2015 Toyota Yaris vs. Its Competition

2015 Toyota Yaris  -  First Drive, September 2014
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

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.

2015 Toyota Yaris  -  First Drive, September 20142015 Toyota Yaris
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2015 Chevrolet Sonic2015 Chevrolet Sonic
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2015 Ford Fiesta2015 Ford Fiesta
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2015 Honda Fit2015 Honda Fit
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2015 Toyota Prius C2015 Toyota Prius C
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Quick Specs
6.8
The 2015 Toyota Yaris gets an eye-catching new face, spruced-up interior trims, and a somewhat quieter interior, but it lags behind the current crop of U.S.-market subcompacts in many ways.
7.6
The 2015 Chevrolet Sonic is comfortable, stylish, safe, and drives well, and almost completely blots out our memory of a much worse Chevy Aveo from the past.
7.6
The 2015 Fiesta lineup is proof that small cars don't have to be feature free, and you can even have a bit of fun while saving fuel.
8.2
The 2015 Honda Fit might not up the ante in sportiness, but it offers up exactly what urban small-car shoppers want in safety and convenience features—and it's still as good as some utility vehicles or vans with its wondrous, unmatched Magic Seat setup.
6.8
The 2015 Toyota Prius C is the least expensive member of the Prius family, but it still manages mega gas mileage and its small size makes it great for crowded cities.
MSRP From    
$14,845$14,245$14,455$15,650$19,540
Gas Mileage    
30 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy29 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy53 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Regular Unleaded I-4Gas I4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Gas/Electric I-4
EPA Class    
Compact CarsSubcompact CarsSubcompact CarsSmall Station WagonCompact Cars
Style Name    
3-Door Liftback Manual L (GS)4-Door Sedan Manual LS4-Door Sedan S5-Door HB Manual LX5-Door HB One (GS)
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/A4N/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
LiftbackSedanSedanHatchbackHatchback
Transmission    
Manual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/ODCVT w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Chevrolet Sonic2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Ford Fiesta2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Honda Fit2015 Toyota Yaris vs. 2015 Toyota Prius C