2015 Toyota Yaris Review

Pros & Cons

  • Agreeable handling
  • generous standard equipment
  • adult-friendly backseat
  • user-friendly standard tech interface.
  • Less cargo capacity than some rivals
  • outdated four-speed automatic transmission
  • no telescoping steering wheel
  • no sedan body style.
List Price Range
$9,995 - $11,729

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Toyota Yaris is what you'd expect from the Toyota of subcompact cars: economical and well-built. But with so many impressive models competing in this segment, Toyota's entry gets lost in the crowd.

Vehicle overview

Over the years, the humbly priced subcompact car has evolved in the best way possible, and today's models deliver much more than just basic transportation. Quite a few choices in this entry-level class offer features that were formerly reserved for cars that are larger and more expensive. In many ways, the 2015 Toyota Yaris hatchback holds its own with the current crop of overachieving subcompacts – but also trails them on certain significant fronts.

The Yaris boasts many appealing attributes. It's a nimble and agreeable companion around town, and its competent suspension helps the car cruise around turns with impressive stability. Overall, this is a pleasant and easy car to drive. This Toyota's interior is spacious, with rear seats that are comfortable even for adults. And the cabin boasts solid design and materials quality. Feature content is generous, and amenities like a touchscreen interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and USB/iPod integration are standard on all models along with more basic items like air-conditioning, power locks and mirrors, and a height-adjustable driver seat.  

In other ways, though, competition has left the Yaris in the dust. Its outdated four-speed automatic transmission is a step down from the six-speed or continuously variable automatics available on competing models, and leaves the Yaris feeling slow-witted during passing maneuvers. Also, other key models boast a more composed ride quality, more comfortable seats, sharper handling or greater cargo capacity.

The subcompact segment is packed with compelling picks designed to appeal to every stripe of small-car shopper. Buyers seeking outstanding versatility should take a look at the redesigned 2015 Honda Fit, whose unique rear-seat design allows for unmatched passenger and cargo space. Those who prioritize performance should consider the 2015 Ford Fiesta. It's arguably the most fun-to-drive car in the segment, while also having one of the most attractive cabins. Drivers looking for well-rounded alternatives will want to check out the Hyundai Accent and  2015 Kia Rio, as they offer a choice of body styles (sedan and hatchback), spacious interiors, stylish good looks and more horsepower than the Yaris. Shoppers on the tightest budgets should investigate the Nissan Versa sedan, since it's the least expensive new car on the market.

While the 2015 Toyota Yaris is certainly not a segment leader, its generous standard feature content, reasonable price and Toyota's sterling reliability reputation make the Yaris value-rich choice for those after basic transport. Plus, its improvements for 2015 make it more fashionable, better to drive and pleasant to be in. Still, any of those above competitors may go above and beyond to suit you better.

2015 Toyota Yaris models

The 2015 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact economy car available as either a two- or four-door hatchback. The L and LE trims are offered in both these configurations, while the sporty SE trim is offered only as a four-door.

Standard features on the L include 15-inch steel wheels, power door locks and windows, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The LE adds or substitutes 15-inch alloys, power side mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, metallic interior accents, chrome interior door handles and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

Those who opt for the SE trim get 16-inch alloy wheels, projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, foglamps, special exterior styling elements, a rear spoiler (available as an option on L and LE trims), a sport-tuned suspension, sportier tires, four-wheel disc brakes, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, and upgraded cloth upholstery.

A navigation system is available on all Yaris models as a dealer-installed option.

2015 Highlights

For 2015, the Toyota Yaris gets more distinctive front and rear styling. The interior has also been spiffed up with upgraded materials. Finally, every trim level gets a touchscreen infotainment interface and the option of a navigation system.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2015 Toyota Yaris is powered by a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated at 106 hp and 103 pound-feet of torque. Two transmissions are available: a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic. The manual is standard on the two-door L and the four-door SE, while the four-speed automatic is optional on these models. The four-speed automatic is the only transmission you can get on the four-door L hatchback and all LE models.

In Edmunds testing, a four-door Yaris with the five-speed manual went from zero to 60 mph in 9. 5 seconds, while an automatic-equipped four-door took 10.7 seconds. Both times are decent times for the class, but certain rivals like the Honda Fit or Hyundai Accent are quicker.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the manual-equipped Yaris are 33 mpg combined (30 city/37 highway). With the automatic, these numbers dip to 32 combined (30 city/36 highway). These numbers are solid, but not class-leading.


Standard safety features include antilock brakes (rear drums for all models except the SE, which gets four-wheel discs), traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, front seat cushion airbags and a driver knee airbag.

In Edmunds brake testing, a four-door Yaris LE with rear drum brakes stopped from 60 mph in 126, which is a bit longer than average for this segment. A four-door Yaris with the optional rear disc brakes was about average and stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet.

In government crash testing, the Yaris four-door hatchback received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Yaris hatchback its top rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests. In that agency's small-overlap frontal offset test, the Yaris scored a second-lowest (out of four) "Marginal" rating.


Given the expectations that most people have for this class of car, the 106 hp provided by the 2015 Toyota Yaris will probably be sufficient. There's enough gumption to deal with the cut-and-thrust of suburban traffic flow and the Yaris has no problem holding common freeway speeds, though getting up to those speeds can take some patience. Its main competitors are usefully more muscular.

Not helping things is the four-speed automatic, which is a relic given the six-speed automatics or continuously variable transmissions in newer competitors that make better use of the power available from their small-displacement engines. If you don't mind dealing with a manual transmission, it's the better bet on the Yaris from the standpoint of both acceleration and fuel economy.

The Yaris is steady around turns and has a reasonably smooth ride. The SE model's quicker steering calibration and upgraded brakes and suspension add a sportier bent to the 2015 Yaris' economy-oriented mission, but we wouldn't go so far as to actually call it sporty.


The Yaris' interior couldn't be simpler or easier to use. There are just a couple of gauges to read, and the large speedometer is mounted directly in front of the driver. Those worried about a subcompact car affording a low view of the road will find the high-mounted front seats help provide good sight lines. However, the lack of a telescoping steering wheel and firmly padded seats can make long journeys uncomfortable for some folks. In back, there's a refreshing amount of rear-seat legroom, but the sloping headliner restricts rear headroom a bit. Two average size adults will fit in the back seat just fine.

Materials within the 2015 Toyota Yaris are an improvement from the previous generation, but there is still a lot of hard plastics and top rivals feel more refined. The car comes standard with all the basic tech features you're likely to want, including a user-friendly touchscreen interface, Bluetooth with streaming audio capability and a USB input -- amenities you'll often have to pay extra for in this price range.

The four-door Yaris has 15.6 cubic feet of cargo space (15.3 in the two-door) behind its rear seat. You'll find more room for your carry-ons in Chevrolet's Sonic (19 cubic feet) and the Hyundai Accent (21.2 cubic feet). The split-folding rear seat helps make the most of the available space, but even then, the Yaris still trails most competitors – especially the ultra-practical Honda Fit.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Toyota Yaris.

4 reviews
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Most helpful consumer reviews

2015 Toyota Yaris is Mostly Adequate
Linda Stark,08/25/2016
LE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
I bought this car a week ago to replace a 2007 Kia Rio sedan. First positive impressions: nice dark grey color and body style, motor sounds better and back passenger spaces is roomier than some other economy cars test driven. Initial negative impressions: Speedometer only indicates 20-40-60 with numerical markings, 10-30-50 with hashes, and no markings at all on the fives. The side mirrors are so small and poorly shaped that if they are the slightest bit out of adjustment (or if the driver leans forward an inch) rear view is severely compromised which is made worse by the fact that the center rear view is mostly blocked by huge back seat head rests. In the Molded Places to Put Stuff category, the Yaris is an utter failure. The glove box barely holds the owners manual (and doesn't lock), the cup holders...well, take your pick--you can have two sixteen-ounce water bottles, or you can have one foam cup, or you can have a phone charger in the socket above the cup holder. Other seemingly random misshapen pits--two above the glove box, one to the left of the instrument panel, and one behind the cup holder--have proven as useless as they appear to be. The single front wiper is annoying in the beginning but doesn't seem so bad after a few rains. Despite these shortcomings which were apparent during the test drive, I chose the car for reputed reliability, price, and MPG. After 400 miles of mostly city driving I've found a few more things to like and even love. It handles well. The cargo capacity utterly amazed on a trip to the local wholesale club. We bought the usual list and the kids did not have to ride home with their feet resting on a bag of cat food or case of V-8 and assorted bags and trays piled high on their laps as before in the Rio, and there was spare room for a few more cases of water. The worst of the worst so far is that at least this particular Yaris isn't living up to its MPG rating. Not even close. As a semi-dedicated hypermiler, I usually got a little better than the Rio was rated at, even with the A/C running and even after 100,000 miles. Between the first and second fill-ups this car averaged a very disappointing 26.6 MPG. Would I choose something else knowing what I know today? Yeah, maybe.
Joseph Carfagno,11/30/2015
SE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
A good reliable no frills car that has excellent fuel economy. Just what I needed.
Fun little car
L 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
Easy parking. Good on gas(30mpg) Love that back seat folds down for more room in hatch.
2015 Yaris LE
Brian K.,04/20/2021
LE 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
The turning radius is worse that the older 2008 modle and the took away all the cupholders that were on the side on the font dash. And i live on a road with a bad hill thats dirt and gravel and one night me and my mom tried the hill and it was snowing and we couldnt get up the hill because the car shut itself off because once you hit the max for your power the car shuts itself off completly and we could have gotten in a bad accident because of it. The good i like how it handles without snow and i like the touchacreen and hands free calling thats pretty cool. Oh almost forgot im a pretty tall guy i cant see out the rearview mirror because it was made what i think for short people and i have to turn the mirror all the way up and flip it up on that just to see out the back with it. Its just not my favourite car not even close.

More about the 2015 Toyota Yaris
More About This Model

Quick Summary
Dramatic new front-end styling highlights the changes made to the 2015 Toyota Yaris, along with a stronger body structure, some higher-quality interior materials and more standard equipment. They're commendable updates, but they don't go far enough to push the Yaris ahead of its competitors.

What Is It?
The 2015 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact hatchback available with two or four doors. Although it provides frugal, reliable transportation with a commendable features list, it trails its competitors in many respects.

For instance, its cargo capacity is small even for a subcompact, its antiquated four-speed automatic transmission hampers drivability, and despite a styling refresh for 2015, it lacks a certain amount of character and pizzazz offered by others.

There are three trim levels offered: L, LE and SE. All trim levels come standard with a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the L and SE while a four-speed automatic transmission is standard on the LE and optional on the L and SE.

What Is New on the Outside?
The biggest and most noticeable change made to the 2015 Toyota Yaris is to its front-end styling. The somewhat cute, but rather anonymous face of the previous version has been replaced by a more aggressive look featuring a lower grille that connects with a smaller upper grille opening to form a sort of "X."

It's certainly more distinctive than before, but we're not sure if it really goes with the rest of the car. There are also reshaped headlights along with LED running lights and more prominent foglights on the sporty SE trim.

Around back, the taillights are wider and ditch the previous dated white accents, while the bumper has been reshaped to be more curvaceous and convey a more aggressive stance. New black-accented alloy wheels on the SE trim and an enlarged front-quarter window for improved visibility round out the updates.

2015 Toyota Yaris

What Is New on the Inside?
With the exception of the gray trim that now spans the dashboard, the interior goes unchanged visually. Materials have improved, however, and that gray trim in question is now padded to not only enhance the cabin's look and feel, but to reduce interior noise as well. There is also additional padding on the doors along with less glossy plastics. In other words, your elbows will be happier and things look less cheap.

Having said that, the Yaris is still a rather drab and uninteresting place to spend time. It lacks the visual flair of the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, as well as the grown-up ambiance of the Kia Rio. These competitors do a better job of making you forget you've purchased basic transport.

How Big and Comfortable Is It?
Those same competitors also do a better job of hauling your stuff, as the Yaris' meager cargo space trails that of most competitors (especially the practicality champ Honda Fit). The area isn't especially tall or deep — placing a row of reusable grocery bags essentially fills up the entire space from tailgate to backseat, and from floor to tonneau cover. At the very least, the 60/40-split folding rear seat is now standard on all trim levels.

Should that rear seat need to be filled with people, the Yaris does a better job, as its passenger space is relatively generous for the segment. There's a very good chance that two people will be able to fit comfortably in back as long as the driver doesn't have his or her seat pushed all the way back.

Unfortunately, the tall driver in that scenario will have his or her own set of issues. The steering wheel does not telescope, increasing the likelihood of uncomfortably hunching over to achieve an ideal arm bend while steering. One of our test drivers also thought the steering wheel didn't tilt high enough to prevent the wheel from brushing his legs while turning. The driver seat itself also left much to be desired, as multiple test drivers reported constantly shifting during long drives.

At the same time, though, ride comfort has improved for 2015 courtesy of changes made to the suspension and body structure. The Yaris feels a little less brittle over bumps now, while highway noise is also about what you'd expect in this class. Still, there is a general sense of solidity missing from the Yaris that competitors like the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta and the redesigned 2015 Honda Fit possess, especially on the highway, and as a result you have a tendency to feel more vulnerable in this little Toyota. It's a tough feeling to quantify, but it's definitely something to note during back-to-back test-drives on the highway.

2015 Toyota Yaris

What New Features Are Available?
The most basic Toyota Yaris L trim gets more standard features for 2015, including power windows, a height-adjustable driver seat and a 60/40-split folding backseat. These join standard air-conditioning, power locks, a tilt-only steering wheel and two years of factory-scheduled maintenance.

Also standard on every Yaris is the Toyota Entune touchscreen audio interface, which is similar in its general menu structure and design to those found in pricier Toyotas. It controls a six-speaker sound system (many competitors have four or fewer) that boasts HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port with iPod control, and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. It is a bit more user-friendly than the touchscreen found in the Honda Fit and the base MyFord system in the Ford Fiesta, but it's still far from ideal. First and foremost, the on-screen icons that work well in the larger Entune touchscreens found in other Toyotas are too small in this application, increasing the likelihood of errant icon-presses.

Toyota's more advanced Entune App suite is still not available on the Yaris, but a navigation system can be added to any trim level, which is rare for the segment.

The LE trim level adds items like cruise control, power mirrors, keyless entry and 15-inch alloy wheels (versus steel). The range-topping, sport-tuned, and four-door-only SE gets projector headlamps and those LED running lights, plus unique styling cues, 16-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and upgraded cloth upholstery.

Higher-end, but increasingly common items like a rearview camera, leather upholstery and heated seats are not available.

2015 Toyota Yaris

What Is New Under the Hood?
The engines and transmission not only carry over from 2014 to 2015, but they date back to the original Toyota Yaris introduced back in 2007. Now, age doesn't necessarily equate to inferiority, but the four-speed automatic trails well behind its competitors in terms of performance and efficiency. Most competitors in this class have six-speed or continuously variable (CVT) transmissions that do a better job of maximizing performance and fuel economy.

Toyota says this is a proven, reliable transmission that still delivers the same class-competitive fuel economy at 32 mpg combined (30 city/36 highway) it did last year. That may be true, but its CVT-equipped competitors, the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa, manage even better fuel economy.

Meanwhile, having only four speeds significantly hampers drivability. The transmission constantly changes up and down with so few ratios from which to choose, with an accompanying uncouth whine from the 1.5-liter 106-horsepower four-cylinder engine. This would get old during a city-bound commute, let alone on the rolling hills and long grades we experienced on our test-drive.

Needless to say, the five-speed manual transmission is a better choice for getting the most out of the engine and making your daily drive more pleasant (even if some competitors like the Fit and Kia Rio offer six-speed gearboxes). In casual driving, we found the gearbox and clutch to be easy and comfortable to use, while rarely needing to drop down by more than one gear. In performance testing, a manual-equipped Yaris went from zero to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, which is average acceleration for the segment and actually impressive given that the Yaris is considerably less powerful than its competitors.

Opting to row your own also results in slightly better fuel economy at 33 mpg combined (30/37). We averaged 37 mpg on the 116-mile Edmunds evaluation route, which generally produces above-average numbers.

2015 Toyota Yaris

Are There Any Mechanical Changes?
Numerous body-strengthening measures result in a weight loss of 44 pounds for the 2015 Toyota Yaris. There are also numerous suspension improvements including reduced spring rates front and rear, a revised torsion beam in the rear for greater body roll reduction and a solid front stabilizer bar (versus a hollow one).

These changes promise improved handling, and indeed we enjoyed tossing its diminutive, lightweight body around a few mountain road corners on the Edmunds evaluation route. We found its steering to be responsive, direct and precise, and given the admirable grip from its tires, it's a confident and adept little handler. Now, the Yaris still can't match the playful nature and driver communication provided by the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic, but it's certainly more fun than we were expecting.

The SE trim's four-wheel disc brakes performed on par for the segment, bringing the Yaris from 60 mph to a stop in 123 feet. This is actually consistent with the last Yaris we tested with rear drums, but importantly, the cooling provided by the discs resulted in a better resistance to fade after repeated stops.

What About Safety?
Every 2015 Toyota Yaris comes standard with stability and traction control, whiplash-reducing front seats, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front-seat cushion airbags that prevent submarining and a driver knee airbag.

The four-door Yaris received four stars out of five for overall crash protection from the government, with four stars for overall front protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. The two-door model has not been crash tested by the government.

How Much Does It Cost?
The Toyota Yaris base price goes up by between $280 and $490 depending on trim level and body style. A two-door L hatchback with a manual transmission will set you back $14,845, with the automatic adding $725 to the price. The automatic-only four-door L model is $1,100 more.

The two-door LE costs $16,505; the four-door $16,880. Stepping up to the four-door-only SE costs $16,820 with a manual transmission and $17,620 with an automatic.

Apart from the dealer-installed navigation system, there are no options on the 2015 Toyota Yaris.

2015 Toyota Yaris

What Other Cars Should Be Considered?
Ford Fiesta: Unlike the Yaris, this Edmunds "A"-rated subcompact is available in both four-door hatchback and sedan body styles. It also impresses with its refined driving dynamics, quiet and fashionably designed cabin, and abundance of available equipment.

Honda Fit: The Edmunds A-rated Honda Fit is the practicality champion of the segment, with an unmatched amount of passenger and cargo space. In the subcompact segment, the Fit should be the right fit for the greatest number of car shoppers.

Kia Rio: Also available in hatchback and sedan body styles, the Rio offers a more grown-up look and demeanor than its competitors, along with an abundance of standard and optional equipment. If you're looking to get the most stuff for your money and a lengthy warranty to boot, this is a great choice.

Why Should You Consider This Car?
With its generous standard feature content, reasonable price and Toyota's sterling reliability reputation, there's no denying that the 2015 Yaris is a smart, value-rich choice for those after basic transport. Its improvements for 2015 make it more fashionable, better to drive and pleasant to be in.

Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
Simply put, it is outmatched by its competitors in many respects, especially in regards to its cargo area and antiquated four-speed automatic transmission.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2015 Toyota Yaris Overview

The Used 2015 Toyota Yaris is offered in the following submodels: Yaris Hatchback. Available styles include LE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A), L 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A), SE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A), L 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A), LE 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A), L 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M), and SE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Toyota Yaris models are available with a 1.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 106 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Toyota Yaris comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2015 Toyota Yaris comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Toyota Yaris?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Toyota Yaris trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Toyota Yaris L is priced between $11,729 and$11,729 with odometer readings between 54566 and54566 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Toyota Yaris LE is priced between $9,995 and$9,995 with odometer readings between 78168 and78168 miles.

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Which used 2015 Toyota Yarises are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Toyota Yaris for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2015 Yarises listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,995 and mileage as low as 54566 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Toyota Yaris.

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Find a used Toyota Yaris for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $24,942.

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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Toyota Yaris?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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