Affordable pricing. With the average price of a new car hovering around $34,000, being able to get into a new 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan for just $16,380 including destination is astounding. That figure makes the Yaris one of the more affordable vehicles on the market. Even in its range-topping XLE trim, the Yaris costs $19,480. Looking for something that's a lot of bang for your buck? The Yaris will scratch that itch.
Frugal sipper, sluggish engine. Thanks to the Yaris' 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the subcompact sedan is rated by the EPA to get up to 32 miles per gallon city, 40 mpg highway, and 35 combined. Unsurprisingly, those figures are toward the top of the subcompact class. And those aren't hopeful wink-wink numbers either. Over a span of roughly 300 miles in mixed driving, we observed over 35 mpg combined – and we weren't driving conservatively.
While the setup is all about maximizing efficiency, the engine is rather sluggish. The motor makes a modest 106 horsepower, so getting up to highway speeds takes some time and brisk acceleration off the line is nonexistent.
Startlingly agile. Underneath the Yaris' body sits a chassis that's shared with the Mazda2. It might not sound like a crucial distinction, but it equates to an athletic feeling when you get behind the wheel. Firm suspension, direct steering, and minimal roll ensure you're having a lot more fun than you should on a winding road.
Get onto the highway and the Yaris continues to impress. The suspension becomes more supple in a straight line, there's nothing to complain about with the six-speed automatic transmission, and the cabin is nice and quiet. If you find yourself on a highway on a windy day, though, you might find yourself gripping the steering wheel tighter, as the lightweight vehicle does tend to shift about.
Tight squeeze. The Yaris, obviously, is a tiny sedan, so it's not like we went into the review thinking it would be spacious. But the amount of space in the back is really tight. The average adult will find their knees rubbing against the front seat if they draw the short straw to sit in the back. The seats themselves, for the most part, are comfortable. On longer journeys, especially trips that take over an hour, the lack of lumbar support for the front seats will see you wriggling for some extra comfort.
Because of the sedan's compact size, trunk space suffers, too. While the opening is a decent size, there's only 13.5 cubic feet of space back there. The Chevrolet Sonic has 14.9 cubic feet of space, while the Hyundai Accent can hold 14 cubic feet of cargo.
Final thoughts. Urbanites, Uber and Lyft drivers, recent college grads, and those looking for something efficient will all find something to like with the 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan. It's affordable, easy to drive, and has high safety scores. Oh yeah, it's also really enjoyable to drive around corners.
Affordability means a lack of features, and that's the case with the Yaris. You won't find Apple CarPlay or Android Auto here, or the latest safety features besides a low-speed forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking system.
When it comes to getting oomph in a tiny package, only the Ford Fiesta ST will do – too bad Ford pulled the plug on that model. The Honda Fit is the perennial leader with a more spacious cabin and cargo area. As a complete package, though, the Yaris is hard to beat and is an excellent value proposition.