Toyota Kills “Pouty Face” Yaris After 2020

Those looking for a cheap, new car have just had their choices reduced. The Toyota Yaris sedan and hatchback will be no more in the US after July 2020. In the US for 14 years the Yaris subcompact will be gone, leaving only the C-HR subcompact in Toyota’s lineup. The announcement came from a leaked dealer memo. It said, “The Yaris sedans and Yaris hatchback will not be available for the model year 2021.”

A Toyota representative told Car and Driver, “The entry-subcompact segment has new regulations that require additional homologation. Those regulations, coupled with declining sales in the segment, are some of the reasons behind the decision.” 

Last year Toyota sold about 22,000 Yaris models

2020 Toyota Yaris lineup
2020 Toyota Yaris lineup | Toyota

As in many segments, sedans and even hatchbacks are being replaced by crossovers and SUVs. Numbers across the board are shrinking. Segment competitors like the Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, and Nissan Versa have all seen substantial reductions in demand. Last year Toyota sold about 22,000 Yaris models. Since 2008 there has been a steady decline. We would also suspect that there is less profit for both the dealer and Toyota itself.

We also know that Toyota wants to reduce production in US plants to coincide with COVID-19 lack of demand. As you might have guessed the Yaris is built in North America. It wants a reduction of almost ⅓ of 2019 numbers. That means there will be more segment hacks to come. 

Toyota’s new “pouty face” for the 2020 Yaris didn’t help matters

The new “pouty face” of the 2020 Yaris didn’t help matters. Consumers relate vehicle fascias to human faces. The way the grille and surrounding sheet metal is configured gives the Yaris the look of it pouting. It is not a particularly good look. So the fascia styling may have turned off potential buyers.

The 2020 Yaris was all-new and based on the Mazda 2 available in other markets but not the US. Price was always in play with the Yaris. A base L sedan with a manual transmission could be bought for a bit over $16,000.  The top-of-the-line XLE hatchback was still below the $20,000 threshold. 

On the safety front, even the base Yaris came with low-speed forward-collision warning. Another attraction of the Yaris was fuel economy. With the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine it delivered 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Surprisingly, mileage slips slightly with manual transmission. These numbers match other subcompacts like the Nisan Versa and Kia Rio.

For such an inexpensive vehicle the Toyota Yaris got a nice assortment of options

Blue Toyota Yaris
2020 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Here’s What The Toyota Yaris Got Right

For such an inexpensive vehicle the Yaris got a nice assortment of both audio and infotainment/connectivity options. Even in the base L models a six-speaker sound system and 7.0-inch touchscreen are standard. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and streaming audio are also all standard. 

In the subcompact segment, the Yaris did very well for crashworthiness. And in NHTSA crash testing the Yaris scored a five out of five stars, while in IIHS testing the 2019 Yaris earned the Institute’s highest score. For such a competitive segment the Yaris had a lot to offer for the price.