Toyota Yaris: More Thrifty Than the Prius?

Over the course of the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a total of three weeks with two Toyota Yaris and one Prius. After spending seven days with a 2009 Yaris five-door last month, I’ve come to the conclusion that when it comes down to pure dollars and cents, Y > P.

I’ve been witness to the remarkable fuel economy delivered not just by the Prius, but by the Yaris, as well. If one looks at an automobile purely from the standpoint of transportation, the costs involved with hybridization have a rather lengthy payoff period when compared to a fuel-efficient sub-compact conventional car.

When driven with a light foot, little Yari can deliver results that rival those of their far more expensive and technologically kin. Is it technology for technology’s sake when the base price of one car is roughly half the price of a modestly equipped version of the other?

Toyota’s diminutive entry-level model is quite fun (as well as thrifty) to drive, once you’ve become accustomed to its unique attributes. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, if you’re stretching a budget it just might be the most cost-effective way to go…

Reference: Toyota Yaris Sedan Review, Toyota Yaris Five-Door Review

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  • Martin Kruse

    Sorry, but an econobox is an econobox is an econobox. I have no interest in owning an econobox from both a safety standpoint and an excitement standpoint.

    Enjoy your yaris, once you have kids or a real job, get a real car.

  • Jeff Schwarz

    For those who commute 30+ miles each way per day, an “Econobox is the only way to go. I’ve been driving an ’06 Scion XB (a real box) for 3 years and 82000 miles and it’s one of the most reliable cars I’ve owned. At 75 mph with the air on I can get 34-35 mpg. I’m sure that if I drove at the speed limit (and became a rolling road block on the interstate) I could do better. My wife likes it so much, she had me find her one to replace her 17 mpg SUV, so now we have 2.

  • Bob Dog

    I am the delighted owner or a Yaris hatchback which I bought new and have owned for 2 years. I get about 37 mpg. Once you get used to driving a quick, nimble car it would be something approaching torture to try driving a SUV . I fell far safer with the Yaris’s precise handling and good acceleration than I ever could trying to control the automotive equivalent of a concrete block.

    I have also done the mathon the hybrid versus the Yaris, with a little help from the fuel cost calculators available on line: to pay off the difference in price by means of fuel savings between a Yaris and a Prius, or an Insight ,would take over 25 years, longer than the reasonable projected life of either vehicle.

  • JerryW

    I have a Prius and a Yaris as second car. They are completely different cars, designed to do different things.

    Here in the UK incidentally the Yaris is not an entry level car, the Aygo is – try google images to see one of those, if you think the Yaris is small!

  • AG

    My wife drives an 06 Yaris and even with her lead foot it gets about 30 miles to the gallon.

  • MtnWolfGrl

    I just purchased a 2010 yaris and am very impressed with the way it handles. I bought it strictly as a pleasure car, but had to use it on my paper route when I hit a tree that had blown down in the road with my 2003 tacoma. I encountered snow on part of the route and was pleased at how easy it was to drive in about six inches of the miserable stuff. Even with my lead foot on the paper route, the gas mileage was very good – about 33 mpg.

    This is the fourth toyota I have owned and think they are great. The first small pickup, a 1991 2wd extra cab, had 450,000 miles on it before I hit a tree. I also have an old 4wd with over 210,000 miles on it and the 2003 tacoma has accumulated 197,000 miles (over 90% paper route usage).

    I like the Yaris so much that I’m thinking about buying a used Scion xA to use on my paper route rather than the tacoma due to better gas mileage.

    Maybe, I have just had exceptional luck with toyota, but I would recommend them to anyone.