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2015 Toyota Yaris

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/4/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The refreshed 2015 Toyota Yaris gets more aggressive exterior styling, improved cabin materials, standard Entune audio and an available navigation system. Toyota has also retuned the suspension and made the body more rigid to improve cabin refinement.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact two- and four-door hatchback slotting under the Corolla compact sedan. It is sold in three trim levels and in front-drive form.


The 2015 Yaris’ powertrain is a carryover 1.5-liter I-4 making 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque paired to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy remains the car’s forte with manual-equipped models achieving 30/37 mpg city/highway while opting for the automatic drops those numbers down to 30/36 mpg. Performance and handling are poor with a lot of body roll, and weak acceleration from a stop. The decent steering, however, means that the 2015 Yaris is easy to maneuver around tight spaces. Improvements made in ride quality and refinement makes for a quieter cabin that’s more livable.

Interior space is generous, with enough room for four adults but cargo room with the rear seats upright is unimpressive. Available tech features in the 2015 Yaris such as Toyota’s Entune infotainment system and an available navigation unit are not impressive since the versions used on this particular model are the most basic ones available. Comfort inside the car is mediocre at with seats that are “very flat.”

The 2015 Yaris has a four-star overall safety score from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars).

UPDATE: In IIHS evaluations, the 2015 Yaris received a Good score in four categories and Marginal in the small overlap front test (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2015 Yaris excels at being a car that goes from A to B reliably and efficiently. In a First Drive review, we noted that “little has been done to advance it as a car,” making it one of the least competitive subcompacts on the market. Despite the more aggressive exterior styling, the 2015 Yaris doesn’t drive well due to its antiquated powertrain, unimpressive technology, and low-rent interior. The car remains a driving appliance that sacrifices refinement, driving dynamics, and gadgets in the name of reliability, causing it to fall behind in the subcompact segment.

You’ll Like

  • Good fuel economy
  • Room for four adults
  • Small size

You Won’t Like

  • Outdated powertrain
  • Uninspiring handling

Key Competitors

  • Honda Fit
  • Nissan Versa/Versa Note
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Kia Rio


1 star


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