Take a long look at the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA, especially at the back. Notice how it doesn't really look like other Toyotas? Now, peek into the cabin. Apart from the badge on the steering wheel, there's zero family resemblance. This is because the iA is designed and produced by Mazda. Mazda doesn't have an equivalent to the iA in its lineup, but take a look atits cars and you'll quickly see where the iA's DNA really comes from.
We point this out because Mazda is quite good at building small cars. If anything, this Toyota and Mazda partnership is a best-of-both-worlds scenario. The iA benefits from Mazda's design approach that results in a fun-to-drive nature, excellent fuel economy and stylish, high-quality interior design. Yet, since it's sold by Toyota, the iA comes standard with plenty of features (including advanced driver safety aids) and is available to more people because of Toyota's larger dealer network.
But there are some reasons to think twice about the iA. For starters, it doesn't have a lot of power — even for a segment known for being on the slow side. Interior space can also be an issue because backseat legroom and driver-seat adjustability are limited relative the competition. Some may also lament that there's no hatchback body style or a cheaper, lesser-equipped base model available.
In total, though, we think the 2018 Yaris iA is a must-drive for anyone seeking an affordable subcompact sedan — no matter which company makes it.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Toyota Yaris iA subcompact sedan comes in just one trim level. Power is supplied by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (106 horsepower, 103 pound-feet of torque). A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional.
Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories (locks, windows and mirrors), keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, a low-speed forward collision warning and automatic braking system, cruise control, air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, the Mazda Connect tech interface in all but name (7-inch display, knob-and-button controller, touchscreen operation when parked), two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, media player interface and HD radio. There are no factory options beyond paint color and transmission.
The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a 2016 Scion iA (1.5L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current iA has been renamed the Toyota Yaris iA, but is fundamentally the same car with no significant changes. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Yaris iA.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.