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Yaris vs. Corolla

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My other half is currently shopping for a car, and is interested in either of these. Aside from subjective aspects, is there anything that should be considered when looking at one vs. the other? i.e. does one have a must-have feature that the other doesn't (not quite what I'm trying to ask but you get the idea), or one have poor headlamps vs. the other and worthy of consideration? Ehh...

In terms of the basic car, I think either would be a solid choice, so it's more a spec question.

Is the Toyota website accurate for spec for a given trim level? The base model Yaris seems very well equipped and I can hardly see any justifcation for going for anything higher, to the point I'm not sure if the last time I really looked at it (a month or two ago) there wasn't an issue with it showing the wrong spec.

Do all the Yaris models come with the digital dash (even as an option), or only higher spec models? It seems they can either have analogue instruments or digital dash. The digital dash looks good!

I'm going to go over the specs again tonight/tomorrow, and call my local dealer for a test drive of both so my OH can see which she prefers.

Thank you!

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Oh hey, welcome back YH2016! Long time no see! :biggrin:

I scrapped my awful petrol Mk2 for one of these shiny new Mk4's a few months ago and am loving it so far!

They've fixed all the things I didn't like about the Mk3 hybrids, and it's a much nicer car to drive!

IMHO you'd want at least the Design-level spec as it's only a bit more and you get a bigger screen, and all the windows are electric, the lights are LED and I think that's the lowest spec with the digital dash. Annoyingly you need to go all the way to Excel to get the HUD, and even then it's an option!

The new Corolla and Yaris are both nice to drive, so I think it'll more come down to size and if the car is going to be loaded up, as the Yaris definitely struggles a bit on uppydowny country lanes when full compared to my old diesel one, as I found out taking a load of mates and all our gear to the Goodwood FoS!

If you're after economy tho' the Yaris is better - I just clocked a ridiculous 84mpg indicated (81 calculated) on my last tank, 'tho admittedly I was doing an economy run; Usually I get around the low 70's when not trying :laugh: 

I am finding the seats a bit uncomfortable, but I think it's because they put worse seats in the higher-spec ones so the Icon and Design might actually be more comfortable. (What idiot thought 'sports' seats would be desirable in an econobox?!)

The suspension and handling are excellent - Probably the best of any Yaris I've ever been in, and it really pulls if you give it the beans! Engine is very very noisy compared to the Corolla under load tho - I assume it's because it's a 3-pot with no balancing shafts.


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Yes... I lurk, but the car is so good, not much to talk about! 😄

We went over the specs today and the Yaris Excel spec is top of the list. I noticed they made the auto-dimming rear-view mirror part of the tech pack (£800!) which is a bit cheeky IMHO. 😄  Not sure if it's worth adding. The rest of the spec can't be faulted.

We weren't sure about the sport seats. My OH is also not sure if she'll like the color of the interior, but she quickly came up with a solution: seat covers!

Not sure what the spec of the demonstrator is - I forgot to ask. We're going Saturday so we'll find out then.

I'm rather jealous - it's making me want to change mine, but at the same time mine is running so well I'm loathed to let it go! I'm also a bit apprehensive of test-driving the new one as that might push me to do the unspeakable. 😱  Maybe we'll get a discount for buying two? LOL Nooo... must...not...think...about...it...

Is it noisier than the Gen 3, or subjective? I can live with the noise (especially under acceleration), but my OH already thinks my car is "loud".

I did mean to ask - what kind of heating system do they have? Is it electric or does it still use engine heat on the Yaris? I know setting it much over 18 degrees on mine hammers the fuel economy from ~70 to ~50 MPG.

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The Yaris TNGA is my first ever Toyota so can't comment on the noise, but it's only noisy if you put your foot down, it's virtually silent if you're just pootling around.

One thing i would say, it the Icon and Design trim both have softer suspenstion and smaller tyres, so they're more comfortable than the top spec trims. They Design is the first trim (up the range) to have the digital dash.

Economy is excellent, Never get less than 65 mpg indicated, and have seen 85-90 mpg indicated a couple of times. Depending on yout trips it can be very economical.

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I went Excel because I really wanted the HUD and they wouldn't let me have it any other way! :laugh:  Wouldn't even let me put a factory special order through like some companies do!

Must admit it's too much money for what it is, esp. compared to what the previous model was new, but having driven it I don't have as much buyers remorse as I thought I would because the car is so awesome :biggrin:

re. the heating, someone told me it had PTC heating, but as far as i can tell it relies on the engine alone for heat. The engine does warm up pretty fast tho' so might not be too bad, but I haven't had this through a winter yet so we'll see...!

re. engine noise, it's tricky to say - Compared to the Mk3, the engine is much worse in terms of baseline NVH; At idle, it's very very noisy and vibratey - You notice it badly if the Battery is low and you're stuck in traffic as the engine will suddenly kick in to charge the traction Battery and reminds me a lot of the Mk1 Yaris D4D at idle :laugh: 

Bizarrely, when you are moving, at 2000 rpm it's a lot quieter and much smoother; Past 2000rpm it has a very pleasant growl that gives a nice punchy shove as the revs increase; 3-4k seems to be the sweet spot as it actually feels like it's bogging down when you go past that.

However, the reason I say it's tricky to say is I find the car doesn't have to run the engine anywhere near as much, esp. at high speed - I've been at 70mph on a slight but lengthy decline on Battery power alone, which is something I've never seen in pre-TNGA hybrids; Past about 30mph they always seem to run the engine constantly?

Also, I find it picks up a lot more willingly at high speed than previous HSD's - You can do a quick overtake, which does raise the RPM into the 3-4k range but that gives a lot more shove, then you finish the overtake and back off the accelerator and the engine will settle back down to its much quieter 2000rpm, or even shut off completely if the Battery is over half full.

At town speeds you can actually run on the Battery alone longer than with the engine - According to the computer I'm often doing 60-70% leccy motor in town!

So although the engine can be noisier than the Mk3 at its worst, it gets used a lot less, so on balance I'd say the car is quieter overall? (Oh, aside from the weird alien space ship noise it makes between 0-18mph on leccy mode to warn pedestrians you are there. That is obnoxiously loud! Esp. when you're trying to sneak back home down a quiet street at 2am...!)

I have to say the car is much more fun to drive thank the Mk3 tho' - Very punchy and responsive; It's almost as good as my beloved Mk1 D4D in terms of the car always responding to accelerator input with a noticeable pull. A far cry from my old Mk2 1.33 VVTi, which would not respond in any noticeable way if I stamped on the accelerator at motorway speeds, unless I downshifted like, 3 gears, then the engine would be screaming for its life!

The best thing is it's also genuinely efficient - If you can get 70mpg out of your Mk3 you'll probably be able to get 80+ out of one of these! I'm getting 70mpg and I'm driving it like a hooligan! (I just can't resist overtaking slow cars or taking people at the lights - It's the same problem I had playing with EV's! That instant torque is so addictive...! :unsure:)

Maybe... you can buy it for yourself and pass down yours to the OH... ? :naughty: 

I will say the seats in the Excel are !Removed! awful tho' - Apparently they are 'sports seats' (In a economy-focused hybrid?! Who thought that was a good idea!?), and have terrible lumbar support; My lower back was killing me after a month of using it, but now I have a rolled up towel that I use and that helps a lot!

Also, the ride on the 17" rims is quite harsh, esp. if, like me you frequently drive through a pothole hellscape. I went to the trouble of getting 15" steel rims fitted and it's made the ride much much better, and also a lot quieter; Road noise is noticeably quieter than on the 17"s and the mpg seems to be slightly better too, plus the massive sidewall means I'm less likely to kerb the rims! (Again, don't understand who thought 17" rims would be a good idea on an econobox!!)

Deffo test drive it 'tho - Might be easier for you coming from a Mk3 hybrid, but this is my first hybrid and also my first non-manual car, so I had a lot to get used to!! (I still occasionally go for the clutch when braking! :laugh: )


I will say the Corolla's 4-pot is a lot smoother and quieter than the Mk4's 3-pot, but I don't think they can get close to the Yaris Mk4's mpg's!


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On 8/3/2021 at 9:57 PM, YarisHybrid2016 said:


We weren't sure about the sport seats. My OH is also not sure if she'll like the color of the interior, but she quickly came up with a solution: seat covers!


The mk4 Yaris has centre airbags fitted on the inner bolster on the front seats to stop occupants colliding with each other in a side impact.

Any front seat covers fitted need to be compatible with this new safety feature.

Toyota Yaris gets Airbags between Front Seats (veryengineering.com)

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The engine will be more noisy as it's only 3 pots or half a supra engine, 500cc per pot, so it's not as balanced as a 4 pot

The gen 4 seems to be a bit expensive for what it is, to me, it feels lower quality product than the mk3 - it's been out nearly a year, most of the issues have been resolved

The yaris cross looks interesting but can top out at over £30K



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Yeah, the interior is not exactly premium; It's not bad, seems hard wearing and they've done a decent job of faking it with surface coatings and patterning to make it look and even feel nicer, but TBH if you want a nice interior, german cars are where it's at.

I also think the Mk4 is over-priced, but paradoxically I don't feel like I got ripped off paying for it. I really enjoy driving it, and as I'm someone who hates automatics that's pretty weird!

Not such a big fan of the Cross, or the Aygo Prelude... but I generally despise the proliferation of "hausfrauenpanzers" (The german equivalent of "Chelsea Tractor" I'm told :laugh: in cities - They're just bulked up normal cars but have equal or worse interior space than a normal car, are often no better at going off-road and just clog up the streets where I work. If I had a penny for every time I've been stuck behind one because there's a bus or lorry coming and they're too fat to continue, or why some of them slow down to 2mph to go over a speed bump despite ostensibly being designed to go over rough terrain! (Maybe they're scared they'll damage the 20-million inch rims they're riding on?) Gah! So irritating! Although it does make me feel gloriously smug when one is tailgating me as I pass through a narrow gap or width restriction and they have to slam on the anchors when they realize their giant land boat can't fit through the gap I didn't even have to slow down for :laugh: 


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There are plenty of land/range rovers around here, and big 4x4's used for the school run, the only off roading they do is up on the grass verge

The gen4 has a bubble butt with big hips

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I’ve got a Corolla 2.0 GR Sport but have just been using a Yaris 1.5 Design for the last week or so while mine was with the dealer.

I found quite a big difference between the two, getting back in the Corolla today was like driving a limo. It’s so much smoother, quieter and more settled than the Yaris. Inside is a nicer place too, in the Yaris the centre armrest and the door armrest are rock hard making them uncomfortable and the Yaris steering wheel had a strip of plastic on the inside edge of the lower half, it made it feel pretty cheap to touch. 

The ride in the Yaris felt quite jittery and skittish, it didn’t settle down as well as the Corolla which feels super smooth in comparison. I think the advantages the Yaris has are it’s size, easier to park and manoeuvre, it’s mpg (67 while I had it, 56 in the Corolla) and it’s a cheaper than the Corolla too. 

Like anything, it’s all subjective, you really need to try and get a decent test drive in both. I’ve asked for a second test drive on the last few cars I’ve bought, gives you more chance to get to know it. 

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I suspect the skittishness might be the stock tyres, at least partly - When I went from the 17's to 15's, the Hankooks I put on had far less 'slip' in them and made the car much more chuckable round corners than the stock Bridgestones that come on the 17's, while at the same time making the ride much smoother ad quieter. The 17's are just not a good match for a Yaris!

Tyre choice can make such a big difference to ride comfort and handling. It reminds me of a complaint I hear about the GR Yaris, i.e. that it's too planted and not playful enough - Aside from that just being a stupidly asinine statement (How is being too planted a bad thing?? And if that's your bag, get a GT86!), it's got Pilot Sport 4s on it - of course it's going to be planted! Those are some of the grippiest road tyres you can buy! If you want 'playfulness' so bad, stick some budget ditchfinders on, you'll be doing 4-wheel slides round every corner :laugh: 


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The Yaris uses a torsion beam rear suspension set up where as the Corolla uses a double wishbone rear suspension set up.

The skittishness is an inherent characteristic of rear torsion beam suspension under certain circumstances.

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I think both cars are good enough to be on top of the shopping list to most new car owners, which one to pick really is subjective and it’s down to the size mostly, refinement comes as a result of that too, you can’t expect an A class Mercedes to drives like an upper class Mercedes can you? If you ask me whether to pick Yaris over Polo, or Corolla over Golf then I can give you good arguments about which ones are the better option and why, but about Yaris or Corolla, just gonna leave it to the everyone’s preferences. 
Good luck with either of the cars, as long as they are Toyota hybrids, you can’t go wrong. 👍

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