2015 Toyota Yaris First Look

By Kelsey Mays  on July 23, 2014

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Competes with: Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit

Looks like: The 2012-2014 Yaris got some Darth Vader treatment

Drivetrain: 106-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Aug. 3

Toyota calls the subcompact 2015 Yaris hatchback "redesigned," but it's really just a refresh of the current generation, which dates back to the 2012 model year. The 2015 model gets a lot of visual updates; chief among the updates are a reworked nose with a deeper, Darth Vader-like maw that stretches from the grille to the lower bumper.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

The Sith have infiltrated Toyota, whose Avalon and refreshed Camry sport similar bumper treatments. And so it goes with the Yaris — at least the range-topping Yaris SE four-door hatchback, which is what you see in these photos Toyota released. The car also comes in base L and midlevel LE trims, which are also available in two-door hatchback form. (The SE is four-door hatch only.)

The Yaris goes on sale Aug. 3. Pricing runs from $15,670 for a two-door, stick-shift Yaris L to $18,445 for a four-door automatic Yaris SE (prices include destination). Prices for equivalent trims have increased $280 to $490 versus the 2014 Yaris, Toyota claims; this is for a car whose 2014 model placed midpack for small-car affordability.

Exterior

A new grille sports a chrome line that visually continues into the headlights. Immediately below it stretches the large bumper opening, which the SE flanks with fog lights. The Yaris L has 15-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, while the LE adds 15-inch alloy wheels. The SE gets 16-inch alloys, plus LED daytime running lights and a rear spoiler.

Interior

The Yaris' shelflike dashboard carries over from last year, with straightforward climate knobs below a now-standard 6.1-inch touch-screen with HD radio, USB/iPod compatibility, six speakers and Bluetooth phone/audio streaming. Dealer-installed navigation is optional.

Power windows — previously unavailable on the Yaris L — are now standard. So are power door locks and air conditioning. The LE adds cruise control, power mirrors, steering-wheel audio controls and remote keyless entry, while the SE adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, sportier gauges, unique seating fabric and gloss-black interior accents.

Under the Hood

Toyota's familiar 1.5-liter four-cylinder is back, with 106 horsepower and 103 pounds-feet of torque. It works through a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Toyota says it retuned the Yaris' suspension, stiffened the chassis and added more sound insulation to reduce noise and smooth out the ride. SE models have a sport-tuned suspension.

The Yaris' low-30s EPA combined mileage should carry over, Toyota says. That's a few mpg short of the competitors like the 2015 Honda Fit and Nissan Versa Note.

Safety

The Yaris' nine standard airbags include front-seat cushion airbags, which deploy in a frontal collision to keep occupants from sliding under their seatbelts. Other features include the federally required antilock brakes — front discs and rear drums on the L/LE, with four-wheel discs on the SE — and an electronic stability system.

Manufacturer images

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Toyota Toyota Yaris Wagon/Hatchback


Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey