James Flammang
Contributing Editor - January 19, 2016

2016 Toyota Yaris OVERVIEW

Competing in the budget-transport class, the Yaris could be considered the spiritual descendant of the old Toyota Tercel. Nearly forgotten today, Tercel was a plain but popular subcompact back in the 1980s and ’90s, proving to be almost a synonym for reliable, economical transportation. Introduced in 2007, the Yaris tries to inject some style, and even excitement, into the Tercel's old theme. Yet, its principal selling point remains durable service for buyers at the lower end of the market. Unlike most subcompacts, the French-built Yaris comes as either a three-door or five-door hatchback.

What's New for 2016

Last year, the Yaris got a new face and styling tweaks inside and out. Nothing has changed for the 2016 model year except for two new color combinations.

Toyota Yaris

Choosing Your Toyota Yaris

All Yaris hatchbacks get the same engine: a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. On the three-door Yaris L and the five-door SE, a five-speed manual transmission, with hydraulic clutch, is standard. A four-speed automatic is optional for those two versions, and standard on the others. Fuel economy with manual shift is estimated at 30 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway (33 mpg combined). With automatic, the highway estimate drops to 36 mpg (32 mpg combined).

Buyers choose from three trim levels, each of which includes an abundance of features for this entry-level car:


Starting at $14,895 (plus destination charge), the base Yaris L comes equipped with nine airbags, air conditioning, a split-folding rear seat, 15-inch steel wheels, electric power steering, power windows and locks, black grille, and a tilt steering wheel. The standard six-speaker audio system, with 6.1-inch touchscreen, includes HD radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth audio streaming. An automatic transmission adds $725 to the three-door’s price, while the five-door (automatic standard) stickers for $15,995.


The LE adds more standard equipment such as the four-speed automatic transmission, cruise control, power mirrors, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, chrome-accented grille, metallic interior accents, remote keyless entry, and 15-inch alloy wheels.


Promoted as the sportiest Yaris, the SE aims at buyers who want their subcompact to exude a bit more personality. Available only as a five-door hatchback, the SE comes with either a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission. Riding on 16-inch alloy wheels, the SE gets a sport-tuned front suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. Other upgrades include piano black grille accents, black interior trim, LED daytime running lights, front foglamps, a rear spoiler, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, six-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat, special seat fabric, and a tachometer.

All optional navigation system may be dealer-installed.

CarsDirect Tip

Even the base Yaris L is surprisingly well-equipped for the entry-level category. If you don't really need the higher equipment level of the LE or the largely visual pizzazz of the SE, the basic L edition is the sensible way to go to keep costs down.

Get your price on a Toyota Yaris »

Read our review on the Toyota Yaris »

Toyota Yaris Rear Quarter

Top Toyota Deals & Must-Know Advice In November

Toyota's incentives see a few enhancements in November. In terms of leasing, Toyota has rolled out some 39-month leases which have made them a particularly good deal. For... View All Toyota Lease Deals


Find more information on Toyota vehicles

Toyota Yaris By Year

COPYRIGHT 1999-2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba