thumbnail

The Yaris SE surprised us with its zippy and sporty nature; it might be the most fun vehicle to drive currently in the Toyota lineup.

The Numbers

  • MSRP: $19,624 after $825 destination fee and a $1,179 option list (navigation and floor mats)
  • 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission (tested)
  • 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft. of torque
  • 30 mpg in the city
  • 36 mpg on the highway
  • 32 mpg combined
  • Turning diameter of 36.1 feet

Our tester came with an automatic transmission (a 5-speed manual is also available in the tested SE trim) and the Entune navigation system ($899 option).

thumbnail

Hits

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever feel great to the touch, and add a sense of performance
  • Well-designed driver’s side sun visor includes an extender card for blocking sunrays from the side position
  • Abundant use of soft touch materials on the dashboard
  • Toyota’s Entune infotainment/navigation system is easy to use
  • Rear seat LATCH anchor points are easy to access
  • Between 20 to 40 mph there's a fair amount of pep ― just don't expect to take over tractor-trailers on the highway
  • Suspension is absorbs cobblestones and uneven city pavement well
  • Excellent turning ratio

thumbnail

Misses

  • Use of hard plastics in the center lower console, around the gear lever, and emergency brake handle cheapen the interior experience
  • There is no storage other than in the door cards or in the cup holders located beneath the HVAC controls
  • Resolution of 6.1-inch navigation system does not hold up to the competition from Hyundai
  • Placing a rear-facing seat infant seat in the back leaves very little room for a front passenger to sit
  • No sunroof is available
  • Acceleration can be loud and tin sounding at times

Value Retention
In regards to value retention, the Yaris sits in third place (out of six) within the three-year-old subcompact entry segment by holding 51.3% of its value in 2015.  The Yaris outperforms the segment value retention average of 49.2% for 2015.

Our Verdict Summed Up on Twitter

2015 @Toyota #Yaris SE is a sporty city dweller's vehicle with a great turning ratio and excellent driving visibility.