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2020 Toyota Yaris Pros vs Cons

Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Toyota Yaris? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The Toyota Yaris has been on the market for a while now. It has had some hits and misses. So, what does the 2020 Toyota Yaris have to offer? What should you expect from this vehicle? Is it the right hatchback to fit the needs of the average driver, or is the sedan a better match? They are both built off of the Mazda 2's platform and, aside from some obvious physical features, do have some similarities. That being said, let's get into what makes the Yaris stand out.

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 Toyota Yaris has a hatchback variant that is bigger than the previous year's model. It is 6 inches longer, and 2.4 inches get added to the wheelbase. The new hatchback is also estimated to get 40 mpg on the highway, showing Toyota's emphasis on fuel economy. It should prove to be a sportier drive.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Toyota Yaris – The Pros

1. A Lot of Features For the Price

With the hatchback having a starting MSRP of $18,000, the 2020 Toyota Yaris is quite an affordable vehicle. But don't make the mistake of thinking that it is a cheap economy vehicle. Toyota crams a lot of desirable features into the Yaris. There is a 12-volt power outlet in addition to the 2 USB ports. Even the base trims on the hatchback and sedan come with a lot of infotainment and safety features like the Smart Key System for vehicle security and access to SiriusXM Satellite Radio. This is a huge selling point for the Yaris.

2. High-Quality Interior Design

Given that the Yaris is built off the Mazda 2's design, its interior build is quite exquisite. The materials appear to be high-quality and have a pleasant feeling to them. There are enough soft-touch surfaces to balance out hard plastics, and there are no visible gaps in any of the paneling. No shakes, rattles, or rolls will be noticed while driving. Although this clearly isn't a luxury vehicle, there is nothing about it that comes off as cheap and poorly made.

3. The Fuel Economy

One of the best things about the 2020 Toyota Yaris is its fuel economy. It gets an estimated 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Those are some good numbers for a vehicle in this class. Those looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle that will save them money at the pump will definitely be lured in by the Yaris. It will be a top contender in its class this model year.

4. Superb Steering and Handling Capabilities

The Yaris has some seriously remarkable steering and handling capabilities. The steering feels spot-on and gives an appropriate amount of feedback to the driver through the steering column. The handling feels quite spirited and makes for one sporty ride. Sure, the vehicle can be slow to accelerate, but once you've got it going, it can be pretty fun to pilot. You will feel confident in the Yaris' capabilities.

5. A Fantastic Transmission

Buyers might be surprised when they discover just how solid of a transmission the 2020 Toyota Yaris has under the hood. There is a standard 6-speed manual transmission, save for the XLE, which has a 6-speed automatic transmission that is optional on all of the other trim levels. The 6-speed manual is the way to go though. It provides some smooth shifting and works well with the 1.5-L inline 4-cylinder engine. The engine might be a bit underpowered (getting just 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque), but the transmission does its best to make up for it. Those who love driving a stick will be quite pleased with this transmission.

6. Impressive Lateral Support From the Seats

The Yaris has some ridiculously comfortable seats. There is plenty of lateral support built into them, which is something you will not find in a lot of other vehicles. In this segment, it is typically just adequate. But Toyota goes above and beyond to give occupants the comfort and support their bodies need while taking longer rides.

7. An Easy-to-use Climate Control System

The single-zone climate control system might seem kind of basic, but that's all for the better. The 2020 Toyota Yaris is all about simplification of the right things, and this is one of them. The controls are intuitive and placed well within the driver's reach. There is nothing confusing or distracting about how they function. Also, the system does a good job of distributing hot or cold air as prompted.

8. All Controls Are User-Friendly

Let's just be frank: All of the controls are user-friendly. While Toyota might not be giving you the utmost in luxurious features, they do a good job of giving you what you need without making it befuddling to use. Even the optional navigation system is easy for the average driver to use. It's a no-fuss set-up on the dash, and there are enough controls mounted onto the steering wheel for easy use.

9. Crisp Sound From the Audio System

Music lovers will enjoy rocking out to the standard audio system in the 2020 Toyota Yaris. It is not an advanced stereo system by any means, but the sound comes out crystal clear. Go ahead and crank it up to full volume; you will not get any distortion. The same cannot be said of the systems equipped in some of the Yaris' biggest competitors.

10. Apple CarPlay is Finally Available

New for this year is the standard availability of Apple CarPlay. Toyota has been adding this smartphone app integration feature to its vehicles over the last few model years and has found success with doing so. While they still have not added Android Auto, this is a step in the right direction. This feature allows you to access your iPhone's apps with just a few clicks. If you don't get the optional built-in navigation, you can easily use the navigation feature on your phone.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Toyota Yaris – The Cons

1. Slow Acceleration

The biggest problem with the 2020 Toyota Yaris is the engine and its slow acceleration. The 1.5-L takes about 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph, so trying to get up to speed on the highway can be a challenge. Economy vehicles are often slow to accelerate, but the Yaris is especially lackluster.

2. Cramped Space For Taller Drivers

The interior might be nicely upholstered and adorned, but space is horribly limited. Taller drivers will find the Yaris' cockpit to be especially cramped for space. Knees, elbows, and head - all of them will suffer from lack of room. In all honesty, the hatchback is probably going to be too small for any larger adult.

3. Lacks Ride Comfort

Ride comfort is thrown to the wind in favor of a sportier ride. The 2020 Toyota Yaris lets in a significant amount of road imperfections. You will feel every bump, every dip, every jut. While you will not be totally jostled around, you will take note of the imperfections.

4. A Rear-Facing Child Safety Seat Won't Fit In The Back Seat

Hatchbacks will not be ideal for those who have infants needing to be put into rear-facing safety seats. The back seat is actually too small for them to securely fit, and, as most parents know, having one of those seats up front is far from ideal (or safe). You will have to opt for the sedan models (the L, LE, or XLE). Those offer more space, even though they are small sedans.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2020 Toyota Yaris vs. 2020 Honda Fit

The 2020 Toyota Yaris gets some stiff competition from the new Honda Fit. The Fit has a spacious interior for this segment, and it is usually a top choice for buyers because of its design. Compact, yes, but also full of comfort and convenience. The fuel economy on the Fit is superb as well, and there is a huge list of standard infotainment features. Also, the rear seat is configurable in many different ways, allowing for more cargo space if needed. The Yaris just does not compare. However, the Fit does have a few downfalls. First, it does not have a lot of space in the rear seat for taller people. Their heads will come too close to hitting the roof. Second, the brakes are not as effective as what you will find on the Yaris and some of the Fit's other competitors.

2020 Toyota Yaris vs. 2020 Nissan Versa

The 2020 Nissan Rogue is another tough competitor for the 2020 Yaris. The Versa offers an even better starting MSRP (cheaper by a few thousand dollars), which will likely appeal to many buyers. For being as tiny as it is, this vehicle has a spacious rear seat. It glides easily over rough patches in the road, so you will not be inconvenienced by those. The cargo area has more space to it than the Yaris, too, and it is easy to stash a good number of items back there. Unfortunately, the Versa is very much an economy vehicle. The acceleration is poor, the cabin has cheap-looking materials, and the steering wheel is tilt-only.


The 2020 Toyota Yaris is proof that Toyota is trying to remain competitive in a market that is straying farther away from small economy-style vehicles. A lot of people are buying SUVs and trucks, which takes some of the spotlight away from compact vehicles. However, the spotlight should still shine on the Yaris. Even though it doesn't get everything right, it is thoughtfully designed and looks more expensive than it actually is.

Previous Toyota Yaris Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 Toyota Yaris? w/ pros vs cons