Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
At just over $16,000, the 2019 Yaris sedan is Toyota’s most affordable vehicle. This Yaris doesn’t have quite as many safety and driver-assistance features as its similarly named hatchback sibling, but does come with automatic emergency braking. Among rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent, the Yaris stands out with style and a modicum of fun manners.
You'll Like The 2019 Toyota Yaris If...
If you’re looking for a new car that is inexpensive to buy and own, easy to drive, and doesn’t take up much space, the 2019 Toyota Yaris is a good bet. It gets additional points in the style department.
You May Not Like The 2019 Toyota Yaris If...
Rival subcompact sedans like the Kia Forte and Hyundai Accent have more power, great looks, and a strong warranty that lasts 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain, while the Toyota Yaris Liftback has a few more safety features. If you’re just looking for the cheapest new car on the market, that distinction still goes to the Nissan Versa.
The Yaris drops the “iA” from its name and receives an updated grille design. For 2019, the Toyota Yaris sedan is available in three trims, including the XLE that is better equipped with leather accents and Leatherette upholstery.
The Toyota Yaris’ cabin looks and feels more sophisticated than its entry-level status would suggest. As this is basically a Mazda, this is a welcome surprise, as Toyota’s partner in this vehicle has been designing some fine cabins the past few years. Although the average American might find them a bit snug, the Yaris’ front seats are supportive. Rear legroom is adequate for this class, and at nearly 13.5 cubic feet, the trunk is roomy. Standard 60/40-split-folding rear seats add to the utility factor. The new, top-line XLE trim grants upgraded materials that include leather-trimmed steering wheel and Leatherette seats.
If you mistake the Yaris’ swoopy, stylistic lines for that of a Mazda, you’d have good reason: The Yaris wears a Toyota badge for sure, but it is based on the Mazda2 built by the smaller Japanese automaker. Mazda’s current design philosophy is quite appealing to our eyes, and we think it benefits the Toyota in this joint venture (the Mazda2 sedan is not sold in the U.S.). The Yaris does feature Toyota’s massive grille, a trapezoidal maw up front that is updated with a honeycomb insert for 2019. Your eyes will know if they like it or not. Base L and mid-trim LE models have halogen headlights, while the top-line XLE has brighter LEDs with automatic on/off. Base Yaris L trims have 15-inch steel wheels, while the LE and XLE wear nicer 16-inch alloys.
With only 106 horses under the hood, the Yaris won’t be winning many street races. Then again, this is a smaller car with not a lot of weight to move, so it doesn’t feel sticky-slow, either. Most buyers will opt for the automatic transmission, a refined 6-speed that matches well with this engine. If you’re willing to put in the effort or simply like more engagement, the 6-speed manual transmission is easy to use and will help you wring a bit more out of the Yaris’ little 4-cylinder engine. The Yaris will tolerate being pushed in corners and may just make you smile a bit doing it. At higher speeds the cabin can be noisy. This is a subcompact sedan, after all. It is fine for shorter, in-city jaunts, but if you do a lot of highway driving or have a longer commute, you’ll appreciate stepping up a size or two, even if it’s just to a Corolla.
The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $16,370, including the destination charge. The mid-trim Yaris LE starts at $17,370. If you want an automatic transmission, plan on adding another $1,100 to these numbers. At the top, the Yaris XLE starts at $19,470 and includes the automatic transmission. That makes even a well-equipped Yaris an attractive offering of a new car that’s less than $20,000. Still, even at these affordable prices, the Yaris is on the higher end among rivals such as the Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta and Nissan Versa. If you want a small Toyota hatchback, the Yaris Liftback variant is just a tad more. Before buying your new small car, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Toyota Yaris’ resale value is expected to be about average.Can you afford an upgrade? Consider the 2019 Toyota CorollaOK, so what’s next?I’m interested in the newest version of this car. What’s for sale near me?I’m interested in this car, and I’d like to trade in my current car while I’m at it.Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.Planning to lease? Read the KBB Complete Guide to Leasing first!Before you buy: Understand how rebates and incentives workBonus Content: Is it better to shop at the end of the month?
For 2019, the Toyota Yaris sedan comes in three trims, rather than the single one for last year’s model. At its most basic, the Yaris L includes the basics like power windows and door locks, 6-way-adjustable driver’s seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, push-button start, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, AM/FM/satellite/HD Radio, two USB ports and Bluetooth streaming. Unlike rivals such as those from Kia and Hyundai, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration is not available on the Yaris. The Yaris’ safety features include six airbags and the low-speed pre-collision system, which can automatically apply the brakes at speeds of 18 mph or less.
An automatic transmission is optional on the L and LE (and standard on the XLE). Otherwise, most major options come by climbing trims. Yaris LE models add smart-key keyless entry, 16-inch wheels, fog lights, heated outside mirrors and a rear spoiler. The well-equipped Yaris is the XLE, which has Leatherette upholstery, genuine leather-covered steering wheel, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic climate control. Opting for the XLE also gets you the automatic transmission as standard. All models can have their infotainment system upgraded to include navigation for about $400.
TOUCH OR REMOTE-CONTROLLED INFOTAINMENTThe Yaris’ menu-driven infotainment system uses a 7-inch touch-screen display for audio, media, navigation and mobile apps. Once in motion, the touch screen is locked out leaving control in the hands of a rotary push control knob located directly where the driver’s right hand naturally comes to rest. LOW-SPEED PRE-COLLISION SYSTEMEffective at speeds up to 18 mph, the Yaris’ low-speed pre-collision warning system scans the road ahead for potential trouble and alerts the driver. If a collision seems imminent, the system can activate the brakes and bring the car to a stop.
Under the Hood
The lone engine offered in the 2019 Yaris sedan is a Mazda-sourced 1.5-liter, direct-injected 4-cylinder that makes 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. It drives the front wheels through a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is predictably impressive, scoring up to the 40-mpg mark with the automatic and an impressive 39 mpg via the manual.1.5-liter inline-4106 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm103 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/39 mpg (manual), 32/40 mpg (automatic)
The 2019 Yaris subcompact sedan is Toyota’s most affordable vehicle. At just over $16,000, it slightly undercuts the Yaris Liftback. Although the two models have similar names — this one just dropped “iA” from its moniker — they are quite different. The Yaris sedan is borrowed from the global Mazda2 platform in a joint venture. The result is a stylish, sporty, efficient and economical car that is especially well suited for younger drivers and those with shorter commutes. This Yaris doesn’t have quite as extensive a list of safety and driver-assistance features as its hatchback sibling, but does come with automatic emergency braking. Among rivals like the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Hyundai Accent and Nissan Versa, the Yaris stands out with style and a modicum of fun manners.