2019 Toyota Yaris Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
In the market for a stylish, fuel-efficient car? The 2019 Toyota Yaris is a strong contender in the subcompact arena, offering fantastic fuel economy and a strong set of standard features. But how does it stack up to the competition? The Yaris has a lot to offer prospective buyers, but there are pros and cons to be aware of before you decide whether the 2019 Yaris is right for you — so read on for a full breakdown.
What’s New for 2019?
Toyota has made a few tweaks to 2019 Yaris lineup. While the Yaris is still available in both sedan and hatchback versions, the naming scheme has been simplified. Previously, the sedan version was dubbed the Yaris iA — but is now simply the Yaris sedan.
In addition to this naming simplification, the Yaris sedan is now offered in three trim levels; last year there was only one. These new higher trim levels introduce features that previously were not available, including auto climate control, fog lights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and leatherette front seats.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Toyota Yaris – The Pros
1. Fuel efficient performance
One of the biggest pros of the 2019 Toyota Yaris is its excellent fuel efficiency. Powered by a direct-injection 1.5 liter engine, the sedan version with automatic transmission achieves an EPA-estimated 40 mpg highway and 32 mpg city. The manual transmission version offers a slightly lower 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. Even within the fuel-efficient subcompact class these are impressive numbers.
2. Comfortable upscale interior
The upscale interior finishes of the Yaris create a comfortable and well-designed cabin feel. Many materials are pleasantly soft to the touch, and reviewers have commented that the finishes make it feel more upscale car than its price suggests. Standard features like two USB ports, voice recognition, and HD radio add to the interior experience. Reviewers have also pointed out that the fit and finish of the sedan is somewhat better than on the hatchback.
3. Smart & stylish exterior
The 2019 Toyota Yaris features exterior styling that is sure to raise a few eyebrows with its streamlined silhouette and a sporty race-inspired grille. Other sporty accents include chrome-tipped exhaust as well as a rear lip spoiler on the LE and XLE trims.
4. Great ride and handling
Boasting a MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear suspension, the Yaris is designed to offer agile handling and an exceptionally smooth ride that make it a great commuter car — and a fun to drive, too. Reviewers give the Yaris high points for handling, pointing out its engaging steering and excellent responsiveness.
5. Active Safety System
Even though it is a subcompact car, the 2019 Toyota Yaris does not skimp when it comes to driver and passenger safety. Its standard Active Safety System includes a suite of advanced features centered around enhancing stability, traction, and braking. These include dynamic stability control (DSC), a traction control system (TCS), brake assist (BA), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), anti lock braking (ABS), and a brake override system (BOS).
6. Low-Speed Pre-Collision System
Another standard safety feature on the Yaris is its low-speed pre-collision system, which monitors the road directly in front of you to help prevent a collision with another vehicle. While only active at low speeds, this system provides an audio/visual alert and braking assistance when it detects and potential collision. In the event the driver doesn’t respond at all, the system can even automatically apply the brakes.
7. 7-in. touch-screen multimedia system
The 2019 Toyota Yaris offers more than just safety and performance as standard, as made clear by the inclusion of a standard 7-inch touch-screen multimedia system. The system allows you to access music, your contacts, and more. Bluetooth and voice recognition are included. There’s also a second option for interacting with the system via a control knob location between the two front seats.
8. Smart Key System
With the LE and XLE trims, the Yaris offers a very convenient feature that allows you lock or unlock the doors simply by touching the handle. This is another feature, that while not standard, makes the Yaris feel much more upscale than its price and subcompact class might suggest.
9. Rain-sensing windshield wiper
As an additional safety feature, the 2019 Toyota Yaris XLE offers rain-sensing windshield wipers which adjust their speed to match the intensity of the rain and the car’s speed. This may not seem that important, but it means one less distraction while driving in bad weather.
10. Heated power side mirrors
For convenience as well as safety, the Yaris LE and XLE feature an integrated heating element that help combat the menaces of fog and ice on your side mirrors. The side mirrors also boast LED turn signal indicators for added safety and visibility. This is yet another example of a feature that you might not expect from a car of this size or price point.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Toyota Yaris – The Cons
1. Lackluster acceleration
The lack of accelerating power offered by the Yaris is the chief complaint from reviewers. While this was not much of an issue for city driving, some felt it was underpowered for highway driving or traveling uphill. One reviewer noted that the 106-horsepower offered by the Yaris falls behind its competition in this area, with other cars in the class offering engines with more power — as well as an automatic transmission that shifts more smoothly.
2. Interior space shortcomings
While offering upscale finishes, the interior of the 2019 Toyota Yaris is lacking when it comes to interior space for both passengers and cargo. The rear seats can feel cramped even in the hatchback version, which does offer some additional cargo space in comparison to the sedan. In both the sedan and hatchback, storage for small items is limited. Another limit is imposed by the split-folding 60/40 rear seats don’t actually fold all the way flat, which can be an issue when loading some types of cargo.
3. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
Unlike some of its competitors, the 2019 Toyota Yaris does not offer either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Drivers who are used to having this integration may find it difficult to give it up in the Yaris.
4. Hatchback transmission poor performance
Drivers considering the hatchback version should consider some shortfalls noted by reviewers. The hatchback offers a different transmission than the sedan does — a four speed automatic rather than a six speed in the sedan. Reviewers noted this as a significant drawback, as the four speed does not make good use of the engine’s power. The four speed also hampers fuel efficiency.
5. Hatchback interior fit & finish falls short
The interior is another area where reviewers took note of the hatchback version’s shortcomings, with the fit and finish simply falling short of that found in the sedan. While this is a definite con for those looking at the hatchback version, the overall feel of the interior is still upscale when compared to many of its competitors.
How it stacks up to the competition:
The 2019 Toyota Yaris faces some worthy competitors in the subcompact segment of the market. Fortunately its strong set of standard features, excellent fuel economy, and stylish cabin place it ahead of several of them.
The 2019 Hyundai Accent also offers a nice interior, but the ride quality falls short of the Yaris. It also can’t match its impressive fuel economy.
The 2019 MINI Cooper, though definitely offering style and good handling, makes the rear seats of the Yaris seem positively roomy in comparison. And its cargo capacity is comparatively weak, too.
The 2019 Toyota Prius c is another offering from Toyota in the subcompact class and beats the Yaris on fuel economy, but falls short elsewhere. In particular it has been taken to task by reviewers for subpar interior quality and an unacceptable amount of noise at highway speeds.
The 2019 Toyota Yaris is a definite buy in the subcompact category. Its strongest merits are its excellent fuel economy and a surprisingly upscale interior. It also offers a set of standard features that few of its competitors offer. Combined with its ride quality, the Yaris is an excellent commuter car, especially for those who will primarily be driving in the city. For its price and size it is easy to overlook its few shortcomings.
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