Did you know that Toyota has more sedans than just the Corolla and the Camry? Turns out, there are several other sedans, and the Toyota Yaris is one of them. It might not be one of the more well-known vehicles in Toyota’s lineup, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest.
Critics are on the fence about it, however. Some love it, while others have a lot of issues with the Yaris. The Honda Fit is considered a much better choice for most consumers, but some still prefer the Yaris anyway. So what is it about this little car that manages to divide everyone? Cars.com thinks that it’s because the Yaris is just a fun little car.
The Toyota Yaris is actually a Mazda
Yes, you read that right. The Toyota Yaris actually began as a Mazda. It was first produced under the name Mazda2. The name wasn’t very exciting, but like most Mazdas, it was fun to drive.
From 2011-2014, those of us here in the United States were able to buy a Mazda2 that was a hatchback. Then Mazda sold the Mazda2 to Scion, which renamed it the Scion iA.
When Scion went under, Toyota took the Scion iA and named it the Yaris iA. Since Toyota doesn’t actually use numbers in the name that often, the name was shortened to the Yaris.
In spite of it being a Toyota now, the 2020 Yaris still has a lot of Mazda tech. The 1.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder doesn’t have a Toyota design. It’s actually designed after a Mazda SkyActiv-G engine.
Most critics aren’t fans
There’s a lot to dislike about the Yaris. For example, it doesn’t have a lot of power. It only gets 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. That’s not a lot, and you’ll figure that out quick enough when you’re trying to pass that slowpoke who refuses to turn out of the left lane. As you speed up to get around them, you’ll find yourself straggling along behind them. You might be able to get around them, but you’re more likely to end up highly embarrassed.
There’s also a lot of wind noise. It’s not quite as bad as trying to drive through a hurricane, but you’ll definitely hear the noise as you’re driving down the highway.
The tech is another point of dissension amongst the critics. The touchscreen is great since it now has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it doesn’t work while the vehicle is moving. For those who actually intend to do more in their Yaris than just sitting in their driveway, this might be a major deal-breaker.
The Toyota Yaris can still be fun to drive
Just because a vehicle has a bad rep amongst critics, it doesn’t mean that you should totally avoid it. Sometimes they’re not much to look at but are a lot of fun to drive like the Pontiac Aztek. It was one of the ugliest cars ever produced, and yet it has developed a bit of a cult following.
While the Toyota Yaris is probably not going to have a group of devoted followers, it’s still a fun little car. You aren’t going to be entering any races in the Yaris, but it’s still got a lot of zip at lower speeds.
It also handles well and is enjoyable when you’re going around curves as long as you aren’t going too fast.
It also has great fuel economy, which is the appeal for most drivers. It gets 32/40/35 mpg city/highway/combined.
The one factor that most drivers will really love is the low price. The 2020 Yaris starts at just $16,605 while a fully loaded Yaris XLE costs about $20,479. This makes it well within the budget of most consumers looking to buy a new vehicle.