Four years after the arrival of the Mazda2 sedan-based Toyota Yaris sedan, Toyota reveals the new Mazda2 hatchback-based Toyota Yaris hatchback. The fun-to-drive quotient has risen.
The Mazda -Toyota arrangement over the Mazda2 has been an interesting if not slightly complex one in North America. Going forward however, Mazda will supply Toyota with all of its entry level Yaris cars.
Four years ago, Toyota introduced the new Yaris sedan, a barely disguised Mazda2 sedan. The previous and original 4-door Yaris was an absolute bore but did its job. The infusion Mazda DNA into the sedan transformed it into the best driver of the segment.
Right around the same time, Mazda Canada was planning the introduction of the second generation (for our market) of the new Mazda2 hatchback. After a launch party, the cord was pulled and there wasn’t going to be a new Mazda2 hatch. Looking back now, we suspect that Mazda already had made decisions that are now clear.
Just a few weeks ago, we attended the launch of the new 2019 Mazda3 and learned that Mazda is planning on moving upmarket. A Mazda2 would not fit in this scenario.
The other decision was that Mazda knew that they were to supply Toyota with the hatchback version of the Mazda2 before long.
And here it is. The new Toyota Yaris hatchback is a mildly visually modified Mazda2 hatchback complete with a 106-horsepower 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. We’re concerned about the complete absence of a manual transmission in the press release…
Kit-wise, the new Yaris hatchback will be well off. Standard features will include a 7-inch Touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth and many safety items such as a Low-speed Pre-collision safety system.
Physically, the new 2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback has a slightly longer wheelbase for improved interior space. The outer shell is sportier than the outgoing 2019 Yaris hatchback and will include 16-inch alloy wheels on the lower trims.