The 2020 Toyota Yaris lineup gains a hatchback model to complement the carryover sedan. Unlike the previous Yaris hatchback (last offered in 2018), the new model is built on the same platform as the sedan and shares its styling and equipment.
2020 Toyota Yaris Overview
Choosing Your Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris comes in three trim levels: L, LE, XLE. However, the hatchback is only offered in LE and XLE trims. Pricing starts at $16,605 including destination for the L and climbs to $19,705 for the XLE.
The sole engine for the Yaris is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. The L and LE sedan come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a six-speed automatic is available for $1,100. The LE hatchback and both XLE models get the automatic as standard.
With the manual transmission, the Yaris is EPA-rated at 30 miles per gallon city, 39 mpg highway, and 34 combined. The automatic raises fuel economy to 32/40/35 mpg (city/highway/combined).
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Toyota Yaris can hold up to five, but the folks are back will likely feel squished. The rear seat is best reserved for children and the occasional adult.
Cargo space is very healthy for a car of this size. The sedan's truck measures 13.49 cubic feet, and the hatchback can handle up to 15.86 cubic feet. Both have split-folding rear seats for additional space.
Due to its low price, the Yaris doesn't carry the same level of safety technology as other Toyota models. Even so, every Yaris gets low-speed automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning,
The Yaris carries a full-feature infotainment system with a 7-inch touschscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility HD radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and two USB ports.
Navigation hardware is included, but the system requires an SD card to operate, available for purchase at Toyota dealers.
The L sedan provides all the basics, including power windows and locks, keyless entry, cruise control, and air conditioning. There's fabric seats, a six-way manually-adjustable driver seat, and a four-way manual passenger seat. The L rolls on 15-inch steel wheels.
The Yaris LE adds push button start, fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals. The automatic remains optional on the LE sedan, and comes standard on the LE hatchback.
The XLE features a leatherette interior with automatic climate control and genuine leather trim on the steering wheel. Buyers also get LED headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Safety and infotainment features are identical throughout the 2020 Toyota Yaris lineup, which makes the L sedan a bargain if you can live with the manual transmission. Otherwise, you'll get a bit more for your money with a model where the automatic is standard.
2020 Toyota Yaris Review
Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
- Cheap and cheerful
- Mazda suspension
- Modern infotainment
- Still not fast
- Still not particularly attractive
- No manual transmission on hatchback
Toyota badge, Mazda bones. The 2020 Toyota Yaris may wear the ovals on its grille, but it’s a Mazda underneath. The Yaris shares its structure with the Mazda Mazda2 in both hatchback and sedan form.
That’s not a bad thing. The old Yaris, which began its life as the Scion iA, looked worse and didn’t drive as well. The new one is a different story.
With Mazda’s verve for economy cars, the updated Yaris is surprisingly fun. A willing suspension complements hefty steering for one of the better sport sedans $17,000 can buy. The ride is firm, but it handles rough pavement with relative composure.
Fun, but not fast. The driver in a Yaris may be having fun, but they won’t be winning many drag races. There’s only one engine (also sourced from Mazda), a 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit producing 106 horsepower.
That’s not quite as bad as it seems, given the Yaris’s puny, 2,400-pound weight. Even so, acceleration is humble, with either the manual or automatic transmission.
On the other hand, lightness and a small engine make for excellent fuel economy. The Yaris gets an EPA-estimated 35 miles per gallon combined with the automatic (and 40 mpg highway). That’s on par with rivals like the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit, but it’s good by any other standard.
Modern, finally. For 2020, the Yaris finally gains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. That helps bring the infotainment system into this decade, with a 7-inch touchscreen decorating the dashboard.
The addition completes the Yaris package, as it already excelled in safety tech. Active safety features are somewhat unusual on subcompact cars, but the Yaris gets low-speed automatic emergency braking included on every model.
The Yaris also does well on crash-test scores for a subcompact. If safety is a priority, it remains among the better small cars on the market.
Small, for better or for worse. The Yaris’s diminutive price tag is matched by its pint-sized proportions. There are three seat belts in the back, but squeezing three adults back there is a challenge. Four passengers is manageable, at least for short journeys.
Cargo capacity is similarly minimal, with just 13.5 cubic feet behind the seats in the sedan. The hatch does better with 15.9 cubic feet, but neither can match the Fit.
The upside is that the Yaris remains affordable and approachable. With the new infotainment system, the feature set isn’t too spartan for most tastes.
Final thoughts. Subcompact cars remain the domain of simplicity and value. We’re relieved to see that they can still be fun, too, with the 2020 Toyota Yaris being a good example of that.
The Yaris’s Mazda suspension is a blessing, and it joins Toyota’s excellent safety reputation. The Fit is a stiff competitor, but now that the hatchback has rejoined the lineup, the Yaris ought to be on the list for economy-car shoppers.