Update: Live photos are now in the gallery.
April Fool’s Day is a very strange day for an automaker to make a legitimate announcement for a new vehicle, but it seems Toyota feels this is the appropriate time to reveal the new 2020 Yaris Hatchback. In some respects, the timing of this reveal is appropriate, as this Toyota-badged hatchback with its massive front grille is actually the Mazda 2 subcompact not sold in the United States. The new Yaris, however, will be on dealer lots from sea to shining sea.
We suspected this was coming. Toyota and Mazda already collaborate on the current Yaris sedan, which was unveiled last year at the New York Auto Show. Toyota announced early this year that the previous Yaris Liftback – which was actually a different car altogether than the sedan – was cut from the North American market. The new Yaris Hatchback will utilize the same Mazda-based bones like the sedan does, with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood creating 106 horsepower (79 kilowatts) for the front wheels, sent through a standard-issue six-speed automatic transmission.
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Gallery: 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback
Similarly, the Yaris will come in either LE or XLE trim and feature a nice array of standard equipment. 16-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, body-colored power mirrors, and a chrome exhaust tip are among the exterior items included. Inside, driver and passengers will enjoy a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and voice recognition built into the infotainment system. A rear backup camera is also standard-issue, as are a plethora of safety systems including automatic emergency braking.
Toyota is keen to boast about the Yaris Hatchback’s maneuverability, including its 32.2-foot turning circle and overall length of 161 inches. Additionally, Toyota draws attention to the car’s “bold, cab-rearward design” though we know these are all aspects of the Mazda 2 on which it’s based. The front fascia with its gaping hexagon grille is all Toyota, however.
Toyota doesn’t mention pricing or availability for the new Yaris Hatchback, but the automaker plans to show it later this month at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
Live Photos: Chris Amos
All-New 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Combines Technology, Cargo Capacity and Practicality
- Bold, Sporty Look Backed Up by Fun-to-Drive Persona
- Standard Low-Speed Pre-Collision Safety System and Active Safety System
- Estimated 40 MPG Highway Fuel Economy
- Standard 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with Sport Mode
- Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility with 7-inch Touchscreen Display, Bluetooth Connectivity, Voice Recognition, Six Speakers, Two USB ports
It will be offered in mono-spec LE and XLE grades, with standard equipment levels in both that defy the segment expectations.
Refuses to Blend In
A bold, “cab-rearward” design gives the 2020 Yaris Hatchback a distinct hunkered-down, bulldog-like stance. The front end projects a gutsy attitude with a hexagon lower front grille and sharp-eyed headlamps. The XLE grade’s automatic LED headlamps incorporate daytime running lamps. A choice of vibrant exterior colors amps up the head-turning quotient: Stealth, Graphite, Pulse, Sapphire, Chromium, Frost and Icicle.
At 161.6 inches long, the Yaris Hatchback can scoot into parking spaces that most others pass up. That’s a real bonus for urban dwellers, and so is the car’s super-tight 32.2-ft. turning circle. Meanwhile, the new Yaris Hatchback is spacious, with a wheelbase nearly 2.4 inches longer than the previous Yaris Liftback model. The 15.9 cu. ft., trunk area is nearly the size found in a midsize sedan.
Raise Your Standards
On all 2020 Yaris Hatchback models, standard 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, body-color side mirrors and door handles, and a chrome tailpipe tip set the premium tone. The side mirrors are power-adjustable and have integrated LED turn signals, and they’re also heated for quick cold-weather defrosting.
The long list of standard features includes many that are usually optional or offered only on upgrade models: Smart Key Entry with Push Button Start, fog lights, variable intermittent windshield wipers, rear backup camera, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, chrome interior door handles, and driver and front passenger sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors. There’s even a first aid kit.
The standard 7-inch Touchscreen display audio system is ready to rock or hip-hop with clear, powerful sound played through six speakers. Maximizing connectivity and control, the system is equipped with standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® as well as voice recognition and Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free phone operation. The 7-inch touchscreen display screen is a touchscreen or can be controlled by the remote commander knob.
Standard SiriusXM Satellite Radio comes with a three-month All Access trial subscription (150+ channels, including commercial-free music). USB ports and an auxiliary input ensure connectivity for all types of devices, and the sporty steering wheel integrates control switches for the audio and phone.
Here’s another surprise from the 2020 Yaris Hatchback: both the LE and XLE grades are equipped with navigation hardware; the customer simply needs to buy the accessory SD card through a Toyota dealer to activate navigation capability.
Stepping up to the XLE brings a taste of luxury with leatherette seating surfaces (choice of gray or black), automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic LED headlamps, and leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake handle.
Big Safety in a Small Car
The 2020 Yaris Hatchback will come equipped as standard with a Low-speed Pre-collision Safety System in both model grades (standard on the Yaris Sedan, too). The system scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions. If a potential frontal collision is detected, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are designed to automatically activate. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes.
The Yaris Hatchback comes standard with an advanced active safety system that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Brake Override System (BOS). The array of six airbags includes curtain airbags that help protect front and rear seat occupants.
Taut, Toned Athlete
The taut lines of the 2020 Yaris Hatchback are stretched over strong, athletic bones. The body structure comprises 65 percent ultra-high tensile steels and is based on a continuous framework using straight beams wherever possible for maximum strength. The high structural integrity allows the MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion-beam rear suspension to be tuned for ride comfort and handling agility that exemplify the model’s “class above” driving dynamics. Translation: the Yaris Hatchback is a hoot to drive and a comfortable commuter.
The Yaris Hatchback’s tenacious handling is baked into the engineering, not just added on with fat tires and stiff suspension. A rigid steering mount provides a direct yet light feel, and the brakes are tuned to yield a progressive feel when cornering. Entering the curve, the brake pedal provides smooth operation, then leads into a more rigid feel as g-force rises.
Punching Above Its Class
Yaris gets its high appetite for fun and low appetite for fuel from a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that delivers 106 horsepower. High-compression (12.0:1) and direct fuel injection give the engine ultra-quick responsiveness that’s ideally matched to the standard 6-speed automatic transmission. The transmission’s torque converter locks in all gears for quicker, more direct shifts and greater fuel efficiency. Another surprise in this class is a Sport Mode, which changes the car’s personality with enhanced acceleration response.
The tight structure and finely tuned suspension don’t work alone in providing a comfortable ride. The 2020 Yaris Hatchback employs extensive sound-absorbing measures, including a noise-insulating windshield, to block noise paths into the cabin. Sound-absorbing material inside the tailgate, parcel shelf and spare wheel well help to reduce high-frequency noise entering the cabin from the rear.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Standard Toyota Care is a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.