2018 Toyota Yaris

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MSRP: $15,635 - 19,060

2018 Toyota Yaris Review

The 2018 Toyota Yaris ranks near the bottom of its class due in part to its sluggish acceleration, unrefined transmission, and cramped back seat.




Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 6.9
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Many standard safety and tech features
  • Easy maneuvering
  • Outstanding predicted reliability rating
  • Underwhelming engine power
  • Boring handling
  • Uncomfortable seats

Is the Toyota Yaris a Good Car?

The Yaris is a mediocre car. Its few positives include loads of standard tech and safety features, easy maneuverability, a decent interior quality, and an outstanding predicted reliability rating. However, the Yaris has uninspiring driving dynamics, and its seats aren't very comfortable.

Should I Buy the Toyota Yaris?

If you want an affordable, easy-to-drive subcompact car with lots of features, a new Toyota Yaris may suit your needs. This small car also has one of the top predicted reliability ratings in the class. However, many similarly priced rivals have nicer interiors or sportier driving dynamics, so you'd be smart to shop around. Look to the highly ranked Honda Fit if you want loads of passenger and cargo space along with great fuel economy. The Nissan Versa appeals to new-car shoppers on the strictest of budgets. Still, it's hard to find a base model loaded with more safety and tech features than the Yaris.

Compare the Yaris, Fit, and Versa »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Yaris?

For 2018, Toyota refreshed the Yaris' interior and exterior styling. There were no other substantial changes, so if you don't care about the car's new look, consider shopping for a used Yaris to potentially save some money. You may not want to go past the 2017 model year, though, as that is when Toyota made a few advanced safety features standard. These include automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and automatic pre-collision braking.

To research some other models in this generation, read our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Toyota Yaris. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Toyota Yaris »

We Did the Research for You: 44 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 44 Toyota Yaris reviews to give you a snapshot of the vehicle's strengths and weaknesses. We've also included information on fuel economy, safety, cargo capacity, and more to help you decide if the Yaris is the right car for you. This 2018 Toyota Yaris review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2012 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and an external agency places and sells the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota Yaris Cost?

Prices for the 2018 Yaris start at $15,635 for a base L three-door model with a manual transmission. The top-of-the-line Yaris SE with five doors and an automatic transmission costs $19,060. These prices are in line with what you'll pay for most subcompact cars.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Yaris Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota Yaris or Honda Fit?

The Honda Fit is one of our highest-ranked subcompact cars. It has an attractive interior, athletic handling, and tons of space for passengers and cargo. The Fit also gets better fuel economy than most of the class. The base Yaris has more features than a base Fit, but for an extra couple thousand dollars, you can outfit the Fit with many features that are unavailable in the Yaris. These include smartphone integration (via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), a moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, and heated seats. The Fit is a much better choice than the Yaris. In fact, we name it our 2018 Best Subcompact Car for the Money because of its combination of quality and value.

Which Is Better: Toyota Yaris or Nissan Versa?

The Nissan Versa is one of the cheapest new cars you can buy, and its bargain-basement price shows in the car's lack of refinement. The base Versa is truly bare-bones, lacking even power windows or power locks. You'll have to jump up a few trim levels to get those basic features, and even the most expensive models don't offer advanced safety features that you can get in the Yaris. Unless the Versa is really the only new car you can afford, you're better off in a Yaris.

Compare the Yaris, Fit, and Versa »

Yaris Interior

How Many People Does the Yaris Seat?

The 2018 Yaris seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery and a tilting steering wheel. Since the steering wheel doesn't telescope and the front seats aren't very adjustable, some tall drivers may have trouble finding a good driving position. The seats themselves aren't especially comfortable either. The cabin feels spacious if the driver is alone, but add passengers and it feels more cramped. The back seats are an especially tight squeeze. If you need space in the back for adults, you're better off with a rival like the Honda Fit.

Yaris and Car Seats

There are complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the outboard rear seats, and the middle rear seat has an additional upper tether anchor that can be used in conjunction with the inner lower anchors from the outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Yaris’ LATCH system as Acceptable (the second-highest score possible) for ease of use.

Yaris Interior Quality

Overall, the Yaris has a pleasant cabin that's mostly fitted with soft-touch materials. It's not as attractive or upscale as some rivals, however. The Yaris' interior build quality is mediocre.

Yaris Cargo Space

With a maximum 15.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, the Yaris has more trunk space than most subcompact cars, though many hatchback competitors offer more room for your stuff. Standard 60/40-split-folding rear seats give you some flexibility in transporting passengers and cargo.

Yaris Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Most subcompact cars have fewer standard features than the Yaris, which comes with a touch-screen infotainment system, a USB port, Bluetooth, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and a rearview camera. The easy-to-use infotainment system has numerous features, but it doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration. Audiophiles may want to look elsewhere since the Yaris' stereo has disappointing sound quality.

Read more about interior »

Yaris Performance

Yaris Engine: Poor Power

A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine gives the Yaris adequate power for city driving, but it's underwhelming at higher speeds. Passing and merging in particular will require careful timing due to the Yaris' slow acceleration. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is available. Both transmissions feel unrefined and have fewer gears (which can hurt fuel economy and acceleration) than comparable rivals.

Yaris Gas Mileage: Not Great, Not Bad

When equipped with the optional automatic transmission, the Yaris earns typical fuel economy estimates for the class, getting an EPA-estimated 30 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Models with the manual transmission get 1 more mpg in highway driving.

Yaris Ride and Handling: Great Maneuverability

The front-wheel-drive Yaris has light steering that makes it easy to maneuver. Combine that with a comfortable ride, and you have a great small car for city driving. The Yaris maintains its composure around turns, though it's not quite as athletic as many competitors. The top SE trim has a sport-tuned suspension, but it doesn't improve handling by much.

Read more about performance »

Yaris Reliability

Is the Toyota Yaris Reliable?

The 2018 Yaris is expected to be one of the most reliable cars in the class. It has a predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Toyota Yaris Warranty

Toyota covers the 2018 Yaris with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Most rivals have similar warranties.

Read more about reliability »

Yaris Safety

Yaris Crash Test Results

The Yaris earns mostly good crash test results. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't fully evaluated the 2018 Yaris yet, but the NHTSA gives it four out of five stars in the two completed test areas: front crash and rollover tests. The Yaris gets the highest rating of Good in four Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, with a slightly lower Moderate rating in the small overlap front test. These scores are typical for a subcompact car.

Yaris Safety Features

Few subcompact cars have as many standard advanced safety features as the Yaris, which has forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and a rearview camera. To get similar systems in most rivals, you'd have to step up to one of the top trims.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota Yaris Model Is Right for Me?

You should stick with the base Yaris L since it has a long list of interior and safety features. Spending extra on a higher model won't get you much more beyond some styling changes. The SE trim does have a sport-tuned suspension, but it doesn't improve the Yaris' handling abilities by much. If you prefer a sedan, you may like the Yaris iA, which is a completely different model despite the similar name.

Toyota Yaris L

The base Yaris L hatchback starts at $15,635 and comes standard with three doors, a manual transmission, cloth upholstery, a six-speaker stereo, a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. An automatic transmission is available for $355. A five-door L model costs $16,760 and comes standard with an automatic transmission.

Toyota Yaris LE

Like the base L model, the Yaris LE comes standard with three doors (priced at $17,285), and it's available with five doors ($17,660). The LE trim adds alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, and cruise control.

Toyota Yaris SE

The Yaris SE tops out the line and starts at $18,260. The SE is only available as a five-door hatchback, and it adds sport-tuned suspension, navigation, HD Radio, unique styling elements, fog lights, and a rear spoiler.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2018 Toyota Yaris specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Toyota Yaris isn't going to thrill you, but so long as you don't need to carry a full load of passengers or spend too much time on the highway, it should adequately fit your needs. Additionally, it comes standard with a number of advanced tech features and a superb predicted reliability rating. Still, several subcompact cars, like the Honda Fit and Kia Rio, offer better performance and/or cost less.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • Overall, the Yaris is a perfectly usable subcompact. But with as much variety as there is in this segment, you may find there are better choices in the class if you want something more than basic transportation." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite its aggressive appearance and 'SE' trim level, there's little that's sporty about the Toyota Yaris. Take your performance dollars to the Ford Fiesta ST or even the turbocharged Chevy Sonic. Also note that the Honda Fit has better and more flexible cargo space thanks to its flip-and-fold rear seats." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Indeed, the Yaris may not be a superstar, but it's a solid competitor with the added bonuses of Toyota's traditionally strong resale value and reliability. Last year's redesign continues to stand the Yaris in good stead." -- Autotrader (2014)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: November 29, 2018

Very Low Sales: The Toyota Yaris is the slowest selling subcompact car in 2018. The Yaris hatchback is losing ground to its much more popular showroom sibling, the four-door Toyota Yaris iA sedan. So far in 2018, the Yaris iA is outselling the Yaris by more than 12 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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