The 2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback revealed Monday had few surprises for budget carbuyers.
Gone is the frumpy three- and five-door hatches from Toyota's not-too-distant past, replaced this year with a sharper Yaris frame that's built by Mazda in Mexico—like the 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan. The new Yaris hatchback, also like the sedan, relies on power from a 1.5-liter inline-4 that makes 106 horsepower that's mated exclusively to a 6-speed automatic that drives the front wheels only. A sport button sharpens the throttle response, but speed isn't the Yaris hatchback's first mission.
The powertrain's bragging right is 40 mpg on the highway, according to Toyota. The headline on interior space? Nearly 16 cubic feet of cargo storage behind the second row. The price? Toyota isn't yet saying, but it shouldn't fall far from a comparably equipped 2019 Toyota Yaris LE sedan, which costs $18,480 including $930 for destination.
With the 2020 Yaris, Toyota has a newer entry among small compact cars that maximize efficiency at a lower price.
This year's Yaris is 2.4 inches longer between the wheels than the outgoing model, which offered a scant 33.3 inches of rear seat leg room to passengers. Toyota didn't say how much leg room rear-seat riders in the 2020 Yaris hatchback would get, but the related sedan sports 34.4 inches of leg room—enough for short adults or children. Inside, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, two USB chargers, and cloth upholstery are standard on LE models and can be upgraded to synthetic leather upholstery, automatic climate control, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel on XLE models. Toyota said both trim levels are mono-spec, which means options from the factory won't be available.
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On the outside, the Yaris hatchback clearly draws a line to the Yaris sedan in its nose and shape. From the front doors forward, the sedan and hatchback are nearly identical. The rear liftgate on the Yaris hatchback skips the racy taillights from the Corolla hatchback and offers a relatively tidy rear end, albeit with a small cutout to load gear.
Every Yaris hatchback will be equipped with low-speed automatic emergency braking, but will skip active lane control and adaptive cruise control found on other Toyota models.
The Yaris hatchback will make its debut at the 2019 New York International Auto Show in April and will go on sale in September.