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Redesigned 2015 Toyota Yaris promises some needed improvements

Changes look to address poor performance in the previous model

Last updated: July 29, 2014 11:45 AM

The redesigned 2015 Yaris will continue to be offered in 3- and 5-door liftback versions, and beneath the fresh skin, Toyota claims it has addressed several shortcomings in the outgoing model. Notably, Toyota has retuned suspension and added sound insulation to make the subcompact quieter.

The small Yaris is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with variable-valve timing. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is optional. Both are tuned for high efficiency, says Toyota. However, fuel economy numbers are not yet available. The previous generation returned 32 mpg overall.

Standard features include air conditioning, a split 60/40 rear seat, power windows and door locks, tilt steering wheel, and daytime running lights. The LE trim adds cruise control, power mirrors, steering wheel audio controls, and remote keyless entry. The SE line turns the Yaris into a sportier ride with LED lights, integrated fog lamps, rear spoiler, and 16-inch alloy wheels (other trims have 15-inch). Inside, the SE has leather-trim and sport fabric.

All models will have Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with 6.1-inch touch screen and HD radio and phone connectivity. A dealer-installed navigation system will also be available as a first-time option.

Pricing starts at $14,845 for the base L model and spans up to $17,620 for the SE with an automatic transmission. Most prices have increased 2-3 percent over the outgoing 2014 model. The Yaris will be built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Onnaing, France.

While very reliable in our surveys, the Yaris performed poorly in our tests due to its interior noise, choppy ride, cheap looking interior, and uncomfortable seats. This new model looks to address some of those issues.  

The Yaris will hit showrooms within the next few weeks, and we’ll be ready to buy one to test at our track to see if it lives up to the promise.

Liza Barth

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