1.5L I4 VVT-i
106 hp @ 6000
103 lb.ft. @ 4200
6.6 / 5.2
Great Britain is well known for manufacturing some of the best and worst automobiles. They are also very well known for keeping amazing statistics regarding vehicle reliability. For 2014, the fourth most reliable car in the UK is the one we have under the microscope, the 2015 Toyota Yaris.
Prices start at $14,545 for the 3DR CE, which is about three grand less than the 5DR SE model under review. The SE trim comes with front and rear disk brakes, 16” alloy wheels, rear spoiler, fog lamps, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, leather shift knob and steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, trip computer, A/C, 60/40 split folding rear bench, seven airbags, stability control and antilock brakes.
The exterior design gets the ‘X’ shape front mask, a rear spoiler and taillights that have “Toyota” written all over them, while the tiny 5-door body sits on nice gun metal 16” alloys.
The interior is funky and modern, the instrument cluster has returned in front of the driver and is large and easy to read. The soft to the touch fascia adds some points to the interior quality, as the rest is all hard plastic. Fit and finish are descent and all the buttons and switches have a positive feel to them.
The driving position is upright, thanks to the steering column being adjustable only for height. The seats however are comfortable and visibility is good. Roominess up front is ample, while surprisingly the same applies to the rear, as the available headroom and legroom are very generous for the class. The trunk could’ve been a bit deeper, but the angled spare tire takes up some serious space leading to a trunk that is only 286L. Thankfully, folding the seats creates a very useful loading space.
Under the hood, the 1.5L VVT-i motor tries its best to make the little Yaris nimble and pleasant to drive, and in that sense, it does a great job. It happily revs to the red line where the maximum output of 106 HP is reached, while it is equally happy stretching itself at low revs taking advantage of the 103 lb-ft of torque. 0-100km/h comes in 10.2” and overall performance is well matched to the urban character of the vehicle. The clutch is very soft and engages in a very linear manner while the gearbox is also soft but has well defined gates. Fuel economy is excellent as we scored 7.1lt/100km combined.
The Yaris makes the drive downtown a less painful experience, as it is small and nimble and moves along traffic well. Parking in tight spots is really easy and so is maneuvering around tight corners. The ride quality is great, the suspension does a good job soaking up bumps and the absence of rattles inside add to the quality feel of the car. Abandoning the city and onto twisty back roads, you will find that the Yaris leans and struggles to keep up if the pace set is too quick. The steering feels a bit vague around the centre and returns very limited feedback. The chassis though reacts progressively and does give you enough heads up as you approach its grip limits. The brake pedal feels soft but within reasonable travel the brakes bite and do a descent job bringing the car to a complete stop. Overall, not much fun to drive fast, but it is safe and comes with no unexpected surprises.
City cars are becoming very popular and are gaining market share quickly. There are now many options to pick from but while others might be cheaper and equipped with a rear view camera, the Yaris feels well made, has a very comfortable ride and a roomy cabin.
Steering Wheel Audio Controls not Illuminated
Increased Wind Noise on Highway
No Rear-View Camera