Since its last full redesign for 2012, the Toyota Yaris has been offered only in hatchback form (three- or five-door), and that limits both its reach in the U.S.
market and its range of alternative choices.
Most of the competitors that are offered as hatchbacks are either more engaging to drive or more accommodating or capacious, and even with the Yaris’s bump in features and available navigation it still lags what’s available on most of those cars.
The completely new 2015 Honda Fit continues to be the versatility champ in the lineup, with a phenomenally good ‘Magic Seat’ layout that allows adult-size rear-seat space or a very low, flat seat-folding arrangement.
The Ford Fiesta got new front styling and a redesigned interior last year, and it remains more fun to drive, with more refined, efficient, and sporty powertrain choices—like the improved PowerShift dual-clutch gearbox and the new turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine rated at 37 mpg combined.
The Chevrolet Sonic is the pick of the bunch for those who are refinement or comfort-minded; it has the driving feel of a larger arr, while keeping the sticker price and EPA ratings to keep it competitive in this class.
The Nissan Versa Note has a powertrain that can sound boomy and not all that responsive (due to the way its CVT is tuned); its interior trims are also unimpressive, but it has a smooth ride and makes decent use of interior space.
The nimble, tossable Mazda 2 is the most basic car of the bunch, although it’s a lot of fun to drive—and due to be replaced by a version with more sophisticated styling this next year, by the way.
So far Toyota hasn’t commented on the future of the Yaris beyond this generation, but sources from other markets have reported that the next-generation car, just a couple of years away, will be based on that new Mazda2.
And we can’t help but wonder why Toyota doesn’t weave the Yaris together with the Prius C hybrid—a model that isn’t any less responsive to drive, yet gets much better mileage at an only slightly higher price.
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|2015 Toyota YarisBrowse Used Listings||2015 Chevrolet SonicBrowse Used Listings||2015 Ford FiestaBrowse Used Listings||2015 Honda FitBrowse Used Listings||2015 Toyota Prius CBrowse Used Listings|
|30 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||29 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||53 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded I-4||Gas I4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Gas/Electric I-4|
|Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Subcompact Cars||Small Station Wagons||Compact Cars|
|3-Door Liftback Manual L (GS)||4-Door Sedan Manual LS||4-Door Sedan S||5-Door HB Manual LX||5-Door HB One (GS)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||CVT w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Chevrolet Sonic||2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Ford Fiesta||2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Honda Fit||2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Toyota Prius C|