Yaris

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2019 Toyota Yaris Overview

The 2019 Toyota Yaris proves that small, economical cars don’t have to be boring. The Yaris is a sharp, modern subcompact sedan that also happens to be one of the most efficient non-hybrid cars on the road today.

For some shoppers, the Yaris may look familiar. That’s because Toyota previously called it the Scion iA. With the shuttering of the Scion brand, Toyota folded the iA into its lineup and re-named it the Yaris.

After Toyota rebranded the iA as the Yaris, it made some small, thoughtful changes to this subcompact sedan. Most notably, it includes a new grille with a large, dark mesh opening, chrome accent, and available fog lights.

Moving inside, it offers a sport steering wheel, circular climate control vents, and a sport-inspired instrument cluster. The Yaris also has a refreshingly simple climate control setup, with three dials for temperature, fan speed, and fan direction.

The floating screen for the Yaris’s infotainment system sits at the center of the dash, which Toyota plucked directly from Mazda. The system uses a controller, which sits in the center console, to control a 7-inch semi-touch screen. When the car stops, the screen has touch functions, but when the car is in motion, drivers must use the controller dial. The dial is intuitive, flanked by buttons for home, music, back, and favorites, as well as the volume knob. The dial allows drivers to toggle through menus on the screen for music, a connected phone, navigation (if available), and settings.

The Yaris provides 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space, which is better than the competitor Mitsubishis Mirage G4 (12.3 cubic feet), but nearly the same as that of the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, each with 13.7 cubic feet. A standard 60/40 split-fold rear seat allows owners to expand the available cargo space, though no maximum figures are given.

Trims for the Yaris include L, LE, and XLE. The base L trim comes standard with power windows, push button start, remote keyless entry, power side mirrors, and Bluetooth connectivity. The base Yaris also includes voice recognition for the infotainment system, six-speaker stereo, auxiliary audio jack, and USB port with iPod connectivity. Every Yaris also comes with satellite radio with three months of complementary SiriusXM.

The LE trim adds fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels with gunmetal finish, rear lip spoiler, Smart Key system, and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

The range-topping XLE trim brings a premium feel to the subcompact Yaris, with automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and illuminated entry. Inside, the XLE trim features upgraded automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, and real leather for the steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake handle.

Every trim of the Yaris comes equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It makes 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque, sending power to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual transmission or available 6-speed automatic transmission. The standard 6-speed manual is designed with short throws, which will make for quick shifting and a rewarding driving experience. The vehicle also features a Sport mode, available on the XLE trim.

Fuel economy for the automatic-equipped Yaris is 32 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, 35 combined. Opting for the manual returns fuel economy of 30 mpg city, 39 highway, 34 combined. Of course your fuel economy will vary.

When it comes to safety, the Yaris delivers peace of mind with a standard low-speed pre-collision system. The system can scan for approaching objects and provide a warning and can automatically apply the brakes, if necessary. Other standard safety features include a reversing camera, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, a tire pressure monitoring system and a full array of front and side airbags.

The Yaris is expected to go sale in the fall of 2018.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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