With a base MSRP around $12,600, the 2010 Toyota Yaris is the most affordable Toyota vehicle for the year. While the economical approach of the car is apparent in the fairly barebones interior, the Yaris earns accolades from those looking for an affordable fuel-sipper. Add in the fact that the 2010 Yaris is one of the safest economy subcompacts on the road, and it remains a worthy option for first-time drivers and cash-strapped commuters.
With an estimated fuel efficiency of 29 mpg in the city, the 2010 Toyota Yaris is the most fuel-efficient 5-seater city commuter when compared to other vehicles with a traditional gas engine. At 35 mpg, highway fuel efficiency is also above average for its class.
To achieve those figures, the Yaris enlists a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that musters 106 horsepower. Mate that engine to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, and the end result is an economy car that offers decent handling and braking capabilities. However, acceleration leaves a little something to be desired, and engine power can seem labored at high speeds.
Still, for those looking for an eco-friendly city commuter, the trade-off of performance for fuel efficiency may be more than worth it.
Further adding to the appeal of the Yaris is a safety features package that over-delivers for the vehicle's subcompact vehicle class. For the 2010 year, the Yaris comes standard with anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, traction control and vehicle stability control. Add it all up, and few competitors can compete with the Yaris in terms of safety equipment.
Where the Yaris lags a little, however, is non-safety standard equipment. Interior comfort and convenience features are few and far between for the base Yaris model. Start adding on features such as power windows and a CD/MP3 player, and your dealer's asking price will quickly climb.
For those without the need to feel pampered, the Yaris offers an interior environment that is comfortable enough. While rear seating is cramped across the entire subcompact category, the sedan body style of the Yaris makes the most of the vehicle's slightly proportions. The hatchback model, which is 20 inches shorter than the sedan model, is not as accommodating, however.
In terms of storage space, the Yaris isn't exactly a hauler's dream, but fares decently with a maximum of 25.7 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats folded down.
Those interested in the combination of affordability and fuel efficiency offered by the Toyota Yaris may also be interested in the Kia Rio or Hyundai Accent. Both offer 31 mpg combined and come with a lower starting price than the Yaris.
If you find that the Yaris just doesn't have enough amenities or engine power for you, then take a look at the Honda Fit. Though a little more expensive, the 2010 Fit has far more character and zippiness than its Japanese competitor.