Adding a dose of visual spark along with a handful of upgrades to its standard and optional equipment lists, the 2015 Toyota Yaris returns in base L, LE and sporty SE trims as well as 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks. Model year changes for Toyota's front-drive subcompact include a recast front fascia highlighted by a bigger, bolder grille treatment and revamped headlamps.  

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New dash, touchscreen

Inside of its cabin, the Yaris boasts a redesigned dash complemented by additional soft-touch surfaces and revamped trim. All versions feature air conditioning as well as a 6-speaker  Entune Audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, HD Radio with iTunes Tagging, AUX jack,  USB port with iPod connectivity/control, hands-free phone capability, voice recognition, and music streaming via Bluetooth. For the first time, the Yaris also will offer a navigation system as a dealer-installed option.

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Stiffer structure

Less obvious but no less meaningful, the 2015 Yaris benefits from a reinforced body structure, retuned suspension, quicker-ratio electric power steering and an extra helping of sound deadener which promise to give the car a smoother, quieter and more dynamic character. All versions of the Yaris are fitted with the existing 106-horsepower/1.5-liter VVT-i 4-cylinder engine. While the 4-speed automatic transmission carries over unchanged, the 5-speed manual - standard issue in the 3-door Yaris L and 5-door Yaris SE - has been LE - is now linked to a new hydraulic clutch.  

The 2015 Toyota Yaris lineup goes on sale later this month. Base pricing will range from $15,255 for a 3-door L model to $18,165 for a range-topping 5-door Yaris SE with automatic transmission.

More Subcompact Cars...

The 2014 Chevy Spark is the only minicar to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating

The 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth will offer a new 6-speed automatic transmission  

The 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost gets a class-best 45 mpg on the highway



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