2017 Toyota Yaris iA Review

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] An affordable B-Segment with unexpected safety features.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Jan. 13, 2016

    This weeks ride is the 2017 Toyota iA with the 6-speed MT - $16,815 - incl. $865 D&H charge to start allows owners a 30/39 mpgUS city/highway rating.

    TrueCar is showing this vehicle should be available for about $1000 to $1,200 discount. Not much but there is not that much profit built in to begin with.

    What was truly unique about the smallest Toyota in the lineup was not that it was formerly known as Scion iA which is sourced from the Mazda Mexico production facility as the Mazda2 elsewhere, but that it was equipped with the base 6-speed MT. I love driving base models and if they come with a stick, even better! See the safety feature discussion below for something even more revolutionary for the segment.

    Exterior -- The exterior was highlighted by Toyota's large open mouthed grille and wrap around headlamps. From the profile, the longish overhang up front and short one out back is a blueprint for most B and C-Segments given there has to be frontal crash test crush space. No chrome to provide punch but the std. 16" alloys look good.


    Interior -- Moving inside we find a std. 7" central display with a rear view camera mounted on top of the dash. Very Audiesque like look but it does not retract back into the dash at every shutdown, A good thing imho.

    Seating is just ok with short front seat lower cushions and inability for me to get into the rear seat with the front adjusted for my 6' frame. Over the 900+ miles, I found the front seats comfortable only due to the tall bolsters for my lower thighs to rest on. View and controls are laid out and look exactly like many Mazda's. Given the heritage, they should and that history is a good one.

    The rear 60/40 split folding rear seats create even more utility for the diminutive 86/13 cu. ft. of passenger/cargo volume.


    The only real shortfall is the lack of a central armrest. It would cover one of the cup holders and make it awkward to get to the central command knobs but on a lengthy Interstate drive, your right arm will be aching for one.

    One other item that is a bit out of sync. The iA has a keyless proximity key for starting the car via push button start. But you have to use the Key or Key FOB to open the doors? If you have the key fob in your hands to open the car door, why the proximity key to start it?

    Infotainment -- The wheel incorporates the audio, central display selection, BT based phone, and CC controls. This is all std. and somewhat unusual for a sub $17k car. In addition, there is a central command controller located between the two front seats for infotainment selection, power, volume, and tuning. After a few minutes, you will find it works rather brilliantly and you will never take your eyes off the road other than when manually tuning from station to station or making a contact selection for a BT hands free phone call. Given this vehicle is targeted at the first time buying millennial, I wish it has a text to speech function(s) of some of the more expensive Toyota systems. We all know the reason why for that.


    Audio is ok for the base and only audio system available. With BT streaming, you can use your phone for telephony, Pandora and iHeart radio - iA native Aha, Pandora, and Stitcher - although the quality is just so so with higher volumes needed top over come road noise at highway speeds. I also had to launch Pandora from the iA screen twice each time to get the app to launch.

    NAVI is an SD card SW based addon that was not in the iA we drove. I sure wish that was included to get a feel for the GUI and its real world use. Maybe next time?

    The drivetrain -- With only 106 hp and 103 lb-ft. of torque on tap, there is a not a lot to develop go until way up in the RPM range. A place I rarely go to. In its favor is a 2,385 lb platform allowing that smallish output to drive the iA from 0 to 60 in 9.5 seconds which is completely acceptable. Surprising actually as the specs do not describe the acceleration available.


    The 6-speed MT is really slick. A notchy interaction between the gates but smooth from gear to gear and only the smallest bit of whine when it is started in temps below 20 degrees F. Of the sticks available in past Toyota's - Camry's, Corolla's, and iMs, the iA received the best.

    Ride and Handling -- Well, with just a 101.2" wheelbase and torsion beam rear end, it rides flat enough but any rough road surface will upset it both moving straight ahead and when cornering. Driving the Interstate with 20+ mph crosswinds proved to be a handful. Meaning you will have both hands on the wheel and fighting the push with every gust. And again this is std. fair for vehicles in the B-Segment so not unexpected. In actuality, the iA handles better than many of its contemporaries despite being fit with the lowest cost suspension bits.

    Safety -- This is the iAs force multiplier. Active front, side and side curtains are standard so there is nothing new here. Passive safety includes stability control, ABS, TC, EBFD, and BA. Again, most cars have these systems.

    2017 Toyota Yaris iA - IIHS Crash Test Rating


    The Yaris iA standout system allowed it to be awarded with an IIHS Top Safety Pick crash test rating. This is due to the inclusion of a standard laser based low speed - < 18 mph - Pre-collision system to help avoid or minimize damage in the event of an accident. Nothing in the segment is so equipped. That is pretty kick ass for an entry level B-segment offering.

    2017 Toyota Yaris iA - NHTSA Crash Test Rating


    In addition, the chassis and crash protection is so well designed that it earned a top 5-star Crash Test rating from the IIHS.

    Battling temperatures below 0 degrees F, snow for hundreds of miles, strong cross winds for hundreds of miles and rain soon afterwards, the iA really proved its efficiency with 50+ mpg averages no matter the destination. Given this is an entry level vehicle, its Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) depends just as much on its low upfront cost as the fuel cost over its lifetime. The average driver will easily achieve its 34 mpg combined rating, 15k miles/year and $2.50/gal equating to $1,100 per year or almost $100/month is a lot better than many CUV/SUV/Pickup trucks that would cost another $50 to $100/month at today's low fuel prices.

    The low total cost of ownership, the added security of advanced safety systems, the modern infotainment controls, and the Mazda underpinnings make this one of the best B-Segment offerings not just available today but of all time.


    Good job Toyota.

    #Efficient #long #distance #traveler - #CleanMPG
    seftonm and BillLin like this.
  2. Erdrick

    Erdrick Well-Known Member

    I bought the scion branded iA a little over a year ago with an automatic transmission, mainly for easy resale purposes in the future.
    Best trip thus far has clocked in at 68.8 mpg while driving a 20 mile 70% highway segment.
    That was with three adults in decent weather with no HVAC.
    I typically average in the mid 50s.
    This is all inclusive of a 3 mile one way trip to work where I can't even get coolant temps up to 182 degrees.

    I'll wholeheartedly recommend that anyone in the maker for a b segment car at the very least cross shop the iA.
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Erdick:

    Your detail was a great addition to the review!

    BillLin likes this.
  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I think it looks silly as a sedan , but can't argue with its efficiency. I guess Mazda didn't want to ( couldn't afford to ) sell a car with such a small profit margin.
    I would seriously consider this car if I didn't sit in gridlock for part of every weekday afternoon. As a weekend or highway car, sure !
    xcel likes this.

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