$11,688 - $14,112

2018 Toyota Yaris Performance Review


Performance: 6.4

The 2018 Toyota Yaris is a great match for city dwellers. It has decent power for driving around city streets, and its excellent maneuverability and short length make it easy to get into small parking spaces. The Yaris struggles at highway speeds, however, thanks to its slow acceleration. It gets decent fuel economy for a subcompact car.

  • Although the Toyota Yaris may not deliver class-leading driving engagement, it doesn't disappoint either. And it is indeed competent." -- Edmunds
  • Toyota's Yaris offers a lot of things at its modest price tag, but driving passion isn't one of them." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • We have to hand it to Toyota for providing so much for so little, but if it had a powertrain that responds to the note of a well-blown conch shell, the Yaris would be a cheaper keeper." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The Yaris is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 106 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. Models equipped with the automatic transmission get up to 30 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. That's typical for a subcompact car.

The Yaris' meager engine power is sufficient for around-town driving, but merging and passing at highway speeds will require some patience because the Yaris doesn't accelerate very quickly. Neither of the available transmissions improve acceleration; they're both unrefined and have fewer gears than most competitors have.

  • "With only 106 horsepower available it's a slow ride to 60 mph, and neither the rubbery and vague 5-speed manual nor antiquated 4-speed automatic really help acceleration feel anything better than barely acceptable." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Yaris, with its 106-horsepower engine and four-speed automatic transmission lag, behind the competition, which offer more powerful engines and smoother-shifting six-speed transmissions." -- Edmunds
  • "The DOHC 1.5-liter four-cylinder is happy to rev smoothly on the way to 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque, but its limited ambition is thwarted by either of two curmudgeonly transmissions. The slack clutch (said to be improved) with a late engagement point hampers the five-speed manual gearbox. And the four-speed automatic is simply primitive." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

Handling and Braking

Thanks to its excellent maneuverability, the Yaris is well-suited to city driving. It has a reasonably smooth ride, too. It stays composed around corners, but it's not particularly sporty. The SE trim adds sport-tuned suspension that slightly improves the handling.

  • "Toyota has tuned the suspension for comfort, and it delivers a smooth-for-a-small-car ride. The Yaris SE is moderately better, with a slightly stiffer suspension, but without any additional power. That said, it's fine for just put-putting around town, and it's likely the sensible types attracted to the Yaris will be more thrilled with the parking-lot maneuverability afforded by the little Toyota's diminutive size." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The SE has suspension components tuned for sport, a solid front stabilizer bar, and four-wheel disc brakes with larger front rotors, yet we never had the impression the car wanted to go rallying." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "Pushing the Yaris around some of the island's bends demonstrated its competence, but not supremacy. The independent front MacPherson strut and torsion-beam rear suspension do everything they are designed to do, and the subcompact feels stable, easy to control and surprisingly well balanced." -- Autoblog (2015)

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