Toyota has revealed its smallest sedan, but please don’t call it a Scion. The 2019 Yaris Sedan completes the distancing of the car from its Scion iA predecessor, with Toyota absorbing what was once part of the Millennially-obsessed sub brand. That includes finally dropping the “iA” part of the name.
Still, the styling – and the fact that this is, in fact, a barely-disguised Mazda2, a car which the Japanese automaker doesn’t sell in the US – remain. There’s a new grill for the 2019 model year with a honeycomb mesh insert, new chrome trim and piano black accents, and – on LE and XLE trims – fog lamps and a rear lip spoiler. The Yaris Sedan L trim has power side mirrors; its LE and XLE siblings bake in heating and LED turn-signals too.
The standard engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC gas engine, with 106 HP and 103 lb-ft of torque. As standard, it comes with a six-speed manual transmission, and is good for 35 mpg combined, 32 mpg in the city, and 40 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic gearbox is an option, and nudges down the economy to 34 mpg combined, 30 mpg in the city, and 39 mpg on the highway.
While it may not be as powerful as other cars, Toyota is promising fun on the road nonetheless. That’s partly down to the light overall weight, but Mazda’s short-throw manual gearbox should be fairly enjoyable too. The Yaris Sedan’s “Sport Mode” claims to offer an improvement on “torque feel” when activated, though you probably shouldn’t expect anything too dramatic.
Ventilated disc brakes are used on the front, with drum brakes on the back. There’s more safety tech inside as well, with a low-speed pre-collision protection system that scans the road ahead and can automatically step on the brakes if the driver doesn’t. On LE and XLE trims they’re hidden behind 16-inch dark gunmetal finish alloy wheels.
Inside, there’s a 7-inch touchscreen media system as standard, with Bluetooth and voice control. A reversing camera is standard-fit, while SiriusXM is optional. The L trim has remote keyless angry, while LE and XLE cars get Smart Key. Power windows, a 60/40 split rear seat, and cruise control are all standard. The XLE trim throws in leatherette trimmed front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, auto LED headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers.
Toyota says the new 2019 Yaris Sedan will hit dealerships from fall 2018. No word on pricing at this stage.