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2019 Toyota Yaris Review

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The 2019 Toyota Yaris packs style into a (very) small size. The subcompact Yaris is one of the most affordable small cars on the market, though there are roomier rivals for less. The 2019 version is offered as a sedan only, but Toyota is working on a 2020 Yaris that will be offered as a hatchback or sedan, so it might be worth waiting to see the new model before finalizing your choice. In the meantime, here’s what you should know about the 2019 Toyota Yaris.

2019 Toyota Yaris pricing and trims

The 2019 Toyota Yaris has a starting manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) of $15,600. The car comes in three distinct trims, with the highest grade XLE fetching a starting price of $18,700. The upper trims add to or replace the features offered on the trim below it.

Base MSRP $15,600 $16,600 $18,700
Features 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, halogen headlights, 15-inch wheels, two USB ports, backup camera, 7-inch touch screen, remote keyless entry system with push button start Fog lights, heated power side mirrors with LED turn signals, rear spoiler, 16-inch split-spoke alloy wheels, Smart Key System LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, leatherette six-way adjustable driver’s bucket seat with contrast stitching, automatic climate control, leather-trimmed steering wheel

*Prices listed are the lowest MSRP for each trim, and do not reflect optional upgrades. Feature list is not exhaustive.

Automatic or manual transmission: Manual transmission comes standard on the L and LE trims while automatic drive is your only option on the XLE. If fuel efficiency is one of your main priorities, you may want to go for the automatic transmission — it gets better mileage than the manual. The automatic transmission also gives drivers the option to toggle between “normal” and “sport” modes. However, the automatic transmission does come with a higher upfront cost than the stick-shift models.

When you’re shopping for a car, think of the MSRP as a rough guideline of what the vehicle might cost. What you actually end up paying will depend on a variety of factors, such as when and where you purchase the vehicle. You may even end up paying less than the MSRP. Industry guides, such as NADAguides or Kelley Blue Book, can give you a sense of a fair market price for a Yaris in your area.

How will you pay for the car? Many drivers rely on an auto loan to get behind the wheel of their dream car. However, don’t just accept an offer from a dealership without shopping around first. Dealers often increase customers’ APRs. Check the rates you can get from other potential lenders, such as Toyota financing, online lenders or a bank or credit union. You can also get up to five potential car loan offers from lenders on LendingTree, depending on your creditworthiness.

2019 Toyota Yaris safety

The 2019 Toyota Yaris earned an overall five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave the car good scores in crashworthiness, but noted that the headlights and child seat anchors needed improvements.

The Yaris comes equipped with six airbags, three-point seatbelts, a first-aid kit, tire pressure monitoring system, child-protection locks in the back and a low-speed pre-collision system. Toyota has not made its safety technology package, Toyota Safety Sense, available on the Yaris. If your budget will allow it, you might want to look at the 2020 Toyota Corolla, which does come with standard Safety Sense at a starting MSRP of $19,600. However, all three trims of the 2019 Toyota Yaris come with Toyota’s Active Safety System, which includes the following features:

  • Dynamic stability control. Uses the car’s brakes to help drivers avoid slipping or spinning out.
  • Traction control system. Reduces engine torque and applies the brakes to reduce the risk of losing traction.
  • Brake assist. Applies firmer brakes in an emergency braking situation.
  • Electronic brake-force distribution. Improves the stability and balance of the car when braking.
  • Anti-lock brake system. Monitors each wheel and automatically releases and reapplies the brakes when it predicts a wheel is about to lock up.
  • Brake override system. When the driver steps on the brake pedal and the accelerator at the same time, this system ensures that the brakes get priority.

2019 Toyota Yaris competitor comparison

The Yaris has competition from a wide field of subcompact and compact cars, some of which have higher expert scores and lower MSRPs. It might be worth considering other options as you hunt for the perfect car. Here’s how the Yaris stands up to some of its biggest subcompact competitors:

2019 Toyota Yaris vs. Competitors
2019 Toyota Yaris 2019 Nissan Versa sedan 2019 Ford Fiesta sedan
MSRP $15,600 $12,460 $14,260
Expert Scores 3.6 3.7 4.2
Fuel Economy 34/30/39 MPG 30/27/36 MPG 30/27/35 MPG
Standard Features 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, two USB 2.0 ports, backup camera, 7-inch touchscreen display 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, RearView Monitor, 7-inch touchscreen monitor, power mirrors 1.6-liter Ti-VCT I-4 engine, SYNC navigation and entertainment system, rear view camera

*The MSRPs here list the price for the base trim of each car with manual transmission. Expert scores are an average of Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds expert ratings, when available. The standard features section highlights a few of the features included on the entry-level trim of each car at no additional cost. The features list is not exhaustive. Fuel economy is combined/city/highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

The bottom line on the 2019 Toyota Yaris

If you’re looking for a new subcompact sedan at an affordable price, the 2019 Toyota Yaris may be a worthwhile choice. It packs a variety of features in its lowest level trim. The LE and XLE trims have sporty designs (like a rear spoiler) that can make the car more appealing to style-conscious drivers. Keep an eye out for the 2020 Toyota Yaris, though. Its improvements in technology and space (and the fact that it’s available as a hatchback) might make it even more exciting to buyers in the market for a new car.


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