Skip to main content

From its humble Toyota Echo beginnings to its later-life stage as a rebadged Mazda2, the Toyota Yaris is a go-getter. Its simplicity and familiarity fit nicely in an age where complexity reigns supreme. While the Yaris left America, the name lives on in the spicy GR variant and its plump Yaris Cross crossover cousin overseas. But with numerous examples of the inexpensive subcompact listed online, they remain attractive to potential used car buyers. The last model year, the 2020 Toyota Yaris, is no different.  

The early Yaris models have a host of quality control issues, including 10 recalls for the 2007 model. Later examples have far, far fewer. CarComplaints reports the 2020 Toyota Yaris is one of the least criticized model years for the subcompact. Yet, there are some grievances. According to reports from real owners, the following are the top three problems for the 2020 Yaris.  

Problem #1: Engine

The 2020 Toyota Yaris owner’s manual calls for 4.4 quarts of oil for the 1.5-liter four-cylinder. However, one owner says the dipstick indicates the crankcase is overfilled by close to one quart. Unfortunately, the owner claims, “the dealership can’t explain it, nor can Toyota.”

On a 3,500-mile 2020 Toyota Yaris, another owner has experienced “intense and repeated vibration” problems. The issue is “felt throughout” the car, and the “vibration is so intense it can be visually seen.” A dealership was able to recreate the issue, and they said it occurs with “3 out of 30,000 Yaris” models.

Additionally, one owner says their Yaris loses power during acceleration. The issue disappeared when the car’s engine was shut off and restarted. But it occurred multiple times. The problem could be a part of the one recall issued on the 2020 Toyota Yaris. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, an impeller within the fuel pump may crack and deform. Such will cause fuel pump failure in specific 2019-2020 Yaris hatchbacks and sedans. Fortunately, dealerships performed the repairs free of charge.

Problem #2: Transmission

Although many Yaris subcompacts are stocked with a continuously variable automatic, some have a six-speed manual. One 2020 Toyota Yaris owner asserts issues with selecting gears.

They claim that “when put into second gear,” the gearbox “makes a sound like friction.” The owner of the 12,800-mile Yaris says they can eventually shift into second. However, they typically “skip” into third gear from first for a short-term fix. Owners report a similar issue with second gear on other complaints sites like CarAraC.

Problem #3: Seat belts

Two owners report issues with seat belts latching correctly. In one 6,000-mile Yaris, the front passenger’s seat belt failed to fasten securely. Another with 400 miles on the clock had trouble locking both rear seat belts into the receiver.

Toyota hasn’t released a technical service bulletin regarding the issue yet. The problem isn’t present on 2019 or 2018 model year Yaris hatchbacks or sedans.

How reliable is the 2020 Toyota Yaris?

2020 Toyota Yaris
2020 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Even though the Yaris may have a few issues, it’s one of the more reliable used cars available. RepairPal reports an excellent reliability rating, with an average annual repair cost of $333. They assert the figure is $ 126 less per year than other subcompact cars. It’s also $319 less than the average vehicle model.

Unfortunately, the Yaris doesn’t have the promise of famed Toyota reliability. Again, it’s a rebadged Mazda2 from overseas markets. Yet, Mazda is commonly ranked near Toyota as a reliable brand. The Yaris will likely last longer than other cars. The threshold of 200,000 miles for a 2020 Toyota Yaris shouldn’t be much of a challenge.


How Reliable Is The 2020 Yaris?