Mazda-Based Toyota Subcompact on the Way
Combined with its Scion brand, Toyota has a pretty strong small-car portfolio — and it's about to grow. The automaker announced today it is partnering with Mazda to produce a Toyota-brand subcompact for the U.S. market.

The vehicle will be built at Mazda's plant in Mexico, which is still under construction, and will be based on Mazda's smallest vehicle, the Mazda2. Could the new car be a replacement for Toyota's subcompact, the Yaris?

Possibly. Yaris sales are on a slide this year even though the car was revised for 2012. In October, Toyota sold just 2,579 units of the Yaris, down from 6,792 the previous October. Although Mazda moves fewer Mazda2 units, sales of the subcompact are up about 17% so far this year.

The two are similar in size: The Mazda2 is 155.5 inches long; the 2012 Yaris, which is available only as a hatchback, is two inches shorter.

Toyota plans to start production during summer 2015 and build around 50,000 units of the car per year.

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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer