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Old 03-17-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
Faith87
 
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Question Not sure where to start (2009 yaris)...

Not much of a car expert here. Just a female college student looking for a very reliable car and wise advice.

So far, I'm pretty much sold on a 2009 yaris after doing some research. (Still deciding on hatchback or sedan... have no idea what a "sport liftback" is). Guess I'd just like some reassuring input from others who are familiar with this kind of car.

some FAQs if you dont mind

1. I'm taking a roadtrip from Southern California through Oregon, up to Northwest Washington soon. Would this car be safe to take through mountain passes, harsh weather, icy streets, downpour, and snow? How about going up mountains/hills?

2. Should I think twice about options like the power package, weather package, etc..(is it worth the money?) Anything you'd recommend?

3. Whats the difference between a yaris sport model and a yaris (non-sport model?)

4. Is the engine and battery in this car powerful enough for mild-to-rough weather and climate?

5. What's better (in your opinion) a yaris with a hatchback or without one?

6. Can I comfortably fit atleast four people in this car?

7. Is general oil (like pennoil) okay to use in this car, or does it work better with the special overpriced oil/coolant?

8. Do you think atleast 2 surfboards could fit in this car? (educated guess is fine).

8. How is this car where street bumps, dips, holes are concerned? Does your yaris get damaged alot because it seems pretty close to the ground?

9. What are some perks about this car (in your opinion?) not including the gas mileage.

10. I've heard some things about brake problems with the yaris (haven't heard anything about 2009 model yet), are your breaks good enough in your opinion? If you have had break work done, around how much did it cost?

11. What are some overall cons about this car?

12. Is this car spacious enough for someone prone to getting car sick in small cars?

13. In your opinion, is this a good car for someone who generally enjoys the outdoors/nature?

14. On the toyota dealership I saw a light blue yaris that looked alot different from the zephyr blue colored one. Was that just a color manipulation? I think they only come in five colors: red, black, burgandy, blue, white.

14. Anything else?
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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1. If you are a safe driver , than this car will take very good care of you. Its stable , safe and reliable.

2. Depends on the amount of money you want to spend and what you want. Some options are useless IMO some are an added bonus. ESC (electronic stability control) is useless in my opinion.

3. Not too sure about the american market , in canada its basically some extra features that are not really worth the extra money.

4. Here in Montreal we get -40C to +34C , never had a problem with the car.

5. If you need a trunk then a sedan is better, if you want cool factor and handling id go for the hatch (thats my opinion and im biased i have a hatch lol)

6. 4 people not a problem, and they all will have room

7. Do a quick search about oil there is tons of similar threads about it. Regular oil is just fine
8.it has a tendency to ride rough over the bumps but nothing major.

the rest look around the forum there are too many opinions
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:41 PM   #3
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If you go with the hatch i suggest the 5 door hatch, just due to its easier for passengers to get in and out. ( i prefer the hatch over sedan)
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:54 PM   #4
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1.) I live in Reno NV weather changes every 5 minutes. The Yaris has put through everything I have put it through. I have only done one 360 and that was with my balding Falken 512's during the first snow storm. The stockers get as good as traction as long as you drive safe. I have noticed that at high speeds small poodles are grounds for hydroplaning!

2.) Get what you can pay for. I went from having a car with everything to one with nothing. Some things I miss some I don't. If you have never had these such things as keyless, sunroof, there isn't a whole lot to miss. But one thing I think you might enjoy for safe of mind is ABS, mine doesn't have it and I wish it did.

3.) I believe the S has the power package plus a lip kit might be more not all quite sure. The 09 LB S looks pretty killer with 4 doors though.

4.) I upgrade my battery on most new cars due to the stocker usually being crap. As for the engines power. Just don't get stuck behind someone who has 4 wheel drive going too slow up a hill and you should be fine. I drove mine snowboarding during some pretty harsh snow conditions, as long as I had traction the car had enough to get around. It's not too much of a power issue, more of a traction issue. Buy some cables, chains, or spiders.

5.) I have owned a coupe, with trunk, and after I got my first hatchback I never went back. The simplicity of having everything available and the door (hatch) out of the way is awesome. Ever try to fit a mountain bike in a trunk?

6.) Yes and no. With 4 in the car hills get slower, But not one has ever complained about space or head room. Most passengers within the 5'6" to 6'4" range. In the two door liftback not to mention.

7.) I use Mobile1 0w30 for better gas mileage. I recommend synthetic but with oil it's more of "you get what you pay for" The better oil the longer the life more peace of mind thing portrays.

8.) With out a passenger maybe. I can fit 2 snowboards and a passenger in mine with cooler and gear just fine. Not too sure on the length of a surf board though.

9.) Cup holders, they are everywhere. Cheap cost of ownership. Insurance is next to nothing, combined with a minute payment and gas it's super cheap. Good aftermarket, plenty of goodies to add to the car. Just look for the Vender here CaliYaris. There is also the peace of mind it is a Toyota and the fact that the engine should last well beyond 200000 miles. Hell there's a member here that broke the 300000 mark.

10.) Never heard anything bad about the brakes. Mine are fine. My wifes are fine.

11.) Noisy, lack of standard features, no ABS (at least for mine), blind spot at your 7-8 o'clock, thats about it from my personal opinion.

12.) Whats your definition of small. A Civic, Miata, Corrola???

13.) If you pack small sure. I have been planning a camping trip to Oregon this May. 8 days, I will truly test the cars limits as far as cargo goes. Don't plan on off-roading it, that road trip ended poorly. From a nature standpoint your emitting less polutants.

14.) There are two blues Bayou I think, and then the more metallic one which name I forgot.

15.) If I could have waited I would have gotten the 4 door hatchback with power. But this is coming from someone who's prior vehicle was a Honda Fit Sport. Which had all those features. But for the price of a Yaris with the crapped out economy I would expect you to score a brand new 09 with power package and or S package for no* more than 14k. In fact I would be highly disappointed if you didn't get a discounted price considering that Toyota was discounting these cars before the whole ECONOSUX period.

Good luck with your decisions, and remember these are solely my opinions take them as you want.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:34 PM   #5
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Definitely go for HATCHBACK!! The flexibility of that body style amazing. This is my 3rd sub-compact hatchback car, just love them, they're the greatest for transporting stuff! But if you intend to have 4 people in the car on a long trip, then you want a 4 door hatchback, not the 2 door, IMO. And it wouldn't hurt if you saw the car in person to be able to estimate if you'll all fit in there or not.

"Liftback" means "hatchback" and "sport" probably means it has more options, not sure what they are. Go to toyota.com and click on "build your Toyota" select "Yaris", and play with the options, to see what it does to the car. You should be able to see the differences on your screen. That'll help you figure out what the options are and what you need and don't need.

There are a few recent threads already about the pros and cons of the cars, just look in the next couple of pages, and also look in the New Yaris forum, and you should find them pretty easily. I don't want to bore everybody by repeating the same thing over and over, but let's just say I'm one of these people who do not like the Yaris in rough weather (well for California, that's heavy wind and rain), that's the only time I wish I had gone Matrix instead (bigger, more power, a bit of a step up). Otherwise, most of the time, I love my Yaris.

No problems with the brakes. You know, I wouldn't expect mechanical problems with the Yaris on the road because it's a Toyota and it has good mechanical reviews. That's why I bought one! :) well, that and the price is right.

So anyway, good luck with your decision, and come on back and ask some more questions when you're ready to go to the dealer!


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Old 03-18-2009, 12:14 AM   #6
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hatchback all the way!!!!!!
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:18 AM   #7
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1. The Yaris is light & nimble, however the more weight in the car the worse the performance, especially up hills. I don't know about mountain driving, ice, & snow.

2. I see no reason for any extras

3. Lip kit & tachometer on "S"

4. I would believe so

5. LB

6. Yes

7. Any oil is fine. I did feel performance increase with Royal Purple though, when I switched over at 20K miles

8. If they're short boards probably, have not tried.

9. Its a Toyota, fun to drive, & very nimble. Technologically advanced VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing)

10. I have an '07 LB. No problems with brakes so far at 21K miles. Probably cheap to fix.

11. The car stock, in my opinion, is too high of the ground. It also gets blown around a lot on the highway in strong winds. The TRD rear sway helps with the wind issue. Poor paint job, chips easily, & is too thin (I have a white one).

12. The car seems bigger on the inside than what it appears from the outside. The cabin design offers an overall spacious feel, for a car this small.

13. Sure

14. Don't know

This is my 5th Toyota, 1st new one I've owned. The engines in these cars can last to 300K miles easily, even when driven hard. The Yaris is one of the cheapest cars to operate/maintain on the market. Yaris LB also has 7 cup holders, 2 of which are located next to the AC vents for heating/cooling of beverages, and has 3 glove compartments.

Last edited by JBIZZ; 03-18-2009 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:17 AM   #8
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Thank you

Thanks for your post. I find it extremely helpful and useful.


Now for the hard part....car salesmen, lol!
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tomato View Post
Definitely go for HATCHBACK!! The flexibility of that body style amazing. This is my 3rd sub-compact hatchback car, just love them, they're the greatest for transporting stuff! But if you intend to have 4 people in the car on a long trip, then you want a 4 door hatchback, not the 2 door, IMO. And it wouldn't hurt if you saw the car in person to be able to estimate if you'll all fit in there or not.

"Liftback" means "hatchback" and "sport" probably means it has more options, not sure what they are. Go to toyota.com and click on "build your Toyota" select "Yaris", and play with the options, to see what it does to the car. You should be able to see the differences on your screen. That'll help you figure out what the options are and what you need and don't need.

There are a few recent threads already about the pros and cons of the cars, just look in the next couple of pages, and also look in the New Yaris forum, and you should find them pretty easily. I don't want to bore everybody by repeating the same thing over and over, but let's just say I'm one of these people who do not like the Yaris in rough weather (well for California, that's heavy wind and rain), that's the only time I wish I had gone Matrix instead (bigger, more power, a bit of a step up). Otherwise, most of the time, I love my Yaris.

No problems with the brakes. You know, I wouldn't expect mechanical problems with the Yaris on the road because it's a Toyota and it has good mechanical reviews. That's why I bought one! :) well, that and the price is right.

So anyway, good luck with your decision, and come on back and ask some more questions when you're ready to go to the dealer!



Thanks for the tips! I'll go on the toyota site now. Should have thought of that earlier.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:25 AM   #10
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1. I've had this car in ALL kinds of weather - and as mentioned, if you drive carefully and take care of your Yaris, your Yaris will take care of you. Up hills/mountains, two people and luggage is fine, three people and luggage starts to slow you down, four/five people with luggage means slow and careful driving (depending on the weight of your passengers and amount of luggage, of course.)

2. Power package and other dealer packages/accessories should be purchased on an as 'needed'/preference basis.

3. The sport model has a slightly different interior and cosmetic exterior modifications. (And a tach?) AFAIK, there are no mechanical differences.

4. I live in a mild climate, but from what I have read (largely on YarisWorld ), the Yaris has no warm/cold problems.

5. Hatchback versatility and looks FTW, IMO, but then I'm biased.

6. Four people can fit comfortably in my 3 door. Five people if they're friendly.

7. The Yaris will run almost anything (within reason!), it seems like.

8. Depends on the size of the surf boards? You may be better off putting a roof rack on your Yaris than trying to stuff surf boards inside.

9. Perks: Fun to drive, can carry as much as a small pickup truck (60/40 rear split down), can carry 4-5 people, reliable, fun to drive, LOTS of storage (at least in the LB), easy (and forgiving) to drive, easy to park, easy to handle in traffic, easy to handle on open freeway.

10. The only time I've had a problem braking is with crappy bald tires. The OEM brakes are more than adequate, unless you're towing. Although, braking does leave something to be desired with 4+ people going down mountains. (Brake fade?)

11. Cons: Stock suspension feels slightly boat-like. (solved with cheap, easy modifications.) Morbidly obese friends ruins gas mileage and handling. Some models equipped with automatic transmission. Some models not equipped with tachometer.

12. Preference thing. Test drive before you buy. It is QUITE roomy for such a small vehicle.

13. The Yaris is not an off-road machine. It can handle some - no rocks, relatively well packed dirt, gravel, no extreme dips or ridges, no water to cross. It can get you to your camp site, to the beach, to your hiking/bicycling trail, etc. no problem.

14a. Check Toyota website for color options. You should, as mentioned, do the 'Build Your Yaris' option, and see what you can expect.

14b. Yes. Buy the Yaris, if the option is available. As a college student, it's my opinion that the Yaris is the ultimate college-student-mobile. Surf YarisWorld.com and find out everything you ever wanted to know about your Yaris.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:48 AM   #11
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Buy a hatchback for sure. If you are going to carry 4 passengers often then buy the 5 door, if your only going to rarely be carrying 4 passengers buy the 3 door. Be glad in the fact you are buying a fuel efficient, safe and sexy car.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:55 AM   #12
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Thanks for the tips! I'll go on the toyota site now. Should have thought of that earlier.
No worries!!! Buying a car is a big deal, so come on back and ask as many questions as you want.

This trip sounds like fun, too!

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Old 03-19-2009, 01:44 PM   #13
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I just got my 2009 Monday... To me a power package is worth it. I learned to drive with, and had driven a power packaged car for 5 years and can't imagine living without power locks, window.. but it depends on how much you care about convenience versus money. Oh rear window wiper comes with power pack too and I've wanted one ever since I started driving, its going to make winter sooo much easier if I can just hop in the car and defrost and use the wiper on the back window without scraping it manually outside.

I got the weather package too. For me its worth knowing I got the extra heavy duty stuff for my chicago winters, but I can't say if it really makes a difference. One thing I am looking forward to is the larger washer tank with level warning that comes with it. I never knew if the washer tank in my old car was clogged, empty, or working as it should.. but it always felt like whatever sprayed out was too little, and sometimes nothing sprayed. I never cared enough to get someone to look at it, but look forward to my yaris TELLING me if the washer tank is low. And from reading about the options, that only comes with the weather pack.

IMO the yaris hatchback is better for me. If I were to get a sedan, which would only be if I got a family, or started being the designated driver in my circle of friends, I would prob go with a more expensive sedan than the yaris.
The hatchback is nice since I barely ever transport any more then me, my purse and my laptop and don't need the extra trunk and overall car size. I'm not sure if surf boards would fit in the hatchback though.

I don't feel any different driving in the yaris on bad streets (bumps, dips, holes) then I did with my old nissan sedan. However I do feel a huge different driving on the highway.. I can easily feel the wobble/sway I guess because the car is smaller or lighter then what I'm used to and it makes me feel unsafe.. But maybe it is safe, I'm just not used to it.

Perks: The look, the size, the compartments, the uncomplicated look of the console. Some car pics I looked at and went WTF do all those knobs, letters, meters, pictures do/mean?? With the yaris, I know exactly what everything does and don't feel cluttered.

Haven't noticed any difference in breaks then with my old car.

Cons: Just tiny things that I wouldn't have even considered before I bought it. My dashboard scratches easily, I feel weird when its night and my steering wheel area and gear shift area is completely black. Oh... its also hard for me to find it in the parking lot! Never considered that with a small car.. it gets hidden easily.. my sedan I could always find from seeing the rear bumper.. Oh there is no hatch pop inside the car, you need to manually use the key. Idk, I was just used to a trunk pop button. I hate using keys. Oh I feel like I have some blind spots when I turn my head to see behind or to the back/side.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:46 PM   #14
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This won't be a popular reply, but I'll give it anyway.

IMHO, the ONLY Yaris to buy is a lightly equipped 3 door hatch (base model).

The "bang for the buck" of the Yaris rapidly diminishes as options are added.

The Honda Fit is a better car for those who are thinking about spending more than $13K or so. The Fit Sport is a very refined car with a lot of content (power windows, power locks, tilt and telescoping wheel, better sounding stereo, better seats, 4 doors, etc). and can be bought new for around $16K.

Last edited by 427chev; 03-19-2009 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:03 PM   #15
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This won't be a popular reply, but I'll give it anyway.

IMHO, the ONLY Yaris to buy is a lightly equipped 3 door hatch (base model).

The "bang for the buck" of the Yaris rapidly diminishes as options are added.

The Honda Fit is a better car for those who are thinking about spending more than $13K or so. The Fit Sport is a very refined car with a lot of content (power windows, power locks, tilt and telescoping wheel, better sounding stereo, better seats, 4 doors, etc). ansd can be bought new for around $16K.
Completely agree with you

This is not to say that I don't enjoy my Yaris, I do, but the main reason she's in my driveway is because she's ECONOMICAL TRANSPORTATION. Adding a lot options kind of defeats the purpose, well to me.

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Old 03-19-2009, 06:59 PM   #16
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This won't be a popular reply, but I'll give it anyway.

IMHO, the ONLY Yaris to buy is a lightly equipped 3 door hatch (base model).

The "bang for the buck" of the Yaris rapidly diminishes as options are added.

The Honda Fit is a better car for those who are thinking about spending more than $13K or so. The Fit Sport is a very refined car with a lot of content (power windows, power locks, tilt and telescoping wheel, better sounding stereo, better seats, 4 doors, etc). ansd can be bought new for around $16K.
That's so true.

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Old 03-20-2009, 03:22 PM   #17
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Smile

Wow, it looks like I should have done what you did before I bought my Yaris! I never even thought about finding a Yaris forum and asking questions to actual owners (I actually found this website accidentally because I was trying to Google a certain car color to see what it looked like). Now I've already bought my car and will (hopefully) be getting it tomorrow.

Good luck! I can't really answer any questions since I don't actually have the car yet, but it's cool to see someone going through exactly what I just did. Don't let salesmen rip you off! I had some pretty bad experiences before I found the one that sold me my car, lol.

:)
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:01 PM   #18
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I have the sedan and enjoy it very much. When I was looking the 2 door hatchback wasn't going to do as I have grand Kids to cart around. If the 4 door hatchback had been available, just introduced this year in the US, I would have gone that route. If you really need the room for 4 people go with one of the models with four doors and you can't go wrong. My sedan came with everything and I wouldn't have it any other way, payed around 13800 for her. I get 37 to 42 mpg with her and have no complaints with over 47000 miles on her.
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