car option, offering versatility and surprisingly spacious cargo space.

With its practicality and reputation for reliability, the Fit is an excellent choice for those seeking a dependable subcompact car.

Two key problems to keep in mind are Honda Fit noisier cabin and somewhat stiff ride on rough roads.

Handling and Ride Comfort

In this section, we will discuss factors such as handling, steering, maneuverability, and ride comfort to help you make an informed decision.

As a driver or passenger, you may notice that some Yaris models may not provide the most comfortable ride.

This could be due to stiff suspension, which can result in a less than ideal experience on bumpy roads.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that individual preferences may vary, and what one person finds uncomfortable might be perfectly fine for another.

Another aspect to consider is the Yaris’ steering and maneuverability. In general, the Yaris is known for its excellent handling, which allows for precise control around tight corners and easy navigation in congested city areas.

Nevertheless, it’s always good to test-drive the specific model you’re interested in to ensure it meets your requirements in terms of steering and overall handling.

To make your decision-making process smoother, remember to look into:

  • Suspension and ride quality
  • Steering and handling
  • Road noise levels

In your search, you might also want to reference sources like Consumer Reports to obtain data on the best and worst Yaris years in regards to handling and ride comfort.

Technology Features

One popular tech feature is Apple CarPlay. It allows you to connect your iPhone to the car’s infotainment system, making it easy to access your favorite apps, music, and navigation tools.

Android Auto provides similar functionality for Android smartphone users. Some Yaris model years, such as the 2020 Yaris, come equipped with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to cater to a wide range of smartphone users.

In addition to these smartphone integrations, various Yaris models also offer other tech features, such as:

  • Integrated navigation systems to help you find your way in unfamiliar areas
  • Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free phone calls and music streaming
  • Advanced safety features like active lane assist and automatic emergency braking

Keep in mind that technology features can vary by trim level, so it’s essential to research the specific Yaris model and year you’re considering to ensure it meets your expectations for in-car technology.

By focusing on the Toyota Yaris models with the technology features that fit your needs, you’ll make your driving experience more enjoyable and convenient.


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