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Toyota’s Small Car Buyers Guide

Toyota’s Small Car Buyers Guide

There’s a lot to consider before you buy a new car. Factors like size, type and safety features are important, as are fuel efficiency and budget. Toyota’s Small Car Buyers Guide can help you through the process of finding your dream car.

Hatch vs Sedan

If you’re a single, couple or small family then you’ll be considering what type of small car suits your needs. There are pros and cons for both hatches and sedans, so have a think about what kind of driving you’ll be doing most, and what kind of cargo you’ll be carrying.

For example, if you do a lot of driving around town or you’re a busy mum transporting kids and gear, then go for a hatch. If you want more interior comfort for passengers and a smoother drive for longer trips, then a sedan may be a better choice.


Small cars in have a lower price tag than their larger counterparts. But cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on space.

Compact cars like the reliable Corolla Hatch are ideal for an urban lifestyle but are roomy enough to fit in five passengers and still have room for gear in the boot.

The sporty-looking Yaris Hatch, Toyota’s most compact hatchback, also fits five passengers and, like the Corolla, has split fold-down rear seats to easily stow and go.

Fuel Efficiency

Small cars tend to use less fuel and be cheaper to run than larger cars. This makes them ideal for driving around town or popping out to get groceries. Some cars like the Yaris hatch are available in 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engine options, so if fuel efficiency is a top priority then consider the smaller engine size.

For greater fuel efficiency consider a hybrid. Toyota’s stylish Prius c will mean you’ll spend even less on petrol. It also has ECO Mode which automatically adjusts engine response and air conditioning to reduce fuel usage.

Petrol vs Hybrid vs Electric

Electric and hybrid cars are much cheaper to run than petrol cars, but they cost slightly more to buy upfront - compare the Corolla Hatch GX with the Corolla Hatch GX Hybrid. The higher price point is often worth it when you consider the savings you’ll make on fuel in the long term.

Electric cars (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are becoming more common each year. The government is aiming for 64,000 EVs on New Zealand roads by 2021 and is offering attractive incentives to buy electric. Check out Toyota’s Prius Prime if you want to combine fuel efficiency with greater driving range.


Toyota’s small and compact cars feature some impressive technology that can make your driving experience more convenient and connected - including smart key push button starts, wireless phone charging, multimedia touchscreen displays, advanced navigation and Google voice assist.


Safety should always be top of mind when considering buying a small car. A 5 star NCAP rating is a must-have. Toyota’s small cars NZ are also fitted with active safety systems designed to keep you and your passengers safer on the road.

New vs Used

Don’t dismiss buying a new car in favour of buying a used one. There are some advantages in buying new, even though you’ll pay more up front.

With new cars there are no hidden surprises, there’s only one owner - you! You also know you’re getting the very latest in safety features and modern technology. New Toyota cars come with a three year or 100,000km warranty and hybrids have a Hybrid System Warranty, valid for 160,000km or eight years.

A used car can be kinder on the wallet in terms of depreciation. However, to ensure you’re getting value for money get it checked over before you buy, a lemon could cost you thousands in repairs. If you buy a used car through Toyota you can take out a Toyota Care Used Vehicle Warranty with zero excess up to 160,000 km to cover those unforeseen mechanical and electrical breakdowns.