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2018 Toyota Yaris iA

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2018 Toyota Yaris iA Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.9

Returning to its small-car roots, Toyota borrows the global Mazda2 platform in a joint venture that results in the very sporty, very stylish and very economical 2018 Toyota Yaris iA subcompact sedan. Mazda’s flair for making an inexpensive interior look elegant is on full display in the Yaris iA, and Toyota has given the car enough visual styling cues to make sure it looks more Toyota than Mazda. While the Yaris iA does come with low-speed collision-avoidance technology, unlike the Toyota-built Yaris, it doesn’t feature Toyota’s more robust Safety Sense C system. Still, the Yaris iA is a fun, inexpensive and feature-rich small car more visually alluring than the Kia Rio and backed by Toyota’s excellent reputation for strong resale and reliability.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for an inexpensive new car with great fuel economy, an attractive interior and lots of cool features all for around $17,000, the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA sedan deserves a test drive. The standard low-speed collision-avoidance system and extensive Toyota dealership network only serve to sweeten the deal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Toyota’s 2018 Yaris iA sedan comes in only one nicely equipped configuration. If you’re looking for more options or choices, you’ll be better off shopping the new Kia Rio. The Ford Fiesta offers a turbocharged model, while the smaller Toyota Yaris hatchback has more standard driver-assist features.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 6.9
  • 7.0
  • 6.8
  • 7.3
  • 6.7
  • N/A
How It Ranks
2018 Toyota Yaris iA Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

The 2018 Toyota Yaris iA carries over with no major changes or updates.

Driving the Yaris iA
2018 Toyota Yaris iA Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Despite its small size and lack of a center armrest, the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA’s interior is actually quite comfortable. Tall drivers will appreciate the 10 inches of seat travel...

... and tilt/telescopic steering column as well as the form-fitting bucket seats. A large screen atop the dash handles all infotainment functions, controlled by a logically placed rotary knob on the lower console. Climate controls are also large and easy to see and use, as are all the backlit buttons at night. Once in motion, the Yaris iA isn’t as dialed in as the Ford Fiesta, but it does deliver a spirited driving experience once you get it up to speed. The little 1.5-liter engine doesn’t have much muscle, but the slick-shifting 6-speed manual makes milking the engine for all it's worth a fun little game. There’s more body roll than we’d like in tight corners, and the cabin can be a bit noisy at speed, but this is an entry-level subcompact, after all.

TOUCH OR REMOTE CONTROLLED INFOTAINMENT
The Yaris iA’s menu-driven infotainment system uses a 7-inch touch-screen display for audio, media, navigation and mobile apps. Once in motion, the touch screen is locked out leaving control in the hands of a rotary push control knob located directly where the driver’s right hand naturally comes to rest.

LOW-SPEED PRE-COLLISION SYSTEM
Effective at speeds up to 18 mph, the Yaris iA’s low-speed pre-collision warning system scans the road ahead for potential trouble and alerts the driver. The system can even activate the brakes and bring the car to a stop.

2018 Toyota Yaris iA Details
2018 Toyota Yaris iA Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Except for the budget-grade headliner, the Toyota Yaris iA’s cabin looks and feels more sophisticated than its entry-level status would suggest. Although the average American might find them a bit snug, the front seats are supportive. Rear legroom is plentiful for this class, and the trunk is roomier than that of a Toyota Corolla. Complaints? Sun visors don’t slide to block the sun, and the push-button ignition system lacks a passive-entry function. This results in a worst-of-both-worlds situation, where you remove the key fob from your pocket or bag only to put it right back in once the doors are unlocked.

Exterior
2018 Toyota Yaris iA photo

The iA’s cleanly styled exterior is highlighted by a bold front fascia treatment set off with Toyota’s now-signature piano-black accenting, prominent character lines, and standard 16-inch alloy wheels. We also found nighttime visibility to be quite good for a car fitted with traditional multi-reflector headlights in lieu of more modern projector-beam units.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every Yaris iA comes standard with cruise control, a 6-way-adjustable driver’s seat, LED turn-signal indicators, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker audio system linked to a 7-inch display and two USB ports. On the safety side of the ledger you’ll find six airbags, the aforementioned low-speed pre-collision system, and a rearview camera.

Optional Equipment

True to its Scion roots, the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA adheres to a mono-spec packaging structure. This means that beyond the transmission and exterior color, your options are limited to dealer-installed options like a center armrest ($195), front doorsill appliqués ($150), a rear spoiler ($365) and a plug-and-play navigation upgrade ($399).

Under the Hood
2018 Toyota Yaris iA Engine photo

The lone engine offered is a Mazda-sourced 1.5-liter, direct-injected 4-cylinder that makes 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. It drives the front wheels through a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic transmission that’ll set you back an extra $1,100 or so. Fuel economy is predictably impressive, scoring EPA combined figures in the mid- to high-30-mpg range regardless of which transmission you choose.

1.5-liter inline-4
106 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
103 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/39 mpg (manual), 32/40 mpg (automatic)

Including destination and delivery charges, the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA begins with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $16,850 and tops out close to $18,500 with an automatic transmission and navigation. Chevy Sonic, Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio base models undercut the iA by roughly $1,500 to $2,000, but end up costing more when comparably equipped. The Ford Fiesta Titanium boasts such standards as leather and heated front seats as well as a more engaging driving experience for a nominal premium of about $1,000. The Nissan Versa SV includes virtually everything found in a loaded iA, for about $500 less. Kelley Blue Book expects the 2018 Yaris iA to hold its resale value better than the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, Chevy Sonic, Hyundai Accent and even the Nissan Versa. Before purchasing, check out KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price, a guide designed to help you land the best deal on a new vehicle.

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