The affordable pricing of the 2017 Toyota Yaris iA almost led me to focus this review on the luxury features it doesn’t have. But this A-to-B subcompact sedan, featuring a 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine with 106 horsepower, surprised me with how much it had to offer.
It boasts a hosts of standard features most drivers expect in new vehicles, including: tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control and power windows, locks and exterior mirrors, rear view back up camera, and a low-speed pre-collision safety system. It also comes standard with front side airbags and curtain airbags to help protect front and rear seat occupants as well as the turn signal indicators on the side mirrors.
Not shabby at all.
The iA is available in six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. For my test drive, I shifted the manual into the high 70s on the highway with no problem. The fabric-trimmed seats, with adjustable headrests in the front and back, had just enough of a bucket seat design to make me feel confident tackling curves, which I did often. The tighter the curve, the more control the car seemed to possess.
The pulse-colored body on 16-inch allow wheels is accented with hexagon lower grille, sharply angled headlights, piano black bumper treatment, and chrome grille surround. Wrapping up the design nicely is the chrome tailpipe. On the inside, the 7-inch touch screen display has most features a driver expects, but using it took some adjusting. I preferred to use the button located between the front seats to navigate the crafty menu. There is no standard navigation system. No worries. I’m not afraid to stop to get directions or plan ahead for my trip.
I did miss having the storage space that usually accompanies the center armrest. There is none. The center area however does include a few strategic storage spaces and tech necessities, including the USB ports and auxiliary. I appreciated the remote keyless entry, but missed the proximity feature.
Basically, I was required to physically push a button on the smart key to open all doors, including the trunk door. In other words, throwing the smart key in my pocket or purse and forgetting about it was not an option. None of the doors unlocked with my mere presence. And there is no button on the trunk door itself for me to push. Sigh. But once open, the trunk was spacious and could be expanded even more with the 60/40 split rear seat.
The lock/unlock issue extended to my passengers who at times thought they were being “held hostage.” They could not easily unlock their doors to get out once I parked the car. The lever was available to them, but they chose to wait for me to hit the driver’s unlock button, opening the doors for everyone. People, sometimes…sigh.
2017 Toyota Yaris iA MSRP $15,950; Combined City/Highway MPG: 34.