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Toyota Yaris
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Toyota
Overall: After getting a miniscule new nose on the miniscule Yaris, there are no changes planned for 2016; two- and four-door hatchbacks continue.

Drivetrain: A pump-passing 1.5-liter four-cylinder is hooked up your choice of either a manual or automatic transmission.

Toyota is still in the midst of plastering the latest corporate face onto its extensive lineup, but its smallest car went under the knife in 2015. Anonymity a thing of the past. That’s because Toyota installed a front clip on its Euro-styled and built (in France) hatchback that seems almost disproportionate to the car’s diminutive size. It’s all part of having the automaker’s passenger cars bear a passing resemblance to one other, at least when viewed head-on. Toyota claims it 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 includes a six-inch touch-screen. In addition the dash and door panels are covered with soft-touch material. Lastly, the airbag count has been upped to nine from six and 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, which means it doesn’t take much power to get it rolling. Completing the powertrain is a five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic option. However, maximum fuel efficiency can be achieved with the manual gearbox: 30/37 mpg 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. A navigation system is a dealer-installed option.

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