New name, same subcompact

The Toyota Yaris (alternatively known as the Echo) first arrived in 1999, but it didn’t head stateside until 2007, with a second generation debuting for the 2012 model year. Framed as an entry-level subcompact, Toyota says the latest refreshed model seeks to combine “efficiency, fun, comfort, and safety all at a reasonable price.” Previously titled the Yaris iA, the four-door is now simply called the Yaris sedan, and it brings a charming attitude and a decent list of equipment for a reasonable price tag.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan.

Toyota Yaris Sedan Exterior

  • Similar styling as before
  • Tweaked fascia and grille
  • Available heated sideview mirrors and LED headlights
  • 16-inch wheels offered
  • Seven colors to choose from
2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan
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We think it’s an improvement over the outgoing model, but it still won’t be winning any parking lot beauty contests.

Let’s kick things off with the subjective stuff, specifically what the 2019 Yaris sedan brings in terms of aesthetic updates. All new models now include something Toyota is calling a “sport-inspired” front grille, which uses roughly the same large hexagonal shape across the bottom bumper, but now includes a fresh honeycomb insert. The insert uses a black finish, and stretches up across the bumper beam, doing away the older model’s underbite appearance.

The rest of the fascia uses a slim upper intake line, while the headlight housings slant down into the nose with an angry scowl. There’s also a slew of piano black accents, plus chrome trim around the new grille.

A car like this should look happy and sprightly, but instead, the 2019 model year looks much meaner than the engine specs can back.

All told, we think it’s an improvement over the outgoing model, but the 2019 Yaris sedan still won’t be winning any parking lot beauty contests. A car like this should look happy and sprightly, but instead, it looks much meaner than the engine specs can back.

As for the exterior equipment, the mid-grade LE and top-trim XLE get a pair of fog lights along the lower bumper edge as standard. The mid-grade and top-trim models also get a rear lip spoiler as standard.

All models get a shark fin antenna on the roof, which is painted to match the body and is set-up to receive satellite radio signals (more on that in the next section). Power sideview mirrors are also standard, with heated mirrors sporting integrated LED turn signals equipped on the LE and XLE trim levels.

2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan
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Powered side view mirrors are standard, with heated mirrors sporting integrated LED turn signals equipped on the LE and XLE trim levels.

Go for the top-trim XLE grade and you’ll get automatic headlights with LED lighting elements, plus rain-sensing windshield wipers. In the corners, 16-inch alloy wheels are added to the LE and XLE grades, complete with a dark gunmetal finish.

Finally, exterior colors include a selection of seven different hues, such as Frost, Chromium, Graphite, Stealth, Sapphire, and Pulse. New for 2019 is a color called Icicle.

Toyota Yaris Sedan Interior

  • Similar layout as before
  • Digital and analog gauge display
  • Standard 7.0-inch infotainment screen
  • Nice lineup of features
  • Solid safety gear
  • Available leatherette upholstery
2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan
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Every grade comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen on the dash, voice recognition, a remote interface, and thumb-length buttons located on the steering wheel.

Much like the exterior, the interior of the 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan isn’t all that different from that of the outgoing model. The entire console uses a simple and clean design, with the main infotainment screen mounted high on the dash in a vertical fashion. A trio of air vents are located across the midline, with two behind the steering wheel and a third in the passenger seat corner. The HVAC controls also take the form of a triplet of circles, while the instrument cluster consists of a single, rounded, and centrally placed speedometer, as well as two squared ancillary readouts in the flanks. The speedometer is analog, with a white needle and blue detailing running up to a very ambitious 140 mph, while the tachometer on the left and driver’s information display on the right are both digital.

Every grade comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen on the dash, which is controlled via voice recognition, a remote interface, and thumb-length buttons located on the three-spoke steering wheel. This latter bit looks to be a sporty affair with a nicely proportioned rim, while Bluetooth connectivity adds extra support for your various devices.

Further standard spec includes a backup camera routing a the view directly to the infotainment screen. There’s also a six-speaker stereo audio system. Buyers can upgrade to an available satellite radio system with a 3-month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM, while an auxiliary audio jack, ancillary USB port, and iPod connectivity round out the standard infotainment spec.

Power windows come as standard across the range with a driver’s-side automatic up/down feature, while a 60/40 split for the rear bench makes the whole package just that much more practical

Cruise control is also standard, as is a push button starter. The entry-level model gets remote keyless entry, while the mid-grade and top-trim get a Smart Key System.

If you’re looking for a few extra premium touches, make sure to check out the top-trim XLE grade, which gets leatherette upholstery added to the front seats. The soft-touch material was also added to the steering wheel, the shift knob, and the parking brake, while further premium details include automatic climate control and an illuminated entry.

2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan
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If you’re looking for a few extra premium touches, make sure to check out the top-trim XLE grade.

In terms of safety, each Yaris sedan comes standard with Toyota’s Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. Toyota has been doing the semi-autonomous safety stuff in a big way for years now, and after testing the systems on previous Toyota models, we know they work quite well.

Basically, if the system detects a frontal collision is imminent, it’ll provide an audio/visual alert plus braking assistance. It’ll also automatically fully apply the brakes if the driver neglects to take any action. Additional safety gear includes Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Anti-Lock Brakes, and a Brake Over-Ride System.

Furthermore, there’s a standard airbag system for the front passengers, plus seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags, all as standard.

Toyota Yaris Sedan Drivetrain

  • Same engine spec as before
  • 1.5-liter four-cylinder
  • 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds
  • 40 mpg on the highway
  • Six-speed manual as standard, six-speed automatic is optional
  • Mazda2 bones underneath
  • Front disc brakes, rear drums
2015 Toyota Yaris - Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
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While not exactly neck-snapping, the small dimensions and feathery curb weight mean the Yaris will still hit 60 mph in less than 9 seconds, while continuing on to a top speed of 120 mph.

Take a peek behind that angry little fascia and you’ll find the 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan comes equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder powerplant, the same engine used on the outgoing model. Standout features include a high compression ratio and direct fuel injection, plus dual overhead cams.

All told, this FWD four-door makes as much as 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. While not exactly neck-snapping, the small dimensions and feathery curb weight mean it’ll still hit 60 mph in less than 9 seconds, while continuing on to a top speed of 120 mph. And that’s about right for the segment. What’s more, the equipped Sport Mode ups the torquey feel of the engine with extra throttle response.

Routing the output towards the pavement is an available six-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with the slushbox, the Yaris returns an estimated 40 mpg on the highway, making it quite frugal with the go juice. It’s also estimated to do 32 mpg in the city and 35 mpg combined.

2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan
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This unit surely offers a more connected feeling for the driver, but it also dings the mpg slightly, downgrading the estimates to 39 mpg on the highway, 30 mpg in the city, and 34 mpg combined

If you don’t mind rowing your own, Toyota is also offering the 2019 Yaris sedan with a standard six-speed manual transmission. This unit surely offers a more connected feeling for the driver, but it also dings the mpg slightly, downgrading the estimates to 39 mpg on the highway, 30 mpg in the city, and 34 mpg combined. Still, compared to the automatic, that’s just 1 mpg off the highway estimate, 2 mpg off the city estimate, and 1 mpg off the combined estimate, so you’re not really losing all that much by going manual. What’s more, the three-pedal option comes with a tight, lightweight design, plus short-throw action.

Underneath the skin, the 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan is once again based on the Mazda2, a sweet little sub-compact we don’t get here in the U.S. In terms of materials and construction, the Yaris uses high-tensile steel for the frame and body, while the suspension setup utilizes stiff springs and MacPherson struts in front, plus a torsion beam in the rear. Basic stuff, but again, it’s about right for the segment.

Making it turn is an electronic power steering system, while making the thing stop are ventilated disc brakes in front. Meanwhile, the rear utilizes drum brakes. Jump on the anchor pedal, and the Yaris sedan offers a progressive braking feel, with a stiffer feedback offered the faster you drive.

Toyota Yaris Sedan Prices

2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan
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Toyota is offering the Yaris sedan in three individual trim levels for the 2019 model year. From least to most expensive, these are listed as the base model L, the mid-grade LE, and the top-trim XLE.

Sales will commence in the fall of this year.

There is no exact pricing announced as of yet, but the 2019 model year is expected to slot in at the same spot as the outgoing model, which currently starts at $15,950.

Each Yaris sedan will come with a 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty, and is offered with an additional 60-month warranty for the powertrain (up to 60,000 miles), plus unlimited mileage corrosion protection. Standard ToyotaCare coverage is offered for normal maintenance for up to two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, while two years of roadside assistance is provided with each new purchase in the continental U.S. and Alaska.

Toyota Yaris Sedan Competition

Honda Fit

2015 Honda Fit High Resolution Exterior
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While the Toyota Yaris might have some nice features to boast about, it’s got a mighty competitor coming from its H-Badge rival, specifically the Honda Fit. With a well-equipped and sizable interior space, tons of tech, and a new sporty trim level for the 2018 model year, this fun little sub-compact has all the right stuff to tempt buyers. Under the hood is 130 horsepower, plus returns as high as 40 mpg on the highway. Pricing starts at $16,190.

Read our full review of the 2015 Honda Fit.

Ford Fiesta

2017 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Exterior
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The Blue Oval is another top competitor here thanks to the latest Fiesta. Equipped with the very latest in semi-autonomous and autonomous safety systems, such as pedestrian detection and active parking assist, the Fiesta has some decent tech to boast about. It also looks pretty good, with a sporty profile and long, drawn-back headlight housings that emphasize the car’s bubbly appearance. The rear cargo area is also quite sizable, and with a wide-range of powertrain options to choose from, including up to 138 horsepower from a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, buyers should have no problem getting what they want. Pricing starts at $14,205.

Read our full review of the 2017 Ford Fiesta.

Conclusion

2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan
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The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan makes a lot of sense - it’s frugal, it’s well-equipped, and with Mazda bones under the skin, it’s also likely to be somewhat entertaining in the corners as well.

Finding the right fit in this segment is often a matter of getting all the features you want, and putting all the extraneous stuff to one side. To that end, the 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan makes a lot of sense - it’s frugal, it’s well-equipped, and with Mazda bones under the skin, it’s also likely to be somewhat entertaining in the corners as well.

Of course, with just over 100 horsepower on tap, it’s rather slow, and the sedan body style has us wondering why you wouldn’t just go for a more practical hatchback. Overall though, when it comes to getting the job done, the Yaris is right there.

  • Leave it
    • * A bit underpowered
    • * Sedans aren’t exactly hot right now
    • * Plenty of competition
    • * Why not just get a hatchback?

References

2017 Toyota Yaris Demonstrates How Auto Turnover Is Speeding Up High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Yaris hatchback.

2016 Scion iA
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Read our full review on the 2016 Scion iA.

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Read more Toyota news.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

Press release

The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan offers an exceptional blend of efficiency, fun, comfort and safety all at a reasonable price. Is this combination too much to ask of an entry subcompact vehicle? The new Yaris answers with a resounding, “No!”

The Yaris sedan, previously the Yaris iA, will be offered in three grades for 2019, including the sporty L, the well-equipped LE grade, and the new premium XLE grade. Premium, on a Yaris? That’s right. The XLE takes Yaris up a notch with sporty leatherette-trimmed front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, an HVAC system with Automatic Climate Control, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and illuminated entry.

For 2019, all Yaris sedans will feature a new sport-inspired front grille with a honeycomb insert design. Exterior styling cues include upscale piano black accents and chrome trim. Fog lights come standard on the LE and XLE grades, and these grades also sport a new rear lip spoiler. Every grade is fitted with a roof-mounted, color-keyed shark fin antenna for available satellite radio. Power outside mirrors come standard on the L, while the LE and XLE are equipped with power outside heated mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators.

Safety is a priority on every Toyota, and that’s why all Yaris sedans comes standard with an Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. The Yaris features a high-compression 1.5-liter engine that boasts up to 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway*.

The Yaris sedan will be offered in seven colors that include Frost, Chromium, Graphite, Stealth, Sapphire, Pulse and the all-new Icicle. The new Yaris will go on sale in the fall of 2018.

Efficiency is Key

There’s no question that fuel economy is high atop the list of must-haves for Yaris. When the direct-injection 1.5-liter engine is paired with the available 6-speed automatic transmission, the Yaris boasts an impressive 32 MPG in the city, 40 on the highway and 35 combined*. When paired with the six-speed manual gearbox offering, the Yaris provides 30 mpg in the city, 39 on the highway and 34 combined*.

The sporty Yaris sedan is a blast to drive, thanks in large part to the engine and transmission offerings. The 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine pumps out 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque for plenty of pep to power onto highway onramps and seamlessly navigate workday traffic. The standard manual transmission features a compact, lightweight design with a short-throw shift for smooth, quick gear changes. The available automatic transmission aids in smooth starts while offering quick, precise shifts at higher speeds.

Value Doesn’t Sacrifice Fun

Yaris’ sporty handling is engineered into the chassis with effective use of high-tensile steel in the body and frame. The rigid chassis design is complemented with a pairing of stiff springs and MacPherson struts on the front suspension and a durable torsion beam suspension in the rear.

The electronic power steering is designed for smooth, effortless operation. For more spirited driving, Sport Mode provides improved torque feel at the flip of a switch. Stopping duties are handled by ventilated discs up front and drum brakes in the rear. The braking system is tuned with a progressive experience when cornering, as the pedal offers a cushioned feel that gets progressively more rigid as G-force rises. The LE and XLE feature a unique 16-inch alloy wheel with new dark gunmetal finish.

It’s What’s Inside that Counts

Upping the ante on interior comfort and features, every Yaris features a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system with voice recognition, remote interface, steering wheel controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The touchscreen also displays the standard backup camera. Belting out tunes in the cabin is a six-speaker sound system, and each Yaris includes available satellite radio with a 3-month complimentary SiriusXM® All Access trial. An integrated AM/FM antenna, auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod® connectivity are standard.

Every Yaris comes equipped with a stylish instrumentation cluster that includes an analog speedometer, digital tachometer and incorporated trip meter. Cruise control also comes standard. Push button start is standard on all grades, and the L grade features a remote keyless entry system while both the LE and XLE are equipped with Smart Key System. Every Yaris is fitted with power windows with driver-side auto up/down and jam protection. A standard 60/40-split rear seat easily expands carrying capacity and versatility.

Standard Safety System

Every Yaris is equipped with an Active Safety System that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and a Brake Over-Ride System (BOS).

The Yaris is also fitted with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System, which scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions. If the system detects a potential frontal collision, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are designed to automatically activate. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes.

A driver and front passenger airbag system and seat-mounted side airbags are standard, as are front and rear side curtain airbags. Other standard safety features include a Driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) and Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR) on all passenger belts. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) is also standard on outboard rear seats with tethers and anchors on all rear seats. A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) also is equipped on all grades.

Limited Warranty

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Standard ToyotaCare covers complimentary normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Two years of roadside assistance coverage is also provided with each new purchase. Valid only in the continental U.S. & Alaska.

*2019 Yaris preliminary 32/city, 40/hwy, 35/comb mpg (automatic transmission), 30/city, 39/hwy, 34/comb mpg (manual transmission) estimates determined by Toyota. EPA estimates not available at time of publishing. Actual mileage will vary.

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