2011 Toyota Yaris Review

Welcome to the review of the Toyota Yaris from 2011. There are two different Yaris models available during that year, the current angular model and the curvy one in both sedan and hatchback, which is the subject of my review. The fact I did buy one is really enough said that this was the best small car package as a used car. Here where my thoughts on this particular model:

In terms of exterior design the 2005-2011 Yaris is very good, it hasn’t aged even in 2017. Out of all the 2011 models, the 2011 Yaris is probably the ‘cutest’ and admittedly that’s a problem as it will appeal by default appeal to younger women drivers most of the time and secondary appeal to older men. Why older men, because they’ve largely grown out of the need to buy  a overpowered and overpriced car. That said our partners agree that it does appeal more to them. Next time you’re out just checkout the drivers of this particular Yaris. Also take note of the Yaris sedan drivers vs the hatchback, it’s quite interesting. Whether this was a deliberate design choice is anyone’s guess except for Toyota Marketing at the time. The Yaris also had the best door closing sound with a solidity that none of the other small had.

In terms of interior design the 2005 – 2011 Yaris is the second best design out of all the small cars I tested and reviewed. The rear seats may not be as flexible as the Jazz but the Yaris seats do fold flat with integrated panels and the seats move forward, backwards and recline at various angles.  The storage trump card of the Yaris is the 3 glove boxes and 5 cup holders in the front which beats all the other small cars. The instrument cluster is also centralised and has LED read outs which is unique to the class. Hard plastics cover the entire interior and in 2017 do look on the cheap side. The seats are on the smaller side however the seat design has the best backrest although lacking any real side bolstering when cornering fast . Overall the design is modern and airy despite the grey plastics. The most impressive part was the seat height that made the hip point high enough so you don’t need to fold your self or duck your head when getting in and out of the Yaris.

In terms of the drive experience the Yaris is very good at speeds under 60kph. Under this speed roundabouts and corners and be driven in an entertaining fashion with easily controlled understeer and even oversteer if you know how to drive. The most annoying thing about the Yaris is the electric steering, it is simply not very good with inconsistent weighing and no feel but this is perfect for peak hour drives. The Yaris interior noise levels are acceptable and dependent on the type of tyres you choose. The course country roads in Australia it will be annoyingly loud. The 4 speed auto is often highlighted as a problem but I don’t think so. 4 gears perfect for around town and suburbia especially if you have the 1.3 litre. In the automatic 1.5 litre petrol the only time which you notice are it has shifted to 4 gear usually from 60 due to the tall 4 gear and needs to change down for more go, but on the freeways it seemingly finds more power and zips along quite nicely especially after the 80kph and a surprising speed reserve after 100kph.  This can be attributed to the VVT engine tech. Change the auto into 3rd gear when needed and you avoid all the problems. The ride quality is firm-ish but absorbent under 60kph and dependent on the road and tyres can get that typically lumpy as with all small cars. I think the manual 1.5 litre Yaris is an entertaining little car.

Overall I liked the 2011 Toyota Yaris and bought one. This model doesn’t have much coverage on the internet for an obvious reason, the main buyers of the car. There are few enthusiastic owners since there is no performance model bar the Japan only RS model which is equipped with 1.8 litre Corolla engine of the time. Overall the supportive seats, hair trigger throttle, surprising performance of the 1.5 litre, storage areas, cool central dash and most of all a stereo system that can be replaced or  upgraded and that it looks good and market reliability are the key factors.  More performance can also be gained by removing the heavy full sized rear spare wheel and replacing it with the 2017 standard of a puncture repair kit.

2011 Toyota Yaris
Engines
IL 4 Cylinder
EFI DOHC VVT
1.3 Litre (1299cc)
Claimed 63Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 121Nm @ 4400RPM
IL 4 Cylinder
EFI DOHC VVT
1.5 Litre (1497cc)
Claimed 80Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 141Nm @ 4200RPM
Weight
Kerb weight FROM 1055 Kg
Towing capacity up to 700 kg
Fuel capacity & consumption
Up to 42 litres – 91 Octane
IL4 1.3 litre Petrol 6.5 Lts per 100km AVG
IL4 1.5 litre Petrol 6.7 Lts per 100km AVG
Other specifications
5 speed manual or 4 speed auto
Overall length/height/width 3785/1530/1695
ANCAP Safety: 5/5
Performance
Pricing
2011 $14,990 – 21,390 AUD excluding on road costs

Suzuki Swift Review

2011 Suzuki Swift

Welcome to the Suzuki Swift car review. The Suzuki Swift from 2011 has just been replaced by an all new model for 2017 so you may be thinking why so late to post a review? Well this is part of my series on buying a used or second have small car and the Swift is one of the cars I was looking at. I’ve always liked the Swift package as it has stayed true to it’s original design brief of being a good looking reasonably priced, reliable, small, fuel efficient car that’s a decent drive. With cars growing in size over each model cycle the Suzuki has done that to the Swift as well but not to the extent of it’s competitors which means it stays true to market positioning and let new models take up the larger sizes. The means that the Swift brand gains an enhanced reputation and an emerging cult status for certain models.

In terms of design, the Swift is a good looking small car. While the lines are conservative and box like there are enough other elements to make it visibly different from other small cars. These elements include over sized front headlights and arching rear lights which define the major curves and angles on the body. Overall the Swift does not look like a cheap design and combined with visibly higher quality paint to my observation makes it appeal to buyers wanting more than the stereotypical small car. I like the Swift’s design.

The Suzuki Swift’s interior design was a good place to be when released in 2011. It is conventional in design which different from all the other small cars of the 2011 period. The Swift’s dashboard was surprisingly big car like with a standard T-box design, the Mazda2, Fiesta, Jazz and Yaris all had best described as youthful interior designs. The conservative design makes it appeal to a broader range of buyers not the attracted to the overtly youthful version in the other cars. The quality of the interior feels better than the others at the time and has aged well, however in 2017 it is looking dated. I think it’s the untextured dash top plastics that make it appear aged compared to the rest of the interior. Overall the Swift is a good place to be in for a 2011 model in 2017. The Swift definitely makes it to the short list of small cars to buy.

The mechanical package of the Suzuki Swift comes in a variety of versions including a diesel in overseas markets. However in the main there are two versions, the normal one and the Sport. The normal Swift is just as good as the other small cars, there is really nothing more I can add or point out, this it’s self means that the packaging is very good. There are plenty of storage spots but not a good as the best in class, the Jazz and the Yaris. The 2011 Suzuki Swift was one of the few cars with 7 airbags as standard along with stability control and ABS brakes means it’s systems are up to date.  The Swift Sport has completely different suspension, engines and transmission setup and suitably for a sporty driving experience. This version used to be called the GTi which globally means the most sporty version of the car and clearly the Swift Sport is quite different from the normal versions does not have the outrageous power of 2017 to meet the typically GTi branding. Along with all the current safety systems the Swift Sport has some of the features that more expensive cars of that era like cruise control, xenon lights and keyless start.

The Suzuki Swift’s stereo system is an integrated version which means that you can’t update it with digital radio, Bluetooth streaming and Apple Carplay or Android Auto for GPS and other goodies expected in 2017. The stereo sounds OK as standard but disappointing that upgrading the unit will be difficult if not impossible without significant expense.

The Suzuki Swift drives really well for a used car that’s 5 years old. More steering feel and turn in that is better or just as well as any other of the small cars I looked at. The steering is sharper and more consistent that the other small cars, ride was reasonably smooth and acceptably quiet. As with all small cars you need revs to get the power but in normal driving you don’t generally need heavy throttle to keep up with traffic. The auto has noticeable gaps and the manual was decent and not particularly spring loaded with feedback.

Overall I liked the Suzuki Swift from 2011. There are a few Swifts on sale at any given time but mainly the mid range models and all with quite high milage. To me this indicates that people tend to hang on to them rather than sell them within the warranty period. I like the exterior design and don’t mind the interior however due to the existence of the Swift Sport, this was the only model I wanted and it was out of my price range. The Swift’s interior packaging is good too but not as good as the other small cars I was looking at. The inability to update the stereo system which is critical in car designed to be in heavy traffic, is disappointing just like all the other models I tried so far. The driving experience of the normal Swift is good but again spoiled by the driving the Swift Sport.

2011 Suzuki Swift
Engines
IL 4 Cylinder
EFI SOHC VVT
1.3 Litre (1372cc)
Claimed 70Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 130Nm @ 4000RPM
IL 4 Cylinder
EFI DOHC VVT
1.6 Litre (1586cc)
Claimed 100Kw @ 6900RPM
Claimed 1160Nm @ 4400RPM
Weight
Kerb weight FROM 1035 Kg
Towing capacity up to N/A kg
Fuel capacity & consumption
Up to 42 litres
IL4 Petrol 1.4 litre 6.2 Lts per 100km AVG 91 Octane
IL4 Petrol 1.6 litre 6.5 Lts per 100km AVG 95 Octane
Other specifications
5 speed manual or 4 speed auto
Overall length/height/width 3850/1510/1695
ANCAP Safety: 5/5
Performance
Pricing
2011 $15,990 – 25,990 AUD excluding on road costs