Toyota’s cheapest vehicle in the lineup will get a makeover for 2018 model year. The word is about Yaris which sales have never been so low until now. While Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, and Kia Rio don’t have this problem, Toyota struggles to get this subcompact car back on track. One way, of course, is a redesign, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen to 2018 Toyota Yaris. But will it be enough? Probably not.
2018 Toyota Yaris – Exterior Changes
For instance, one of the first things that are worth mentioning is that LE trim holds the new front look. Toyota dropped the upper grille. Now there is new “nose” in body color as well as new bumper and hood. From the center logo, two chrome stripes extend toward new headlights. The rear end also holds new bumper and redesigned rear lights. The SE trim has a chrome surrounding black mesh grille, with 16-inch alloy wheels which hold black accents. There are also replacements for two exterior colors. Instead of Blue Streak Metallic, we’ll get Blue Eclipse, and two-tone Blue Eclipse with a Black Sand Pearl Roof replaces two-tone Crushed Ice with Black Sand Pearl Roof.
2018 Toyota Yaris – Interior
The interior almost remained the same. But sports analog instrument cluster with LCD screen that was only available on SE, is now standard on L and LE. The base L also gets a three-spoke steering wheel with controls for the audio system. These two trims also have a 6.1-inch touch screen with Entune system. It holds CD and MP3 player and six speakers. There is also USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free and auxiliary port. The top SE trim has a 7-inch touchscreen and uplevel Entune with features such as phone handsfree, navigation, and voice recognition.
2018 Toyota Yaris – Same Engine
The downside of this model is that there will be no alternative engines. And by alternative, we mean stronger. So, 2018 Toyota Yaris will be stuck with the base 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. It produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. Five-speed manual gearbox is available only on two-door L trim. On every other, there is four-speed automatic, it’s not a typo or anything, it’s four-speed. Ah. But good thing is that Yaris comes with standard Toyota Safety Sense -C. It consists of forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning and automatic high-beams.
While speaking of safety, we all know that small cars don’t provide protection as larger cars do. But Toyota should really do something about the front structure of current generation. While all other test results are “G” (good), small overlap crash test rating is “M” (marginal). But as much as we’d like to, that probably won’t be improved until next generation arrives.
Note: Image of 2013 Toyota Yaris small overlap crash test (www.iihs.org)
2018 Toyota Yaris – Release Date
We will see new hatchback this summer with a small increase in price. All in all, 2018 Toyota Yaris will probably fall short in favor of its rivals mentioned above.