The 2014 Toyota Yaris is a generic subcompact hatchback that doesn’t excel in any particular area, but manages to deliver just enough capabilities to be acceptable. Though it lacks in power and speed, it offers good fuel economy and a decent choice of special features – for a very affordable price.
The 2014 Toyota Yaris is a solid subcompact hatchback that doesn’t excel in any particular area, except maybe its price. The Yaris costs less than $15,000, which makes it one of the cheapest vehicles on the market. In fact, it’s the smallest and most inexpensive car Toyota has produced this year. Does that make it a good purchase? To some degree, yes. However, there are several flaws that might deter you.
On the outside, the Toyota Yaris doesn’t seem to stand out in any way whatsoever. It’s a generic hatchback that doesn’t try hard to be special in contrast to other hatchbacks such as the Toyota Prius and Scion TC. It has muscle to it, like the latter vehicle, but not to the point that it seems like a caricature – that would’ve probably made it stand out. It comes with a cut-off nose, wide front airdam and somewhat unique wheel wells, all of which add up to a decent package overall. There’s nothing particularly ugly in its appearance, but you definitely won’t exclaim “I want this one!” when you first see it.
On the inside things are just as unremarkable. That said, you do get quite a bit of space in the front and trunk. Both front seats are comfortable and supportive, while offering enough leg and head room for average- to larger-sized individuals. The trunk can fit enough items for daily drives, but it’s no truck, so don’t try to overload it. The back seats, however, are much less forgiving, which makes them unsuitable for full-grown adults – especially on longer trips. Even its competitors, such as the Nissan Versa Note and Honda Fit, have more space. The Fit in particular offers far more flexibility and all-around space than any of its rivals.
Under the hood, the 2014 Yaris comes with the meek 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine, which can generate 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. The fuel economy is not bad on this one, but that’s mainly because it’s relatively slow. The engine can be paired either with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The five-speed option is the clear winner here thanks to its functionality and nimbleness. The four-speed automatic on the other hand is too slow and loud by today’s standards, making it completely unworthy of a purchase.
In terms of overall performance, the Yaris is actually not too bad. Due to its small size, it’s very agile and responsive, which makes it easy to park and drive around the city. Yaris also delivers solid cornering without affecting its ride quality, thanks to well-weighed electric steering and stiffer suspension. And as for the actual ride quality – it’s not bad, but it does get noisy when you speed up, which may get on your nerves.
Special features aren’t too bad either. The most prominent ones are a six-speaker audio system, Sirius XM satellite radio compatibility, HD Radio, an auxiliary input, a USB port, iPod connectivity, automatic sound leveling and Bluetooth. These options are solid, especially if you take the car’s low price into account.
Overall, the 2014 Toyota Yaris is nothing special. It has a few decent features here and there, but you won’t rush out of your home to buy it. It’s not outstanding in any areas, but it’s not terrible either. If you live downtown and you drive only occasionally, then we say buy it. However, if you live anywhere else and you drive often, then try some other car.
The 2014 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact hatchback that doesn’t aim high in terms outside design – or any other aspect for that matter. Generally speaking, if this car was sandwiched between its rivals, such as the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa Note, you might not even notice it – because it’s far too generic. But at least it’s not ugly – which is always a good thing. Plus, Toyota offers three- and five-door variants of the Yaris for those who care about choice.
If you’re familiar with the older models, you’ll notice that this one has a much more masculine and refined look to it, featuring more protruding taillights, bigger door handles and a distinct side crease. At the front, you’ll find a cut-off nose and wide airdam. There’s also the more athletic SE model, which comes with a hefty rear bumper to make the car look more like a sedan.
It feels as if Toyota was looking for ways to make the 2014 Yaris more distinguished – somehow different from the rest – but in the end, it underdelivered. The only thing that might attract your attention is the car’s low price tag.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|CE 3-DR 4AT||$15,255||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|CE 3-DR 5MT||$14,255||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LE 5-DR 4AT||$15,895||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LE 5-DR 5MT||$14,895||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|SE 5-DR 4AT||$20,255||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|SE 5-DR 5MT||$19,255||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||3|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
The 2014 Toyota Yaris comes with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that can produce up to 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. It can be paired with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The four-speed one is the noisier and clunkier option because the downshifts to its broadly placed gears are far too drastic when you push for more power. As such, the manual transmission is definitely the way to go in this situation – it feels smoother and faster. Overall, however, this car is too slow in general, despite being relatively light, so it’s certainly a disappointment in this area.
However, by being a disappointment when it comes to power, the Toyota Yaris manages to deliver very decent fuel economy. The EPA ratings for the manual transmission variant are 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. The automatic one offers slightly higher ratings – 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. These numbers come at a price to be sure, but they are still very good.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The 2014 Toyota Yaris looks as generic on the inside as it does on the outside, which is a shame. So, if it doesn’t grab your attention in any way on the outside, then nothing will change once you’re in the cabin.
Admittedly, it’s more stylish than previous Yaris models, but that isn’t saying much. You’ll find a new instrument cluster behind the steering wheel as well as a dash with horizontal lines. The controls are prominent and easy to use, while all the storage locations, like cupholders and bins, are plentiful and within reach.
When it comes to space and comfort, the 2014 Yaris isn’t bad either, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. The front seats are actually quite good, offering enough leg and head room to satisfy average to larger individuals, thanks to long lower cushions. In fact, they are as large as the seats in bigger compacts, such as the Toyota Corolla. The back seats, however, are a different story. They’re close to the floor and offer very little legroom – if any at all. So, be sure to avoid placing adults in those seats, especially if you’re taking them on a long trip. It’s also hard to get into those seats due to their placement. And if you own the three-door model, don’t even try such a feat.
Fortunately, the Yaris makes up for the lack of proper back seats with a decently-sized trunk. Its 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space don’t match that of the Honda Fit, but it will definitely allow you to fit plenty of groceries and such. For more space, you can fold the back seats flat, which is what you’ll probably end up doing due to their uselessness.
The Yaris is doing relatively well in terms of features. All models now come with satellite radio compatibility, iPod connectivity, USB port, automatic sound leveling, Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system with HD radio. The lower trim also offers air conditioning, intermittent wipers and power locks. The higher trim variants feature sport-tuned suspension, sport seat fabric and adjustable driver’s seat.
The 2014 Toyota Yaris delivers a solid set of safety features, which make this car safe enough to drive, but not safer than other cars on the market or even some of its competitors, like the Honda Fit. It’s earned four stars out of five overall in federal tests, with five stars for side impact and four stars for frontal impact.
The standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, front cushion airbags and a knee airbag for the driver. It also has a sterner body structure, which should in theory make it safer than the previous models.
Updated on March 26, 2013
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