Official info on the 2015 Toyota Yaris has come out. The car is not a major redesign, but rather a refresh, which makes sense, since the next all-new Yaris is supposed to have Mazda DNA. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, the '15 Yaris, which will be French made, which will be available in three- and five-door variants, will have quite the striking front fascia. The
Other new things include a revised interior featuring what Toyota calls "premium" seats (which I do think look good), a new sporty dashboard, and softer materials throughout. Toyota has also revised the suspension tuning, added more rigidity to the body, and added more sound insulation. The car will retain the 106 horsepower 1.5-liter 1NZ-FE engine that's been found in North American vehicles since the 2000 Echo. It will also retain a five-speed manual and four-speed automatic.
As a Yaris owner, I have come to appreciate the car's simplicity and reliability. While the 1NZ-FE and accompanying transmissions made be semi-ancient, they work well and are time-tested. EPA ratings for the '15 Yaris are 30 city, 33 combined, and 37 highway with the manual; 30/32/36 with the automatic. We are regularly able to hit 38 MPG with our 2007 Yaris. Frankly, I don't care if the car has two speeds or 20 speeds, so long as the performance and fuel economy are up to par. And the Yaris does stack up to other B-segments in terms of fuel economy. While it is down on power compared to the latest Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, and Kia Rio, for example, it also has historically been a featherweight, which helps both fuel economy and performance alike.
As far as the design, I can't say I'm a huge fan of the giant grille look, although it does look better on the darker paint jobs—likely because the grille blends in more. It looks as if the car has opened its mouth in the windtunnel and stayed that way, however. Maybe it looks better in person, so I'll reserve final judgment until I see one in the flesh.
I can say this: The current Yaris SE with its quicker steering ratio, 16" wheels/tires, and chunky steering wheel is actually quite entertaining to drive. No, it's not a Fiesta ST, Fiat 500 Abarth, or MINI Cooper S, but it is quite entertaining, and I'm guessing that'll continue for 2015. I do think the 2012-2014 Yaris SE is the most attractive of the bunch thus far, however.
Here's a rundown of the models and availability.
|Model#||Grade||Transmission||Body Style||2014 MSRP||2015 MSRP||MSRP change ($)||MSRP Change (%)|