Toyota Yaris: Models, Years, Specifications & More

Brief History of the Toyota Yaris

According to Toyota Yaris – Wikipedia, the Toyota Yaris was first introduced in 1999 as a subcompact car to replace the Starlet. It was initially launched in European and Japanese markets as a 3 and 5-door hatchback.

The Toyota Yaris has evolved over four different generations, with the first generation produced from 1999-2005, second generation from 2005-2011, third generation from 2011-2020, and the current fourth generation launched in 2020. Each new generation brought improvements in safety, technology, and efficiency.

According to Toyota Yaris history: our super supermini | Magazine | Toyota UK, the Yaris started as a budget city run-around but has grown to become a more premium hatchback, now equipped with features like touchscreen infotainment and advanced driver aids. The Yaris continues to be a popular choice for urban drivers seeking an efficient and maneuverable car.

Yaris Generations

The Toyota Yaris has gone through four generations since it was first introduced in 1999.

The first-generation Yaris was sold between 1999 and 2005. Also marketed as the Toyota Echo in some markets, this first generation was available as a 3-door or 5-door hatchback. It was powered by a 1.0L or 1.3L 4-cylinder engine. The first generation Yaris was known for its affordable price, excellent fuel economy, and reliable nature. It was named 2000 European Car of the Year 1.

The second generation Yaris was sold between 2005 and 2011. It continued as a 5-door hatchback model, though a 4-door sedan variant was also introduced. The second generation brought more power from a 1.3L or 1.5L engine option, as well as improvements in safety, technology, and interior amenities. The fuel efficiency remained excellent with an EPA rating of up to 36 mpg highway.

The third generation Yaris ran from 2011 to 2020. This generation saw the debut of the hybrid powertrain for improved efficiency. The Euro-influenced exterior styling was more modern and athletic. Interior space increased slightly, and new tech features like a touchscreen interface were added. The sedan body style continued for this generation.

The current fourth generation Yaris debuted in 2020. Only the hatchback body style is offered. It features more dramatic, sporty styling and improved driving dynamics. The fourth gen Yaris is powered by a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine with options for a manual or CVT automatic transmission. As with previous generations, excellent fuel economy ratings are a highlight.

Yaris Models

The Toyota Yaris has been sold as both a hatchback and sedan model over the years. The body styles have differed between generations:

The first generation Yaris, sold between 1999-2005, was available as a 3-door or 5-door hatchback. It was marketed as the “Yaris” in Europe and Asia and as the “Echo” in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and parts of Latin America [1].

The second generation Yaris, sold between 2005-2011, was offered as both a 3-door and 5-door hatchback. A 4-door sedan model was also introduced in some markets.

The third generation, sold between 2011-2020, saw the Yaris hatchback discontinued in the US market. Only the 4-door Yaris sedan was offered.

The latest fourth generation Yaris, introduced for 2020, brought back the hatchback body style for North America. The 4-door sedan continues to be sold in some markets outside the US.

Within the hatchback and sedan models, the Yaris has been sold in different trim levels such as L, LE, SE and XLE. Higher trims offer additional features and options compared to the base models.

Yaris Engines

The Toyota Yaris has been offered with a range of 4-cylinder gas engines over the years. The early models from 2000-2005 came with a 1.5L 1NZ-FE engine making 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque (Toyota Yaris (XP150)). From 2006-2011, Toyota offered a larger 1.8L 2ZR-FE engine in the Yaris making 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque (2020 Toyota Yaris Review, Pricing, and Specs).

The third generation Yaris launched in 2012 came with a new 1.5L 2ZR-FE engine producing 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. This carried over to the current fourth generation Yaris as well (Toyota Yaris Specifications – Dimensions, Configurations, …). Some markets outside the US also offered a 1.3L 2NZ-FE engine making 98 hp and 94 lb-ft of torque.

In 2021, Toyota introduced a performance-oriented GR Yaris model exclusively for the Japanese market. This uses a turbocharged 1.6L 3-cylinder engine producing 257 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.

Yaris Transmissions

The Toyota Yaris was available with both manual and automatic transmission options depending on the model year and trim level. The base models typically came standard with a 5-speed manual transmission. Higher trim levels offered a 4-speed automatic transmission as an option.

Here are some key details on the Yaris transmissions:

  • The 5-speed manual transmission was standard on most models. It provided good fuel economy and peppy performance.
  • Some models had an optional 4-speed automatic transmission. This added convenience but slighty reduced fuel economy compared to the manual.
  • Later models got upgraded to a 6-speed manual transmission for smoother shifting. The automatic was also upgraded to a 5-speed in certain model years.
  • The manual transmission had a reverse gear integrated into the 5-speed gearbox. The automatic had a separate reverse gear.
  • Some performance-oriented versions like the Yaris S had a modified manual transmission with shorter gear ratios for quicker acceleration.
  • The number of gears offered improved over time as Toyota updated the Yaris powertrains. More gears helped optimize fuel efficiency and performance.

In summary, Toyota offered both manual and automatic options for the Yaris, with the gear count increasing from 4 and 5 speeds initially up to 5 and 6 speeds in later models. This gave buyers a choice between sporty manual shifting or convenient automatic driving. (Source)

Yaris MPG

The Toyota Yaris is very fuel efficient for a small car. According to Toyota, the latest 2020 Yaris gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. This makes it competitive with other subcompact cars like the Honda Fit which gets 29 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.

Real world MPG reports from owners seem to confirm Toyota’s estimates. On, Yaris drivers report an average of 32 mpg city driving and 40 mpg highway driving based on over 2,000 reports. This puts the Yaris near the top of fuel efficiency for subcompact hatchbacks.

Yaris Dimensions

The Toyota Yaris is a compact car known for its maneuverability and efficiency. Here are the key dimensions for the different Yaris models and generations:

The current 2021 Toyota Yaris measures 3,940 mm long, 1,745 mm wide, and 1,500 mm tall. The wheelbase of the latest Yaris is 2,550 mm. Ground clearance comes in at 133 mm.

Earlier generations of the Yaris have had similar dimensions. The 1999-2005 first generation measured 3,785 mm long, 1,695 mm wide, and 1,500 mm tall. The second generation from 2005-2011 was 3,880 mm long, 1,695 mm wide, and 1,520 mm tall.

Across all generations, the Yaris has maintained its reputation as a nimble and maneuverable city car thanks to its compact dimensions. The consistent wheelbase and ground clearance also allow for good interior space despite the small size.

Yaris Safety Features

The Toyota Yaris comes equipped with standard safety features including dual front airbags, side curtain airbags, and a driver’s knee airbag (IIHS, 2020). Antilock braking systems (ABS) are also standard across all Yaris trims to help prevent wheel lockup and maintain steering control during emergency braking situations.

Available advanced safety features on higher Yaris trim levels include a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and blind spot monitoring (Autoblog, 2020). The pre-collision system can detect pedestrians during the daytime and can automatically apply the brakes if an impact is deemed unavoidable. Blind spot monitoring alerts drivers to vehicles in adjacent lanes to help avoid accidents when changing lanes.

Yaris Technology

The Toyota Yaris comes equipped with various technology features depending on the trim level and year. The base models typically have a basic AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming. Higher trims add more advanced features like a 7-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa integration, satellite radio, and a JBL premium audio system with up to 6 speakers.[1]

Toyota’s Entune infotainment system is available on select Yaris models starting from 2013. Entune provides access to apps and data services through a connected smartphone. The system can be controlled via voice commands or the touchscreen interface. It allows for hands-free calling, music streaming, and integration of apps like Yelp, OpenTable, Pandora and iHeartRadio.[2]

For connectivity, all Yaris models come equipped with USB ports to plug in and charge mobile devices. Higher trims add options like wireless phone charging. The Yaris also offers available WiFi hotspot capability to enable multiple devices to connect to the internet on-the-go.[1]

Advanced driver assist safety technologies like blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and parking assist sensors are also available on upper Yaris trims. These features aid drivers and make everyday driving easier and more convenient.[2]


Buying a Used Toyota Yaris

When buying a used Toyota Yaris, there are some model years that are generally better options to look for. According to Carfax, the 2012-2015 model years tend to have the lowest number of owners and fewest issues reported. These years also have upgraded interior features and better fuel economy ratings than earlier models.

Average used pricing for a Toyota Yaris can range quite a bit depending on the model year, mileage, condition and options. According to Edmunds, prices for a used Yaris typically range from about $5,000 for a high mileage earlier model to around $15,000 for a low mileage 2015 model. When comparing pricing, be sure to factor in variables like mileage, condition, and features.

When inspecting a used Yaris, be sure to test drive it thoroughly and watch for any issues shifting gears or any odd noises from the engine or suspension. Check service records to ensure regular maintenance and oil changes were performed. Examine the interior and exterior for signs of damage or excessive wear and tear. Check for rust, particularly on earlier models. Confirm features like power windows, locks, audio system are functioning properly. A pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic is highly recommended before finalizing any used Yaris purchase.

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