For 2015, 10 years after its introduction, the Toyota Yaris is getting its second restyling with revised looks inside and out, a quieter cabin, a fuel-efficient engine, and all the versatility that comes with the three- and five-door versions. The U.S.-spec Yaris debuted in 2005 with lots of spunk and clever packing wrapped in an inexpensive sub-compact. Offered in both the three-door and five-door hatchback styles, the Yaris filled a niche near at the bottom of Toyota’s lineup. Refreshed in 2011, the Yaris continued its mission largely unchanged, save for a more modern design. Now for 2015, Toyota is improving the Yaris with more refinement and a better driving experience, while still retaining its superb value proposition. Starting at just $14,485, the Yaris makes a great city car or a sweet first car for a teenager. Its 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder will keep curious teens out of trouble with Johnny Law, while the expansive cargo area and decent back seat might land them in trouble with mom and dad.
Toyota has resolved a few of the complaints that plagued the previous-generation Yaris, namely the NHV levels inside the cabin. More sound insulation and more premium interior materials help push the Yaris’ feel upmarket, while it still keeps its low price point. With three trim models and two body lengths to chose from, the Yaris is a pretty customizable hatchback .
With the updated features and added benefits, Toyota may see the Yaris climb back up the sales charts to the level of its glory days in 2008 when sales of the hatch topped 100,000 units. Selling only 21,343 units in 2013, the Yaris was apparently in desperate need of a makeover. Let’s see what Toyota has done to turn up the heat.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Yaris.
The hourglass shape is wide and low, giving the car a planted, aggressive look.
The most noticeable changes with the Yaris happen up front. A completely revised grille, lower fascia, and headlights are a welcomed sight. That front grille and lower fascia seem to take after the Lexus Spindle Grille design. The hourglass shape is wide and low, giving the car a planted, aggressive look. Accent creases in the hood continue the X-type theme carried from the grille.
The Toyota emblem now has a swanky chrome bar bent under it. That bar then runs outward toward the new headlights, actually running into the headlight design itself. The bar helps create different sections inside the headlight for the projector headlight, the standard amber turn signal, and the upper LED daytime running lights.
Upper trim levels get black and silver, 16-inch alloy wheels that really look good. Mid-range cars come with 15-inch alloys and lower models are stuck with 15-inch steelies with wheel covers.
The look is rather clean and seems to bring the interior up a notch because of it.
Things on the inside of the 2015 model are pretty similar to the current 2014 Yaris. The dashboard is still driver-centric with a low-mounted center console with dual cup holders and shifter location. The three HVAC control knobs return, as does the circle-next-to-a-rectangle radio design. A sharp eye will spot several differences that really clean up the interior’s appearance.
First, an updated, three-spoke steering wheel is present, along with an updated gauge cluster. Toyota also added a passenger-side shelf, much like on the Highlander . New seats are also present. They are somewhat reminiscent of a Volkswagen look with its horizontal ridges in the front part of the seat bottom and upper section of the seat back. The look is rather clean and seems to bring the interior up a notch because of it. Contrast stitching and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are found on the SE trim level’s Sport fabric.
In the rear, 60/40 folding seats open up the cargo area for loads of room.
All Yaris models get Toyota’s Entune audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen complete with AM/FM/CD/Bluetooth, along with HD Radio, and a USB port with iPod connectivity. The system also features iTunes Tagging and Bluetooth hands-free phone capabilities with voice recognition. For the first time, navigation is now an option, but it must be purchased at the dealer.
In the rear, 60/40 folding seats open up the cargo area for loads of room. Whether its moving groceries or moving to college, the Yaris seems up to the task. That’s especially true for the 5-door model, which enjoys a commendable cargo area.
Toyota says the five-speed manual is a smooth-shifting unit, so it’ll likely be the choice for those looking for some extra driving fun.
Behind that revised front grille sits the familiar, 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder. It produces the same 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque that it did for 2014, and it comes with the same two transmission choices. A five-speed manual transmission is the standard fare, while a traditional four-speed automatic is optional. Toyota says the five-speed manual is a smooth-shifting unit, so it’ll likely be the choice for those looking for some extra driving fun.
Quick-ratio, electronic power steering is now included with all models. Upping to the SE trim package nets you a sport-tuned suspension with a stronger stabilizer bar and four-wheel disc brakes. Those front brake rotors have also grown by an inch over last year’s.
Though Toyota hasn’t released the fuel economy numbers for the 2015 Yaris, we don’t expect them to change from the 2014 numbers. Cars with the manual transmission are rated at 30 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined, while the automatic knocks it down slightly to 30 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined.
2015 Toyota Yaris: Drivetrain Specification
|Engine||1.5-Liter, 16-Valve, Four-Cylinder DOHC|
|Output||106 HP @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque||103 LB-FT @ 4,200 RPM|
Pricing for the Yaris starts at $14,485 for the base L trim package in the three-door configuration with the manual transmission. That price grows to $17,620 for a top-trim SE five-door with the automatic transmission. Those prices don’t include delivery or destination charges, however. Expect those to average around $825.
|Model#||Grade||Transmission||Body Style||2014 MSRP||2015 MSRP||MSRP change ($)||MSRP Change (%)|
The Versa Note is a strong competitor in this category, especially when considering its $13,990 starting price. With a high roofline and loads of cargo room, the Versa Note is able to haul with the best crossovers out there. An unrefined interior and uninspiring CVT does hamper the ownership experience, however.
Under the Versa Note’s hood lies a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder making 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. That CVT powers the front wheels on all except the S model, which has a five-speed manual transmission.
Gallery Nissan Versa Note
Perhaps the most competitive car in this segment is the Ford Fiesta. With its high-class interior, smooth engine, ample cargo room, and handsome European looks, the Fiesta is certainly where the party is.
Power comes from 1.6-liter four-cylinder making a respectable 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual and six-speed automatic are available and send power to the front wheels, regardless of choice. With its pricing starting at $14,000, the Fiesta makes a strong value proposition. Even for the Titanium trim, you’ll only be paying $18,800.
The Toyota Yaris has grown up just a touch for 2015 with some interesting interior additions and a revised exterior look. Better handling of NHV levels within the cabin, along with better materials should go a long way with discerning customers who crave such niceties, even at this price point.
A fuel-efficient engine with two transmission options help make the Yaris an economical choice for those looking for modest transportation. The option of having three or five doors is also a big plus for buyers in the price range.
Overall, the Yaris seems to be a solid competitor in the sub-compact category, offering a good bang-for-the-buck investment while making passengers happy with its updated audio and optional navigation systems.
- Handsome exterior restyling
- Updated interior with Sport seats on SE trim
- Cost effective and fuel efficient
- NHV levels now in check
- Not too many changes since last year
- A six-speed manual would be nice
- No SiriusXM option from the factory
Gallery Toyota Yaris
A bold new look with a distinct European flavor. A new, quieter interior crafted from improved materials. And a new attitude. The redesigned 2015 Toyota Yaris checks all of the boxes for small-car shoppers. And then it adds and checks two more boxes for fun and value. In 3-door or 5-door liftback models, the 2015 Yaris makes every day driving less every day.
The 2015 Yaris, like the previous-generations, comes in 3-door and 5-door liftback configurations, but the style is all-new. The new Yaris combines an energetic shape with a more comfortable cabin. The 2015 Yaris receives an aggressive new look with a horizontal chrome grill treatment that appears to continue right in to the headlamp. A larger, bolder grille opening gives this fun-to-drive car just the right touch of “attitude” in its look.
Newness permeates the Yaris cabin. Sitting in premium seats, the Yaris driver faces a sporty new dashboard design and touches new, softer materials throughout.
Retuned suspension, a more rigid body structure, additional sound insulation and attention to aerodynamic details all help to give the 2015 Yaris a smooth, dynamic and quieter ride. With safety always at the forefront, the Yaris continues to come equipped with nine standard SRS airbags, including curtain shield airbags and front seat cushion airbags.
Altogether, that’s a lot of new packed into an easy-driving small car with big fuel economy numbers and the brand’s penchant for high QDR (Quality, Dependability and Reliability).
The Value of Fun
Fun, functionality and value come together in the 2015 Yaris. The smooth-revving 1.5-liter, 16-valve, four-cylinder DOHC engine equipped with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) produces 106 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. The broad torque curve makes those numbers seem even bigger when you’re driving the Yaris, which offers snappy response with either transmission.
A smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission, made smoother by an improved hydraulic clutch, is standard. An available four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission features a compact, lightweight design and low friction for high fuel efficiency.
Toyota Value Through and Through
The Yaris comes in base L, premium LE and sporty SE models, each a single-spec trim that eliminates option packages. Standard features on the L grade include air conditioning, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, new, quick ratio, sport-tuned Electric Power Steering with power-assisted rack-and-pinion, power windows with driver’s side auto down, three-spoke tilt steering wheel, power door locks, Daytime Running Lights, and 15-inch wheels with wheel covers.
The Yaris LE adds the convenience of cruise control, power mirrors, steering wheel audio controls silver/metallic interior accents and remote keyless entry with an engine immobilizer. The LE rides in style on 15-inch alloy wheels.
The SE package turns the Yaris into an urban-cool sporty ride, with projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights, integrated fog lamps, rear spoiler and special gloss black with machine-surfaced 16-inch alloy wheels. The SE adds a sport-tuned suspension, now with a solid stabilizer bar, and four-wheel disc brakes that are one-inch larger in the front.
Inside, the SE is equipped with a leather-trimmed tilt three-spoke steering wheel and shift knob, sport meter and tachometer. The SE has its own unique sport fabric and includes gloss black accents throughout.
All Yaris models get Entune Audio with a 6.1-inch touch screen, an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, HD Radio™ with iTunes® Tagging, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity and control, hands-free phone capability, voice recognition, and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology.
For the first time in a Yaris, a navigation system is available as a dealer-installed option.
The redesigned mono-spec Yaris adds up to an excellent value. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2015 Yaris will range from $14,485 for the three-door L with a manual transmission to $17,620 for the five-door SE with a four-speed automatic.
The MSRP for the 2015 Yaris does not include the delivery, processing, and handling (DPH) fee of $825 for vehicles scheduled for processing on, or after, July 27, 2014. The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.