2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback front

Toyota rolled out preliminary information on its 2020 Yaris hatchback today, ahead of its public unveiling at the New York International Auto Show later this month. With this update, the Yaris hatchback is now an extension of the Yaris sedan. In the past, they were two very different vehicles. 

The new car will be offered in just two trims, LE and XLE. This change will nudge the model slightly upmarket, and it gives shoppers a more straightforward choice.

The downsides are that the base price is expected to rise, and to get certain features, buyers will need to make a significant step up in price.

Here is what we know so far:

Starting price: $18,000 (estimated)
What it competes with: Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa Note
What it looks like: A Mazda hatchback with a giant Toyota trapezoidal grille.
Powertrain: 106-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder; six-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive.
On-sale date: September 2019

Outside

The styling reflects the car’s Mazda origins. The vehicle wears curves and creases that are evocative of the latest Mazdas. Toyota’s exterior contribution appears to be the large trapezoidal grille, which gives the car the appearance of an angry large-mouth bass.

All versions ride on 16-inch aluminum wheels, a nice upgrade from the 15-inch steel wheels on the outgoing base model. The XLE has automatic LED headlamps.

The new car measures about 6 inches longer than its predecessor, and it rides on a wheelbase that's 2.4 inches longer.

2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback interior

Inside

The cabin has a simple, clean appearance. The central dash has a 7-inch screen that drivers can operate by touch (at very low speeds) or by using a rotary controller that's positioned between the seats. The Mazda interface takes some time to learn, but it's manageable.

The infotainment system is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Drivers can also turn to SiriusXM, USB ports, or the auxiliary input to enjoy music on the six-speaker stereo.

Both the LE and XLE support a navigation system. Buyers must purchase an SD card through the dealership to activate this built-in system.

The higher XLE trim adds leatherlike upholstery, automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake handle.

What Drives It

The Yaris hatch is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower. It is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission; no manual is offered.

The Yaris sedan we tested jogged from 0-60 mph in 10.3 seconds and returned 35 mpg overall. This combination is more pleasant than the four-speed automatic transmission in the old Yaris.

There's also a Sport mode that alters the transmission shifting schedule to create a more spirited drive.  

Safety & Driver-Assist Systems

The Yaris comes with forward collision warning and low-speed automatic emergency braking. 

CR’s Take

Once this new hatchback arrives, both versions of the Yaris will be based on the same car, sold as the Mazda 2 overseas. We found the sedan version to be such a pleasant subcompact that it earned a place as one of our Top Picks for 2019.

The Yaris sedan gets good fuel economy, it’s enjoyable to drive, and unlike most subcompacts, it doesn’t beat up drivers with its harsh ride and loud interior. Standard AEB is the icing on the cake.

2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback rear