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Used Car: 2013 Toyota Yaris Review

Review Last Updated: 9/16/14

Most automotive critics say the 2013 Toyota Yaris is too out-of-date to compete against other affordable small cars. 

The 2013 Toyota Yaris is ranked:

The base Yaris is powered by a four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional and gets EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 30/36 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. When driving around town, reviewers say the 2013 Yaris’ underpowered engine isn’t an issue, but report that the Toyota Yaris struggles at higher speeds. Of the two transmissions, most reviewers like the manual and reviewers are disappointed that the Yaris’ automatic transmission only has four gears, while many competitors have six-speed automatics. Reviews of the Yaris’ handling and braking abilities are lukewarm. 

Test drivers dislike the 2013 Yaris's cabin's hard, drab plastics that aren’t up to the quality of the class-leading subcompacts. The Toyota Yaris doesn’t offer an infotainment or navigation system, but has a lot of standard features, like a USB port and Bluetooth. Though it’s small, many auto writers say that the Yaris’ cabin is surprisingly spacious, and mention that both the front and rear seats have good head- and legroom for adults. Reviewers also say that the Yaris has good cargo space.

  • "Though roomier and more stylish than its predecessor, the Yaris' looks and performance don't make a huge splash in this competitive category. Newcomers such as the sleek Kia Rio, sassy Hyundai Accent and bold Chevrolet Sonic make the Toyota Yaris look pretty conservative - maybe not the best thing for this audience." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We'd say the Yaris leads the pack in looks and is highly competitive in driving feel, as much as anything in the class - none of which sacrifice economy to get great handling." -- AutoWeek (2012)
  • "Yaris' biggest problem is that there are a bunch of fresh, inviting new subcompacts on the market, and most of them, while hardly luxurious, are further along the premium scale than the Yaris is." -- USA Today (2012)

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers say the Mazda2’s sharp handling makes it one of the most fun-to-drive small cars in the class. Though it’s tiny, reviewers say that the Mazda2’s front seats are roomy and that the rear seats are more spacious than they expected. 

The Kia Rio is available as a sedan and hatchback. The Rio’s cabin is roomy for a subcompact, it has more cargo space than the Yaris, and its list of optional features is lengthy compared with the Yaris’s.

Compare the Yaris, Mazda2 and Rio »

Details: 2013 Toyota Yaris

The five-seat 2013 Yaris hatchback is available as two- and four-door models. Two-door models are available in L and LE trims, and four-door models are available in L, LE and SE models. The base Yaris has a four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is optional. The Yaris was redesigned for the 2012 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012 and 2013.

See the full 2013 Yaris specs »

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