I bought my '09 Yaris 4-door hatchback in March 2011; it was about 2 years old, certified, with around 49k on it. So I've had it for about a year and 4 months now. I commute 70-80 miles per day for wo...
I bought my '09 Yaris 4-door hatchback in March 2011; it was about 2 years old, certified, with around 49k on it. So I've had it for about a year and 4 months now. I commute 70-80 miles per day for work, so I have racked another 30k or so onto the car (around 80k now). Luckily, this car has given me exactly what I wanted - reliability and fuel efficiency. For the first 6-8 months I owned it, I regularly tracked my gas mileage and I was averaging 37-38 MPG with about 80% highway, 20% city driving. People who are riding in it for the first time often comment on how surprisingly spacious it is inside - even in the back seat - and the size just hasn't been an issue for me at all. I am 5'11 and have plenty of room up front. I also test drove a Yaris sedan, but I found the hatchback to not only look cuter but also feel more spacious inside - I think it's something to do with how they design the trunk on the sedan maybe? And I think that having the easy fold-down seats in the hatchback are more practical when you buy a car this small. With those seats down I can fit a lot back there - recently I bought 4 kitchen chairs and they all fit in at once, with the door closed!
I don't mind the center console at all - you get used to it in about 2 days - and I love the cup holders being right in front of the heating/cooling air vents.
As for safety, luckily I haven't experienced any serious accidents in it, but I did get rear-ended a couple of months back by a drunk driver in an SUV (luckily, she wasn't going very fast) and my bumper completely held up with only two teeny tiny dents from her license plate.... a few weeks later, I was actually a passenger in my mother in law's Accord when the same thing happened - we were rear-ended at low speed by a larger vehicle - and her bumper almost fell off. My little Yaris is stronger than I thought! I find it to be steady driving at high speeds on the highway, with the exception of extremely windy days or when I'm driving behind a huge tractor trailer.
One of my only complaints with the car is that the steering wheel is hard to get in a comfortable position for a tall person like me. I need a telescoping wheel so that I can push the seat back without having to reach way out to grab onto the wheel, but it doesn't have this feature.