2017 Toyota Yaris

There’s a new 2017 Toyota Yaris, to be frank, I have never been a fan of the Yaris hatchback; however, I must admit Toyota took me by surprise when it decided to rebrand the Scion iA to Yaris iA. For the uninitiated, the Scion brand is no more as the automaker discontinued it following a run of poor results. By so doing, the automaker has brought a dose of excitement to a name that had little to write home about.  For all I care, the automaker can now discontinue the hatch.  It won’t be a surprise to me if the sedan outdoes the hatch in its first year as a Yaris. The Yaris is Toyota’s smallest and lowest-priced model in the U.S.A. Unlike the hatch, which is offered in L, LE and SE trim levels, the sedan is available in a single trim.  For the 2017 model year, the Yaris will feature the automaker’s “Safety Sense C” package that offers a host of active safety features as standard on all models. Read along to find out more:

2017 Toyota Yaris Exterior

We are accustomed to the 2017 Toyota Yaris being a hatchback; the entry of the sedan brings about a completely different twist to Toyota’s most affordable model in the U.S. In recent years, the Yaris had lost steam, as the automaker has never given the model a comprehensive facelift since its debut in 2012 compared to rival models. However, the entry of the sedan brings about a new form of excitement to the brand.

Frankly speaking, I prefer the sedan’s exterior look compared to that of the hatch. The hatch features a rather restrained stance with a clean and flatter exterior as opposed to swooping lines like its competitors. The front fascia is however stylish. It features a larger trapezoidal grille with a black mesh design. At the center of the grille is a larger Toyota emblem.

Base hatch models are equipped with 15-inch wheels. LE models feature a black grille and 15-inch wheels. It is good to note that all 3-door hatchbacks are offered on the LE trim. The top SE models get 16 inches; they also get a rear spoiler, fog lights and disc brakes for the rear wheels. The Yaris iA sedan is available in a single specification and rides on 16-inch wheels.

2017 Toyota Yaris Interior

The hatch and sedans are driver-centered. The hatch offers only 33 inches of rear legroom with the sedan adding only an inch. The dash of the model has been revised to offer more convenience.  It has a lot of built-in storage compartments such as trays, bins and cup holders. The instrument panel, on the other hand, features soft-touch materials and a metallic and chrome accent trim on higher trims. Top trims of the hatchbacks and the sedan get a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Base models feature a 6.2-inch touch-screen while top trims of the hatch and the Yaris iA sedan get a 7.0-inch touch-screen. To say the truth, the model’s cockpit, which features the upright screen and circular vents, mounted on the top of the dash looks rather upscale; something you would expect in a Mercedes sedan.

All models, however, feature Toyota’s “Safety Sense C” package that offers forward collision warning, lane departure warning and automatic high beams.

The hatch offers only 15.3 cubic feet of space but it can be expanded by folding the rear seats. The sedan, on the other hand, offers 13.5-cubic feet of space, which is not bad for a sedan.

Engine specs and performance

Power output is not the Yaris’s best dancing shoe.  The Yaris hatch continues for the 2017 model year with the same 1.5 L, 4-cylinder engine that produces 106 horses and the same 103 lb-ft of torque.  The power is sent to the front wheels courtesy of a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic system. Models with the automatic transmission are EPA rated at 30 mpg on city and 36 mpg on highway drives while models with a manual gearbox return 30 mpg on city and 37 mpg on highway drives.

The Yaris iA sedan uses the same engine but with a different transmission. The sedan can be had with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The sedan is more frugal with an EPA rating of 37 mpg on combined drives compared to only 33 mpg for the hatch.

Price and release date

The hatchback has a starting price of $17,350 while the Yaris iA starts from $16,815. At this price, the sedan may tempt many buyers to switch over from the hatch. The Yaris models are already available in Toyota dealerships.

Competition

The 2017 Toyota Yaris goes head to head with the likes of 2017 Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Versa Note and Honda Fit.

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