The newest member of the Yaris team is the iA sports sedan.
That is Toyota’s new subcompact sedan that’s loaded with premium features, but offered at an affordable price. It gives new meaning to the term “entry level.”
Old people – like me – are probably not supposed to like the iA, but it turns out, there are a lot of things to like.
My tester was powered by a quick-revving, high-compression, 1.5-liter engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The standard manual is compact, lightweight and super low on friction with a short throw, making it one of the sweetest-shifting manuals around.
The combination delivers 105-horsepower and surprising pickup, coupled with a tight, agile drive and close to 40 miles per gallon down the highway as rated by the EPA. My real-life experience was closer to 35 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
The Yaris iA sports an eye-catching front end with a hexagon lower grill and sharp-eyed headlights. The exterior also benefits from 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome-tipped exhaust and piano-black bumper treatment.
Yaris iA comes with a roomy cabin that will accommodate up to five adults, and a surprisingly large trunk – big enough for a full-size golf bag, or large family supply of grocery bags.
Looks do not deceive in the Yaris iA cabin. Premium chrome accents and soft-touch trim and surfaces belie the car’s price point. For starters, consider how the iA accommodates a wide range of drivers’ physiques, including its 10-inch fore-aft slide adjustment and the standard seat height adjuster, too. There’s no skimping with the steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments.
It’s easy to take for granted features like cruise control and power windows, locks and exterior mirrors, because they’re standard in most cars over a certain price. On some cars in the Yaris iA’s neighborhood, those could be extra-cost options, but they’re all included as standard equipment.
Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel by using voice recognition to control many of the multimedia system features. An available navigation system also is offered through Toyota dealers.
A high-strength structure forms the foundation for safety in the Yaris iA, which has been named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. A solid H-shaped ring joins the roof and B-pillars to underbody and combines with high-tensile steel on key frame members and a part of the floor to form a robust structure.
Front side airbags and curtain airbags help protect front and rear seat occupants. But the biggest safety news in this low-priced, high-MPG model is a standard low-speed, pre-collision system that uses a laser to help the driver avoid certain frontal collisions and help minimize damage in the event of an accident. The iA also features a brake-override system and a rear-view backup camera comes standard.
Base Price: $15,950
Price As Driven: $16,815
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.