Toyota Yaris iA

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

Toyota’s Yaris iA is proof good things do come in small packages.

 

A rose by another name, the Yaris iA was Inherited from the now shuttered Scion brand, where it was known as simply the  “iA”. Additionally, the Toyota Yaris iA is built by Mazda and shares more than a small amount with that company’s Mazda2 compact sedan.

Whatever you call it, the Yaris iA delivers the bonafides to make the budget-friendly four-door a standout. Chief among its attributes, the tidy-sized sedan oozes big personality. Handsomely styled, the Toyota’s grimacing countenance gives off an edgy, sporty feel.

Meanwhile, the interior is equally as pleasing, punctuated as it is by a host of unexpected upscale touches. Among them, the preponderance of soft-touch surfaces lend the passenger compartment a decidely premium feel. With that said, cloth upholstery in a handsome blue and black two-tone treatment is your only choice.

 

The Yaris seats five. If you’re fortunate enough to be in the driver or front passenger seat, you’ll be sitting comfortably with plenty of cushioning. But if your back seat passengers are over six feet tall, it’s going to be a little cramped.

The standard feature set is stellar for a car at this price point. Included are a seven-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, two USB ports, Bluetooth and six speakers. Standard safety features include a rearview camera and a forward collision warning system with brake assist.

Trunk space is also important and the Yaris iA offers plenty  for a car this size. My large shopping bags fit quite easily in the 13.5 cubic feet it offers. To haul something bigger, all you have to do is fold the rear seats flat to give you more space.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a measly 106 horsepower, but don’t be dismayed. There’s more than enough pep in its step for zipping around town. However, when I pushed for higher speeds on the Beltway, the iA  felt a bit sluggish. Still, with athletic handling, it’s a fun car to drive, especially if you stick with the six-speed manual. Yes, an automatic transmission is available, but the manual is more exciting way to go.

Yaris iA is also throughly comfortable commuting and scooting around town. The smallest Toyota sedan makes finessing traffic-clogged city driving much more bearable, especially when it comes to parking. Furthermore, while you won’t be blown away by the humdrum acceleration, you will be by its excellent fuel economy. I saw 30 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway, with the six-speed manual transmission.

Pricing starts at $15,950

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