The 2018 Toyota Yaris is an affordable subcompact hatchback designed to meet the needs of those on a tight budget. There’s nothing flashy or upscale about the Yaris. This is an economy car and it’s not trying to convince you that it’s anything else.
Power comes from a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque paired to a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual. This is a small car, but that’s not a lot of power. In city driving, the Yaris is fine, but on the highway it is a challenge.
Our test car, which had the 4-speed automatic, worked hard to get up to the speed. Once it got there, it simply didn’t have enough power for confident passing. The Yaris is more at home on city streets.
In fact, city driving is where it excels. The small size of the Yaris makes scooting through narrow city streets crowded with poorly parked cars and delivery vehicles a breeze. Its size also makes it easy to park in even the tightest of spots.
The Yaris comes as either a 2-door or 4-door hatchback in three trims. You can choose either configuration in the L and LE, but the top SE we drove is only available as a 4-door model. Either way, there’s technically room for 5 passengers, but realistically it’s only going to work for 4 adults.
Although the Yaris is small, its hatchback design helps give it versatility for cargo. There’s room for 15.3 cubic feet of cargo in the 2-door model or 15.6 cubic feet in the 4-door. It makes that 4-door more appealing by offering just a bit more cargo room and far easier access for rear passengers.
The three-trim range starts with the base 2-door Yaris L at $15,635 and tops out with the 4-door Yaris SE at $19,060. It’s an incredibly affordable little car and it gets great fuel economy.
Equipped with the manual transmission, the Yaris gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg combined. Choose the 4-speed automatic instead and the numbers change to 30 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined. Those looking for an affordable commuter car will find it in the Yaris.
The 2018 Toyota Yaris is an affordable subcompact that firmly sets its sights on the budget-minded. It’s not fancy, but it does the job. Good fuel economy adds to its long-term affordability and overall appeal for those with a tight budget.