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Yaris Mk4 Ownership - Initial Thoughts


Grompix
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In answer to Cyker’s original question in the 'Disable Annoying ECO-Score Topic', I’m finding my new Mk4 Yaris Excel a bit of a mixed bag. A good many exceptional features but positioned alongside a few highly disappointing ones (IMHO for such a top-spec car).

Firstly, I love the technology behind Toyota’s hybrid system. It’s smooth, quiet, reliable performance, relaxing drive, and power when you want it. I loved my Mk3 Yaris Excel because of that and this Mk4 continues to build on that theme.

Secondly the design and styling of the car suits my idea of neat ‘easy on the eye’ looks. In other words - if it looks good, it must be good - well perhaps!

Both the Mk3 and Mk4 look good IMO - the Mk4 in particular.

The Mk4 scores better because of extra performance. It feels punchier on the road, yet is still smooth and quiet - love that. I’m not into raucous cars!

BUT…

I think Toyota has cut a few corners in other areas though. I don’t know why they have done this, maybe to get the car quickly into worldwide circulation - just guessing.

I’m noticing a definite deterioration in the build quality compared to my Mk3. The metal body is composed of thinner steel and flexes quite alarmingly if leaned on a bit too hard. I grabbed one of the door handles to pull myself up from a kneeling position yesterday and it flexed in a way that gave me more than a moment of consternation!

I know the new Yaris is 20Kg lighter than the old one, they say because of the lighter Battery, but I’m sure a good deal of that weight-saving must be owing to the thinner steel.

When I took delivery of the car two weeks ago, I noticed a fair number of squeaks and rattles from the interior trims. Now, my car is not new; it is a September 2020 ex-demonstrator having done some 8600 miles, but it has the rattles of a much older and much more well-used car.

On examination, it turned out that the driver and passenger doors were the main rattling culprits, together with the glove compartment. Pulling the door-handle trim away from the doors revealed the clips not fitting very well. I needed to cut away plastic moulding flash from the clips to allow them to fit better. While doing that, I noticed a threaded hole in the door-supports of each door - but no screw or thread had ever been fitted in the factory - as there was pristine paint still in the threaded hole. I found a couple of screws which fitted and tightened the trim panels better than they were before. They still rattled however, but a lot more quietly!

This has now been cured by an old trick I learned a long while ago of taking a small brush and running some liquid masking fluid in between the rubbing / squeaking trim joints and allowing to dry. This seals the join (stopping the rattle/squeak) but still allows the trims to come apart in the future as the masking fluid dries as a thin latex sheet and peels off without damaging anything.  

The rattling glove compartment needed more work with some felt pads stuck on the interior lip of the door-surround.

This is all very well on an old 2nd hand car (and I’ve owned a fair number of those!) but a 10 month old Toyota Yaris Excel - and supposedly top of the range at that - not a good advert for Toyota reputation in build-quality.

Last week, I wired a dash-cam to my new Yaris via the fuse-box under the passenger foot-well (as I did with my Mk3). Lo and behold, I found the fuse-box lid just left loose and tied with a plastic cable-tie to the footwell lighting wiring; not clipped to the fuse-box at all! What on earth is going on there? Surely it would have taken a factory worker longer to fasten a plastic cable-tie than just to clip the lid into its proper place!

Moving on to ‘top of the range’ spec of the Excel; no footwell lights at all, the wiring and plugs are there but no lights. The only interior lights you apparently get are courtesy lights under the windscreen and a meagre boot-light - that’s it! So, if the Excel is ‘top-of the range’ which spec gets the footwell lights? I think its the Launch Edition only. But it’s more than a bit mean not to include a couple of LEDs in their Excel spec too!

Then there is the Tyre Repair Kit saga - groan…

Both my Yaris’s are/were the Panoramic roof choice, and you don’t get a spare wheel with those. It isn’t even an option. But of course, mention it as a deal-breaker and a dealer can usually come up trumps. My old Yaris Mk3 had a space-saver spare wheel thrown in as part of the deal and I made the same dealer arrangement with my new Mk4.

Imagine my surprise however when I eventually found out that there is no car-jack with this new Yaris! Toyota obviously don’t think you need a jack if you have a Tyre Repair Kit now. There is space in a compartment in the boot for one but no actual jack. My old Yaris Mk3 had a Tyre Repair Kit and a jack (under the passenger seat). Fortunately, £9 on e-bay was enough to acquire the right one for this car.

But this is another example that gives (me at least) the strong impression of Toyota cutting corners.

 Now having moaned about all that.

I still like the car - a lot - but maybe not quite as much as I did when reading about the new Yaris Mk4 and anticipating it’s delivery.

These niggles, although minor in themselves, are of sufficient quantity to make me think a bit harder about whether my next car will be a Toyota.

Does it make a difference where a car is actually built? Mine was built in France. Has my car been a Friday / Monday car or do such things still exist from manufacturing stories of old?  

I don’t know.   

It would be very interesting to hear from other members about their Yaris Mk4 ownership.

Cheers

Chris 😉

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  • Grompix changed the title to Yaris Mk4 Ownership - Initial Thoughts

15 minutes ago, Grompix said:

I found the fuse-box lid just left loose and tied with a plastic cable-tie to the footwell lighting wiring; not clipped to the fuse-box at all!

As it is an ex-demonstrator, you don't know whether the fuse box has been accessed by someone at the dealership who couldn't get it to fit.

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tbh it's a new Platform and a new production line, and it does take time for the line staff to get up to speed, being ex-demo it may be an early production car the last 6 in the vin should be a sign

If you PM me the vin i maybe able to look up the build date

cars with the pano roof don't get a spare wheel due to weight as it would change the tax class and maybe the type approval it should have a jack tho

edit. The Jack should be in the boot on the driver's side behind the door in the rear trim

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3 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

As it is an ex-demonstrator, you don't know whether the fuse box has been accessed by someone at the dealership who couldn't get it to fit.

Well, maybe.
But the lid clipped on easily enough for me.
(and that's saying something! 😉)

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I must say the build quality from the french factory is considerably better than on their earlier cars - With the Mk1 there was a noticeable improvement in build quality in the japanese built ones vs the french ones, and my Mk2 was even worse in terms of panel gaps and bits of the interior warping because they clearly did not fit within tolerances. The front of the dash where the air vents were was ridiculously warped! Rumor has it some bigwigs from japan went there and gave them a good shouting at until they took their quality and standards more seriously; Things certainly seemed to improve in time for the Mk3's onwards!

I know what you mean about the thinness of the metal - The doors in particular are a step back in terms of weight and feel compared to the Mk2; They are more like the Mk1's in that, instead of a good solid clunk, they have that tinny metallic sound when closed. It seems to be an on and off trend with Toyota, as a similar thing happened when they stopped making the old Corolla and switched to the Auris - The solid feeling the Corolla had was almost completely gone in the Auris. Conversely, the Mk2 Yaris had a very reassuringly solid door compared to the Mk1, which had very tinny doors like the Mk4, esp. on the 5-door model I had!

However I'm not toooo bothered about that, as I've seen the EuroNCAP videos for it so while the skin may be flimsy, and the door disturbingly tinny, I know the structure of the door isn't as flimsy as it sounds! (In fact this car makes side impact collisions look almost comfortable judging by how many airbags deploy! :laugh:)

 

Like you I don't get the thing about the panoramic roof and the space saver either - Surely it can't just be them worried about the tax bracket: Going from the 16" rims on the Icon and Design, to the 17"s on the Dynamic and Excel, already increases the CO2 produced and reduces MPG but they don't seem to care about that.

Additionally, why would they even care what tax band it's in now anyway; Pre-2017 it might have affected sales, as trying to avoid the £130+ tax bracket and getting down into the magical £30, £20 or £0 tax brackets would definitely improve sales, but under the new system everything from a frugal 800cc ****box to a 10 litre V8 guzzling monster cost the same to tax, aside from the first year, and they roll that into the purchase price anyway, so it literally doesn't matter!

It's lucky the panoramic roof doesn't open or I'd have wanted one and would be more miffed by this, but Toyota UK just seem to make lots of weird decisions when speccing up the car for the UK market. I swear they don't understand their own market sometimes.

The average hybrid buyer is interested in things like gadgets, economy, safety, comfort - But we miss out on a load of stuff the Euro-spec ones get, and don't get me started on the japanese spec ones (They get 360 degree parking cameras, auto parking and AWD! And a real hand brake! And they are narrower on the outside! I'm so jealous...) - and get things like giant alloys and sportier suspension! I get they want to appeal to a younger boyracery crowd now, but they have the GR for that!

The only decision they made I whole heartedly agree with is omitting the satnav - My experience with manufacturer satnavs has been nothing but negative; They're slow, the search functions suck, and they are obscenely expensive to update! Would rather use a Tomtom or an Android/iPhone, and thankfully the car has Carplay/AndroidAuto as standard, which is great!

 

On a tangent, how did you wire the Dashcam into the fusebox?

I was going to do that, but found the piggy-back fuse I had had the same problem as I had in the Mk2, i.e. it was too tall and prevented me from putting the fusebox lid back on, so I'd have to either cable-tie it somewhere or leave it in the glovebox.

In the end I took the whole dash apart and wired it directly into the lighter socket instead!

 

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3 hours ago, Grompix said:

 

Last week, I wired a dash-cam to my new Yaris via the fuse-box under the passenger foot-well (as I did with my Mk3). Lo and behold, I found the fuse-box lid just left loose and tied with a plastic cable-tie to the footwell lighting wiring; not clipped to the fuse-box at all! What on earth is going on there? Surely it would have taken a factory worker longer to fasten a plastic cable-tie than just to clip the lid into its proper place!

 

It has already had a dash cam, as he piggy back fuse arrangement used by the factory Nextbase camera stops the lid from refitting, the instructions are to zip tie the lid nearby so the fuses can still be identified.

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1 hour ago, Cyker said:

Like you I don't get the thing about the panoramic roof and the space saver either - Surely it can't just be them worried about the tax bracket: Going from the 16" rims on the Icon and Design, to the 17"s on the Dynamic and Excel, already increases the CO2 produced and reduces MPG but they don't seem to care about that.

Additionally, why would they even care what tax band it's in now anyway; Pre-2017 it might have affected sales, as trying to avoid the £130+ tax bracket and getting down into the magical £30, £20 or £0 tax brackets would definitely improve sales, but under the new system everything from a frugal 800cc ****box to a 10 litre V8 guzzling monster cost the same to tax, aside from the first year, and they roll that into the purchase price anyway, so it literally doesn't matter!

It's lucky the panoramic roof doesn't open or I'd have wanted one and would be more miffed by this, but Toyota UK just seem to make lots of weird decisions when speccing up the car for the UK market. I swear they don't understand their own market sometimes.

Economies of scale are the cause, type approval costs a lot of money and time and the UK is a small market when compared to the EU and LHD EU approval does not carry over to RHD so in the case of the UK Yaris MK4 there is only one type approval needed as there is only one engine, transmission and body type ( not counting GR ) this covers all variants of trim, they will have type approved a mid spec model as the type approval allows a % variation +/- from the approved model, and something like spare wheel and pano' roof would put the car beyond its allowance and therefore require another type approval costing money so compromises are made.

 

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9 hours ago, Devon Aygo said:

It has already had a dash cam, as he piggy back fuse arrangement used by the factory nextbase camera stops the lid from refitting, the instructions are to zip tie the lid nearby so the fuses can still be identified.

Yes, that is an interesting point and certainly could be the case behind my car's fuse-box lid "dislocation" mystery''.
If so, that would let Toyota manufacturing off the hook but put some guilt on the Toyota Dealership I bought the car from. They look as if they couldn't be bothered to replace the fuse-box lid after removing the Nextbase camera.
...but that seems par for the course with some Toyota dealerships - I can certainly imagine the main dealer round my way as lackadaisical as that! 

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9 hours ago, Devon Aygo said:

Economies of scale are the cause, type approval costs a lot of money and time and the UK is a small market when compared to the EU and LHD EU approval does not carry over to RHD so in the case of the UK Yaris MK4 there is only one type approval needed as there is only one engine, transmission and body type ( not counting GR ) this covers all variants of trim, they will have type approved a mid spec model as the type approval allows a % variation +/- from the approved model, and something like spare wheel and pano' roof would put the car beyond its allowance and therefore require another type approval costing money so compromises are made.

 

Yes, I had heard that the panoramic roof / spare-wheel debacle was something to do with the EU. At which point my brain just turned off and walked away!
Whatever the reasoning behind Toyota's decision as a corporation, it doesn't leave a positive experience to the individual purchaser / owner, and I'm not so sure that the higher echelons of Toyota have even considered it at that level.
I know I've cast aspersions on Toyota dealerships but in my experience they have stepped forward and provided a solution to the customer when ostensibly no such option is/was available from Toyota.  

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On 7/18/2021 at 7:42 PM, flash22 said:

tbh it's a new Platform and a new production line, and it does take time for the line staff to get up to speed, being ex-demo it may be an early production car the last 6 in the vin should be a sign

If you PM me the vin i maybe able to look up the build date

cars with the pano roof don't get a spare wheel due to weight as it would change the tax class and maybe the type approval it should have a jack tho

edit. The Jack should be in the boot on the driver's side behind the door in the rear trim

Thanks for that Flash.
The build date you looked up for me turns out to be July 2020 (among the first 300 Yaris's built), so, as you say, the early production date might indeed be the reason behind some of the 'niggles' I'm experiencing.
The manual doesn't mention a jack being part of the Tyre Repair Kit and the 'cubby-hole' in the boot showed no sign of a jack ever being there. No rubber restraining strap and the padding was just thrown into the gap without any attempt at fixing into place. So, it appears Toyota have perhaps discontinued including a jack with the Tyre Repair Kit (even though they did include one with my old Panoramic-roof Mk3).

       

Jack_Location.jpg

Repair_Kit.jpg

SS_Spare.jpg

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22 hours ago, Cyker said:

On a tangent, how did you wire the dashcam into the fusebox?

I was going to do that, but found the piggy-back fuse I had had the same problem as I had in the Mk2, i.e. it was too tall and prevented me from putting the fusebox lid back on, so I'd have to either cable-tie it somewhere or leave it in the glovebox.

In the end I took the whole dash apart and wired it directly into the lighter socket instead!

Ha! I ended up wiring my Nextbase Dashcam to the fuse-box with the piggy-back leads. Of course, as you say, The fuse-box-lid can't be fitted back on because the adapter sticks out too much!
I've just put the lid in with the user manual instead 😉
Sigh!   

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It looks like the repair kit doesn't come with a jack, that is a bad idea, there are many circumstances that you may need a jack, anything more than a 6mm hole and a can of junk isn't going to do a great deal anyway

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4 hours ago, flash22 said:

there are many circumstances that you may need a jack

Really? If the gunk doesn't work most people will call breakdown because without a spare (and even with if you can't get the nuts loose) there's really no point in trying to jack the car.

And it's not a risk-free operation.

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Hey @Grompix / Chris, are you getting free road tax for the remainder up until the anniversary of your Yaris' 1st year registration?

Just wondering how that works for an ex-demo vehicle. Did the dealer sort tax for you or did you have to register yourself?

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10 hours ago, exim said:

Hey @Grompix / Chris, are you getting free road tax for the remainder up until the anniversary of your Yaris' 1st year registration?

Just wondering how that works for an ex-demo vehicle. Did the dealer sort tax for you or did you have to register yourself?

I was required to pay full road tax before collection of the vehicle (no reduction for any remainder left from previous owner). £145 for the year. Which was something of a smack in the mouth as I had not paid any Road Tax on my previous Yaris Hybrid. I knew that road tax had been re-introduced on 'alternative' fuel cars since I bought my first one in 2014 but I wasn't aware of just how large the tax was. Only £10 reduction from a 'normal' fuelled car - sheesh! 

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10 hours ago, exim said:

Hey @Grompix / Chris, are you getting free road tax for the remainder up until the anniversary of your Yaris' 1st year registration?

Just wondering how that works for an ex-demo vehicle. Did the dealer sort tax for you or did you have to register yourself?

 

12 minutes ago, Grompix said:

I was required to pay full road tax before collection of the vehicle (no reduction for any remainder left from previous owner). 

Road tax hasn't been transferable between keepers since 2014, so there is no "remainder" to be had.

The only way you could wangle it is for you and the seller to not send in or date the V5 change until the tax is about to expire ... which has 'downsides'. No reputable dealer would do it.

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Yeah, it really sucks going from a more polluting vehicle to a less polluting vehicle but being charged more tax for your trouble!

Worse, someone I know who had a ridiculously thirsty hausfrauenpanzer, and was paying something like £500 a year in tax, has now got an even more obnoxious one but now pays nearly the same tax as my frugal Yaris Mk4!

It just doesn't feel fair!

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It was bound to happen. Think about the major loss in tax revenue as people scrambled to buy either a hybrid, EV or PHEV that had £0 road tax during the 3-4 years leading up to March 2017 when it stopped. There was always going to be a levelling up at some point otherwise, what alternative method could raise the same amount of tax? That was one of the good things about my last (2017) Mk3 Yaris as it was one of the last ones to be zero rated tax wise and initially, when the Mk4 came out, I was reluctant to give up that zero tax for the life of that car but when I saw the much improved spec of the NG Yaris, that went out of the window!

 

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Yeah, stupid short-sighted government thinking, and they've done it again with EVs - I feel they've only just started to realize how much money they're about to loose by getting rid off ICE cars and with them the loss of the extortionate double-taxing revenue they get from fuel, but it's too late for them to make a U-turn so they're trying to think up some cockeyed scheme to level that on EV's.

The funny thing is if they do level fuel tax on EV fast chargers it will make EV's more expensive to run than petrol cars :laugh: I think if you use only public chargers, the Mk4 Yaris is already about the same cost to run!

And yeah, the jump from £0 to £145 is a bit of a kick in the balls, but on the bright side I suspect you will save that much in fuel use over the Mk3 :laugh:

Actually, how does your real-world mpg compare between the Mk3 and Mk4?

 

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I don't really understand why they won't change the tax on existing cars to bring them in line with the latest 'standards'. It would make so much more sense.

I mean it wasn't just:

51 minutes ago, CPN said:

either a hybrid, EV or PHEV that had £0 road tax during the 3-4 years leading up to March 2017 when it stopped.

Our pure petrol 2016 Smart is £0 VED and does 45 mpg, while our 2018 Yaris Hybrid does 55-60 and is £140 VED. It's insane.

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23 minutes ago, MikeSh said:

I don't really understand why they won't change the tax on existing cars to bring them in line with the latest 'standards'. It would make so much more sense.

I mean it wasn't just:

Our pure petrol 2016 Smart is £0 VED and does 45 mpg, while our 2018 Yaris Hybrid does 55-60 and is £140 VED. It's insane.

Absolutely agree. It's nonsensical!

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You can't compare the two systems of VED.

Pre April 2017, VED rates were  based on CO2 emissions.

From 1st April 2017, for petrol and hybrid cars, the first year VED is based on CO2 emissions and subsequent years are a standard rate. The standard rate for hybrids is currently £10 less than for petrols. This is for vehicles with a list price of less than £40K.

Nothing to do with fuel consumption.

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1 hour ago, Cyker said:

Actually, how does your real-world mpg compare between the Mk3 and Mk4?

Well, it's very early days yet as we've only covered 1,229 miles in "Red Baron" so far but it's already looking better as I've only had 5 fill-ups (neck to neck) and even though it is still suffering from "1st tank blues", the overall average for those 5 tanks is already 48.2 mpg and best single tank so far was the last one which was 55.5 mpg. Oh, and I should add that I have sometimes driven it like a hooligan(!) just because I could and the car just seems to be begging to be ill-treated! So, not really trying to be "Uber economical" is the point I'm trying to make. (couldn't do that with "Knightrider")

My previous Mk3 ("Knightrider") covered 15,052 miles while we had it and had 53 fill-ups during that time. The overall average was 49.9 mpg and the best tank I scored was 56.1 mpg back in March 2018 and if I tell you that that was coming home from Mother's in the W.Midlands during terrible weather, hail and snowstorms as we approached Leeds and I don't think we went above 50 mph the whole way! An unusual journey to say the least. A more typical "best" in that car was around the 51-52 mpg mark during normal driving conditions but I really had to drive with restraint to get those kinds of figures per tank full.

So, as you can see, even driving like a mad thing, the Mk4 is already "better" (I would argue) and I fully expect that the average figure over the same number of tank-fulls and similar mileage will be in the high 50's mpg with this Mk4 without even trying to be eco-conscious. Something that the Mk3 never managed. If I drove the Mk3 like I now drive this Mk4, I would have been lucky to get into the high 40's mpg; never mind high 50's...

image.thumb.png.489ff88a95c435dbcad3b6cfeda1805e.png

Not exactly a fair comparison but it gives a rough idea...

 

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