Car brand reviews
Should I buy a Toyota car?
By Martin Pratt
Article 21 of 24
Toyota is the world's bestselling car brand, but do its cars live up to that popularity? Read on to find out whether it's one you should consider.
Although based in Japan, Toyota is a truly global company. Many of its models are designed and manufactured in Europe, such as the Auris, Auris Touring Sports and Avensis models, all of which are built at Toyota's UK factory in Derbyshire. The brand's French plant makes the Yaris, while the Aygo is made in the Czech Republic. Toyota's trademark hybrid models - spearheaded by the pioneering Prius - are mostly built in Japan, as are its popular 4x4 models like the RAV4 and Landcruiser.
Toyota is ranked as the global 'number one', comfortably outselling all other automotive brands. So why is this Japanese giant such a success? It has relentlessly pursued engineering and manufacturing quality above all else, in an effort to provide customers with the reliability they crave. The Which? Car Survey reveals whether this reputation is supported by the facts.
Perhaps Toyota's products sometimes fail to excite, but that's really not Toyota's aim: it wants to satisfy you over the long term - as its five-year new car warranties attest.
To see how all the Toyota cars we've tested scored head straight to our Toyota car reviews.
How much do Toyota cars cost?
Traditionally, Toyotas have been priced at slightly elevated levels compared to mainstream brands, matching the perceived quality of the Japanese company's branding. So the Yaris, for instance, is definitely not the cheapest small car on the market, priced from around £11,500 right up to beyond £20,000. Likewise, the Auris is very much pitched at VW Golf levels, starting at almost £19,000. Yet Toyota isn't always premium priced; the Aygo city car, for instance, starts at under £9,000.
Toyota's reputation for dependability and its long warranty help keep second-hand values high, which benefits overall running costs as you lose less money when you come to sell the car on - although it does mean your ticket to used Toyota ownership comes at a price.
Choosing the best Toyota car
Easily the most numerous Toyota in our survey is the Yaris small hatchback, and you can see why. It's relatively affordable, well made and offers plenty of usable space. If you need a bit more of this, you can choose the Auris or Auris Touring Sports (estate), or go even bigger and opt for the huge Avensis or the RAV4 crossover 4x4.
Toyota majors on hybrid models, having invented the genre with the Prius, which remains the most popular hybrid car in the world. The Prius is now also offered in Plug-In Hybrid form so that you can recharge it at home and use it as a pure electric vehicle for commuting. The Auris and Yaris are offered as hybrids as well.