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Toyota Yaris iA Review

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The Toyota Yaris iA has had a short but interesting life. It was first introduced in 2016 as the Scion iA, but when Toyota closed that brand midyear, it was brought into the Toyota fold as a sedan companion to the Yaris hatchback. The Yaris iA is unrelated to the Yaris, and in fact it's not even a Toyota — it's a rebadged version of the Mazda 2, which Mazda doesn't sell in the States.

The Toyota Yaris iA's complicated ancestry creates a good opportunity for buyers. Because it's a Mazda design, Yaris iA is a good deal more fun to drive than most of Toyota's cars, including the Yaris hatchback. The interior design is another high point, as is the high gas mileage. The Yaris iA's roots as a Scion mean it is sold in a single, well-equipped trim level that delivers excellent value for the money. Backseat space is limited, even by small car standards, but that's really the biggest knock against the Toyota Yaris iA. This is a nicely equipped small car that's fun to drive, and we consider it to be one of the better bargains in the segment.

Current Toyota Yaris iA
Scion offered its cars in a single trim level with few options, and even though it's now a Toyota, the Yaris iA is still sold the same way. The Yaris iA features a long list of standard equipment including alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera and full power accessories. When comparing prices against other small cars, bear in mind that much of this equipment is typically optional in the Yaris iA's competitors.

Power for the Toyota Yaris iA comes from a 1.5-liter engine that delivers 106 horsepower to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The Yaris iA doesn't have power in abundance, so you have to floor the pedal to merge onto a fast-moving freeway. Engaging Sport mode on an automatic-transmission Yaris iA helps keep the revs up, which makes the car feel more lively. EPA fuel economy estimates are 35 mpg combined for the automatic and 34 mpg for the manual, which are good numbers for a small car. Out on the open road, the Toyota Yaris iA's roots become apparent. Like other Mazda designs, this is a great car to drive, with sharp steering responses, great grip in the turns and a comfortable ride.

Inexpensive cars tend to have interiors that betray their cut-rate pricing, but the Toyota Yaris iA is a refreshing change. We find the Yaris iA's interior to be rather comfortable, aside from the lack of a driver's center armrest. There are lots of features that we wouldn't expect in an entry-level car, such as the redundant touchscreen and dial controller for the infotainment system. The rear seat is tight on legroom and headroom, not unusual for this class of car, but the 13.5-cubic-foot trunk is notably generous.

Used Toyota Yaris iA Models
The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA was an all-new model for 2017, a refugee from the shuttered Scion brand, where it was known as the Scion iA. Aside from the new badging, the car is largely unchanged.

Read the most recent 2018 Toyota Yaris iA review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Toyota Yaris iA page.


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