A pump-passing 1.5-liter four-cylinder is hooked up to either a manual or automatic transmission.
If you thought the Yaris was hard to spot before, the 2015 version makes anonymity a thing of the past. That’s because Toyota has installed a new front clip on its Euro-styled and built (in France) hatchback that seems almost disproportionate to its diminutive size. It all part of having the automaker’s passenger cars bear a passing resemblance to each other, at least when viewed head-on. Toyota claims they wanted to give the car “just the right touch of mean in its look”. Mission accomplished. Inside, mean gives way to comfort, with upgraded seat covers and a redesigned dashboard that now includes a six-inch touch-screen. In addition the dash and door panels are now covered with soft-touch material. Finally the airbag count has been upped to nine from six and now includes a pair of front seat cushion airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. To dial back some of the Yaris’s ride harshness, Toyota’s engineers have recalibrated the suspension and added more rigidity to the platform. All Yaris models — base two- and four-door L and LE and four-door SE — continue to employ a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. That’s not a lot of grunt compared to the competition, but at slightly more than 2,300 pounds, the Yaris is one of the lightest sub-compacts on the market. Completing the powertrain is a five-speed manual transmission, or a four-speed automatic option. However, maximum fuel efficiency can be achieved with the manual gearbox: 30/37 city/highway values. Base L models provide relatively basic transportation. However air conditioning, power door locks and a four-speaker stereo are included. A more inclusive suite of features is added to the LE, such as power windows and mirrors, remote keyless entry and a six-speaker audio package with Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The top-rung SE adds a sport-tuned suspension, front and rear disc brakes, alloy wheels, six-way adjustable driver’s seat and other distinctive interior and exterior content. For 2015, a navigation system is a dealer-installed option.