2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Preview

FAST FACTS
  • All-new entry for 2020
  • Joins Yaris Sedan in Toyota’s small car lineup
  • Rebadged version of the Mazda 2 sold in other world markets
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Standard low-speed pre-collision safety system and active safety system
  • Estimated 40 mpg highway
  • Built in Mexico
  • Available fall 2019

Introduction

Not long ago, the Toyota Yaris was presumed dead, but for 2020 a new hatchback version joins Toyota’s small car lineup, to be sold next to the existing Yaris Sedan. The new Yaris Hatchback is essentially a rebadged Mazda 2, which is sold in other global markets but not available in the United States.

All basic mechanicals from the Yaris Sedan carry over to the hatchback. A single engine choice is offered. The Yaris Hatchback does not offer the standard 6-speed manual transmission as found in the sedan; a 6-speed automatic is the only one available.

2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

Toyota offers just two trim levels for the Yaris Hatchback, which will come in LE as well as XLE trims. While this is more of a city car or eco-friendly vehicle, the XLE version adds a small amount of faux luxury to the interior.

Exterior Features

Toyota has beefed up the 2020 Yaris Hatchback’s structure, as the new model is made of 65% ultra-high-tensile steel. All 2020 Yaris Hatchbacks feature standard 16-in. aluminum wheels along with body-color side mirrors and door handles. A chrome tip on the tailpipe polishes off the look. The power, heated side mirrors of the new Yaris Hatchback feature LED turn signals.

The car’s massive grille lends a bold statement to the overall design of this sleek hatchback. The aggressive nose is not so much unique as it is becoming a recognizable feature of the Toyota brand. At 161.6 inches, the new hatchback model is approximately 10 inches shorter than the 2020 Yaris Sedan.

Interior Features

Inside, the Toyota Yaris Hatchback looks virtually identical to the Mazda 2 upon which it is based. Four passengers can sit comfortably, with a fifth seat in the rear middle available when absolutely needed on shorter journeys.

Compared with the Yaris Sedan, the hatchback provides a little more cargo space behind the second-row seats at 16 cu. ft. The hatchback’s cargo area has even more space with the rear seats folded down. Adding a small dose of luxury, the XLE has leatherette seats and steering wheel. And though it is small on the outside, the 2020 Yaris Hatchback offers ample passenger leg room.

The interior layout is relatively simple, and cupholders take the place of a center console armrest. The infotainment screen resides at the top of the dash, so the driver’s eyes don’t have to deviate too far off the road.

Optional Features

Toyota suggests that both trims of the 2020 Yaris Hatchback come well equipped for a low-cost vehicle, and there’s some truth to this claim. With the infotainment system coming standard as well as a bunch of modern safety tech, the base model is decently loaded. We do know that Bluetooth connectivity and voice command are optional. Stepping up to XLE trim adds upgrades such as leatherette upholstery, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, and LED headlights.

Under the Hood

The Yaris Hatchback is equipped with a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with a driver-selectable Sport mode that Toyota says enhances acceleration.

The car has an estimated top speed of 115 mph and goes 0-60 in 8 seconds, Toyota claims. It has independent MacPherson front suspension and a torsion-beam rear suspension, the latter clearly a cost-saving measure.

Fuel Economy

Toyota estimates that the hatchback version of the Yaris will get the same 40-mpg EPA highway rating as the automatic-transmission Yaris Sedan, though nothing is official at this point. Indeed, 40 mpg is among the best fuel economy for a non-hybrid car. For those who want excellent fuel efficiency but aren’t yet ready for an electric or hybrid car, the Yaris Hatchback may be a compelling option.

Safety

The 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback comes equipped with a low-speed, pre-collision safety feature. The forward-collision warning and mitigation system scans the upcoming road for possible vehicle collisions. If it detects a potential front collision it signals an audio and visual alert, as well as braking assistance. If the driver is not responsive, this system is set to brake automatically for the driver.

Technology

Perhaps owing to the car’s target audience (young urban dwellers), the Yaris Hatchback comes pretty big on tech for a small vehicle. Standard features on the base LE trim include keyless entry and ignition, heated mirrors, a 7-in. touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 6-speaker audio system with 2 USB ports and satellite radio capability.

A navigation system is included, as well, but the driver must purchase an SD card for activation. Bluetooth and voice command are upgrade options for tech in the 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback.

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