By BOB GRITZINGER | Contributing Editor | @bobgritzinger Nissan has…
Looking for a reliable compact car without all the fuss?
Meet the 2015 Toyota Yaris SE.
OK – yes, that really is a Toyota Yaris pictured above.
I spent a week in this car and absolutely loved it. Although a small hatchback, it didn’t feel uncomfortably cramped inside, which is surprising considering some cars much larger than Yaris feel cramped.
Outside, the body appears to have adopted some Toyota Matrix-esque features, adding some edge and fierceness to the look of the Yaris. Just because it’s got an itsy-bitsy 1.5 liter four-cylinder DOHC engine doesn’t mean it should look dinky–and Toyota’s well aware of this. Check out that grille and the alloy wheels, not to mention the sporty detail of the rear spoiler.
The Yaris’ body style surely has come a long way over the past few years. Pictured below side-by-side are a 2009 Yaris and a 2015 Yaris.
Goodbye round, eggy shape. Hello sleek, edgy beauty.
How safe is the new Yaris?
Such a small car would probably not fare well in a collision, right? Wrong. The Yaris SE received an overall vehicle score of four stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with a four-star frontal crash rating, a five-star (yep, 5) side crash rating and a four-star rollover rating.
What about fuel economy?
The Yaris’ incredible fuel economy is envied by many. With an average of 32 MPG (36 highway & 30 city), you could tote around town all week before having to hit up the gas station again. I kept staring at the fuel gauge to see if it would ever move. Granted with the small engine, you’re not getting a ton of horsepower with the Yaris but it’s got quite a bit of pick up as long as you demand it ;).
Who is the Yaris for?
The ideal Yaris driver is an individual who prefers fuel economy and an essential amount of tech (Touch screen AM/FM/CD, HD Radio, Bluetooth, etc.) to a decked out car with all the bells and whistles. This reliable and fun car would also make for a great graduation present or first car for your teenager. The 2015 Toyota Yaris, with its freshened, edgier comes with room for a few passengers, back seats that fold down to accommodate sports equipment, dorm room goodies (aka disassembled Ikea furniture) or maybe even a puppy crate.
What’s It Gonna Cost Me?
The Yaris we tested was the 5-door SE trim, which starts at $16,820 for a manual transmission and $17,620 for an automatic. There are several trims to choose from with the most economical model being the 3-door L trim, which starts at $14,845. You can build your very own Yaris here.