Available in two- or four-door body styles, Toyota's 2018 Yaris hatchback is ideal if you're looking for a reliable vehicle with easy-to-park dimensions and a very affordable price. But for that price, you do have to make some sacrifices.
On the positive side, the Yaris' small overhangs and standard rearview camera make maneuvering in parking lots and parallel parking a breeze. It's also one of the few cars in its class to offer the latest in advanced driver safety aids, including lane departure warning, automatic high-beam activation, and forward collision warning and mitigation. All reinforce the Yaris' already good safety scores. Of course, the Yaris is also a hatchback, so you can fit more cargo than you could otherwise in a sedan.
And though the Yaris is functional, it's not particularly enjoyable to drive. The lack of a telescoping steering wheel means it's hard to find a comfortable driving position. 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. And while a touchscreen comes standard, you might be also dismayed at the lack of comprehensive smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
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.
The 2018 Toyota Yaris is a compact hatchback that is available in two body styles, with just one engine and two transmissions. The Yaris L and LE are offered with two or four doors; the SE trim is offered only as a four-door. The two-door L and four-door SE are offered with a five-speed manual transmission, while a four-speed automatic is optional on those trims and standard on everything else. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (106 horsepower, 103 pound-feet of torque) is standard across all trims and body styles.
Standard features on the L includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights and high-beam control, power door locks and windows, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio and a USB port. Lane departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking are also standard.
The LE adds or substitutes 15-inch alloy wheels, power side mirrors, remote locking and unlocking, cruise control and enhanced interior trim.
For a more premium Yaris, go with the SE trim. It's only available as a four-door, and you'll get 16-inch alloy wheels, projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, foglights, special exterior styling elements, four-wheel disc brakes, a larger 7-inch touchscreen, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and upgraded cloth upholstery.