Take a look at the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA, especially from the back. Notice how it does not really look like other Toyota models. Now, look inside the cabin. Apart from the badge on the steering wheel, there is zero family resemblance here. This is because the Yaris iA is designed and manufactured by Mazda. Mazda does not have an equivalent model to the iA in its lineup, but look at this car and you will soon see where the Yaris iA DNA is coming from.
We show this because Mazda is pretty good at assembling small cars. If anything, this Toyota and Mazda partnership is the best scenario of both worlds. First, the Yaris iA benefits from the Mazda approach which results in fun-to-drive characteristics, excellent fuel economy and high-quality, stylish interior design. Secondly, since it was sold by Toyota, the Yaris iA comes standard with plenty of features and is available to more people because of Toyota extensive dealer network.
But it’s best to think twice before choosing the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA. For starters, it does not have much power, even for a class known for being on the slow side. Interior space can also be a problem because the driver’s seat adjustment and the rear seat space are limited. Some people may also regret that there is no hatchback body style or a cheaper base model.
Overall, the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA should be a drive for anyone seeking an affordable subcompact sedan, no matter which company made it.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Toyota Yaris iA is a subcompact sedan that is available in a single well-equipped trim level.
Standard equipment includes keyless ignition and entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, a low-speed forward collision warning system with automatic braking, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories(locks, windows and mirrors), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, and 60/40-split folding rear seats.
On the technology side, you get a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the Mazda Connect tech interface, 7-inch touchscreen with a console-mounted rotary controller, and a six-speaker audio system with voice recognition, streaming radio and a USB interface. is one of the few available options. There are no factory options beyond paint color, transmission and a navigation system.
The 2018 Toyota Yaris iA is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a standard six-speed manual transmission, with a six-speed automatic available at extra cost.
In performance testing, the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA with manual transmission accelerates from zero to 60 mph in slow 8.7 seconds. According to the EPA, the Yaris iA automatic will returns 35 mpg combined (32 city/40 highway), which is very good, though most other subcompacts get similar numbers. The manual is rated at 34 mpg (30 city/39 highway) combined.
You can’t expect a lot of interior improvements from subcompact sedans, but the 2018 Yaris iA still follows the trend and gets high marks for comfort and simple design. The materials used throughout the cabin are similar to those found in more expensive cars, and the touchscreen infotainment system with excessive dial controls also adds more expensive feel. The 7-inch touchscreen is perfectly positioned and has a sharp graph that is easy to read at a glance.
The front seats only have a basic adjustment, but average and shorter passengers are likely to find these seats comfortable for long trips. However, tall drivers may have to compromise, since the short extension of the telescoping steering wheel could force them closer to the dash than they’d like. The absence of a central armrest is a significant drawback for all drivers, although you can order one as a dealer-installed option.
The rear seat space is typical for the class, which means the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA is more suitable for small passengers due to lack of headroom and legroom. Tall door panels and small windows tend to make the room feel more limited. On the bright side, the trunks capacity is above average for the class, with 13.5 cubic feet. The low liftover height and remote seatback release further improve usability.
Release dates and price
As an orphan from the Scion brand, the Yaris iA pricing begins at $16,845 for a six-speed manual and ends at $17,945 with a six-speed automatic (both prices include the $895 destination charge).