04.02.16 - 2016 Toyota Yaris

For most of us the thought of a Toyota Yaris brings to mind great gas mileage, a small stature and a hatchback that offers the versatility desired. Did you know the Yaris comes in a sedan form as well? Well, it does and what this car actually is just might surprise you.

Do you remember the Mazda 2? Most of us do and it seems as if the Mazda 2 became the Scion iA, which it essentially did based on the old platform. Even though Scion is about to be dissolved and the iA will be rebadged by Toyota, the parent brand was missing a small subcompact sedan for us in America to enjoy.

Enter the new Mazda2, which Mazda has ready to be produced in Mexico for us to enjoy, but the low sales numbers of the previous models have caused the brand to be skeptical about offering another with the same name on it. The solution to this dilemma has become to badge the Mazda2 as a Toyota Yaris sedan and fill the void in the Toyota lineup with a car that offers a small and attractive body style with the energetic engine we all love.

What you might expect with two cars that share the same name such as the Yaris hatchback and sedan is that the two would also share a platform, but they don’t. The sedan does offer the same 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque form the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is found in the hatchback, but the setup for the setup for the sedan comes completely from Mazda, making it one of the most active powertrains in this class.

The Yaris sedan offers a different setup for the transmissions than the hatchback as it comes with either a six-speed automatic or manual while the hatchback only offers a five speed manual or a four-speed automatic for you to enjoy. This larger set of gears does give the sedan a higher weight by nearly eighty pounds, but the drive is more active than the hatchback. What you really will notice with these added gears in the sedan is the fact the fuel mileage is better than the hatchback, coming in at 33 city/32 hwy mpg which is an increase of 3 city/6 hwy mpg over the hatchback model of the Yaris.

Another major difference is the size of the car. The sedan is 16.2 inches longer to give more legroom and a 13.5 cubic foot trunk as well. This trunk may be smaller than the hatchback and its versatility, but it is extremely deep to give you more room to put the things you need to bring home. On the inside you will recognize the style that has been a staple for Mazda over the years and in this new model the Yaris feels much better than either the old hatchback or the previous version of the Mazda2. The materials have been upgraded and the technology improved to give you a car that will be fun to drive and may be your favorite car you have ever owned.

If the Scion iA and Toyota Yaris Sedan are both from the Mazda2, aren’t they essentially the same vehicle? The answer to that is both yes and no. The Yaris offers two trim levels with a base model that does not offer a backup camera or the Mazda command control touchscreen. This lower model also has steel wheels and wheel covers. The iA only comes in one trim which is better equipped than the base Yaris sedan and the only choice to be made is the type of transmission to be used. The higher trim level for the Yaris Sedan is the Premium trim which gives you the same features as an iA but also adds the heated seats and grill integrated fog lights to set it apparat and be a model that will work well for you.

While the old Mazda2 was meant to be fun and offered a more tossable drive, the Yaris Sedan is a bit more serious and meant to be a great commuter car for a market that loves a compact sedan much more so than they enjoy a hatchback. This means the steering is more direct in the Yaris than it was in the Mazda 2 and the ride is more comfortable with less sport being added to the mix.

With the pairing of Mazda and Toyota to create this car, the Yaris Sedan we have the best of both automakers in one car that will be a great car to drive. This is a car you can equip well and enjoy the size that can be parked anywhere that will also come at a price you can easily afford. The Yaris Sedan may not look or feel like any other Yaris, because it isn’t, but this is a car that will be an excellent choice when looking for the right car to drive on a daily basis.

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