Saturday, 22 June 2024

2019 Toyota Yaris is a modern, fuel-efficient subcompact Featured

Posted On Sunday, 09 June 2019 13:36 Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
For those seeking an affordable commuter car, the tiny Toyota Yaris offers strong tech features, excellent fuel mileage and an affordable price range.. For those seeking an affordable commuter car, the tiny Toyota Yaris offers strong tech features, excellent fuel mileage and an affordable price range.. Photo by Matt Myftiu/

As trends continue toward SUVs and larger vehicles, there remains a vehicle class that is still doing its best to stick around, and it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum — the subcompact car.
While its ranks are thinning (i.e. Ford Fiesta is saying goodbye), there are still plenty of automakers dedicated to keeping the littlest vehicles in their lineups around and fighting for whatever piece of the overall market they can maintain.

One longtime competitor in this segment is the Toyota Yaris, which battles a bevy of opponents — including Chevy’s Sonic and Spark, Hyundai Accent, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, MINI Cooper and the Kia Rio. After spending some time in a 2019 Yaris, I’m back with a full report of how this miniature ride measures up. 


Let’s get the one glaring fact out of the way. Being a subcompact sedan, you’re not going to get much use, if any, out of the back seat in terms of passengers. It’s best to think of the back seat as a glorified storage area, and call this one a two-seater. I suppose it’s possible to sit there, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are very tiny.

Toyota’s funky exterior designs are pretty divisive; most people will love the look of the Yaris, or think the polar opposite. I’ll leave that judgment up to the eye of the beholder.

The Yaris (or any subcompact, really) is not a vehicle I’d recommend for anyone who is overly tall.

On the inside is where the Yaris shines, with high-quality materials offered, including a comfortable SofTex leatherette interior. It’s a small vehicle but it doesn’t feel cheap. It’s well put-together and has a well thought-out interior setup. You can also opt for a leather shift knob and parking brake, as well as a leather steering wheel.

The 2019 Yaris features automatic LED headlights and Daytime Running Lights, halogen fog lights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Almost universally, vehicles of this stature are not going to boast much power. The Yaris offers a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, which can be paired with either automatic or manual transmission. The Yaris’ output is just 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque.

While i don’t expect miracles from this type of vehicle in the performance department, these numbers, and the vehicle’s overall acceleration and power, do trail some of the competition in the subcompact realm.
While it’s not powerful, a Sport drive mode does enhance the driving experience some. Handling is impressive, it’s a very agile vehicle due to its size, and it will fit in all parking spots. There is even some utility to it, as the trunk is large enough for a healthy-sized grocery run.

The Yaris is a front-wheel drive ride in all trim levels, and features 16-inch wheels.

Small does not equal unsafe. That’s clear from the Yaris’ nearly perfect government safety ratings, a hallmark of Toyota vehicles.

It also features lots of great safety systems for the segment, including: low-speed pre-collision system; dynamic stability control; traction control; anti-lock brakes; and brake assist. A helpful rearview backup camera gets you out of parking spots safely, and a tire pressure monitoring system is also included.

Based around a 7-inch color touchscreen display, the infotainment system is controlled by a knob in center console. It proved quite easy to use. Entertainment options include: AM, FM, HD Radio, Satellite radio (3 months free), and Bluetooth connectivity for calls and music streaming. There is an AUX port, 2 USB ports, and a responsive voice recognition system. 

Controls for audio, cruise and phone are also included on the steering wheel.

Official fuel mileage numbers on the 2019 Toyota Yaris are 32 city/40 highway/35 combined, making it one of the best in the subcompact class. My experience was slightly lower, but it is still a strong performer in this category.
While those who need power may pass on the Yaris, buyers who seek long waits between trips to the gas pump will have a more positive reaction.

The 2019 Yaris comes in three trim levels: L, LE and XLE. The XLE that I tested came in at $19,470, while the base price starts about $16K. Any way you cut it, this is one of the more affordable vehicles you can buy in today’s automotive world.

Committing to an extra-small vehicle takes a certain type of person — but for those whose lifestyle it fits, or those simply wanting an affordable commuter car, the Toyota Yaris is one of the better options in the segment.
There’s lots of features included, it’s high-tech, offers stellar fuel mileage and is quite affordable. As long as you’re OK with the limited size and lack of power, the rest of the vehicle impresses highly.

AutoTechReviews can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Search Reviews by Make

AutoTechReviews  is your home for In-depth reviews of the latest cars, trucks, and SUVs; information on all the emerging vehicle technology; and breaking news from the world of NASCAR and other motorsports.