She's Got Wheels

Low Cost Sophistication: 2018 Toyota Yaris iA Sedan

One of the several vehicles that survived the demise of the youth-oriented Scion brand was the iA sedan. Rebranded as the Yaris iA sedan in the Toyota line-up, the nimble little four-door is based on the Mazda2 and manufactured by Mazda at its new Salamanca assembly plant in Guanajuanto, Mexico, The Yaris iA bristles with an impressive level of standard leading-edge technologies that are normally found in vehicles costing thousands more.

The iA features a combination of sleek styling, sporty driving dynamics, and serious trunk space. The sedan flashes a familiar brand face with a hexagon lower grille and sharp-eyed headlights. In the rear, the spacious trunk gives it a distinctive look in the segment. To make the most of its sophisticated sedan breeding, the iA also sports an upscale looking piano black bumper treatment, chrome grille surround and chrome tailpipe.

Power is generated by an advanced 1.5L four-cylinder direct injection engine. Motorists can choose between the standard six-speed manual gearbox and an available six-speed transmission.

Engineered for light weight, low friction and a direct-shift feel, the automatic has a bit of a dual personality. It moves the Yaris four-door from a standing start with the smoothness only a torque converter automatic can deliver, then locks the converter for quicker, more direct shifts and higher fuel economy. For drivers seeking greater torque feel, Sport Mode is available with the flip of a switch.

Control hardware is tried and true – with the MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension tuned for a just-right balance of sporty handling and comfortable ride. Agility is engineered into the iA, not just added on with stiffer springs and shocks. The body structure uses straight beams wherever possible, continuous framework that makes the individual sections function in harmony, and effective positioning of high-tensile steel. That high-strength structure also forms the foundation for safety in the iA. A solid H-shaped ring joins the roof and B-pillars to underbody and combines with high-tensile steel on key frame members and a part of the floor to form a robust structure.

Inside the passenger cabin, premium chrome accents and soft-touch trim and surfaces belie the car’s budget price point, a value equation that runs in the Scion family. For starters, consider how the iA accommodates a wide range of drivers’ physiques, including its 10-inch fore-aft slide adjustment and the standard seat height adjuster, too. There’s no skimping with the steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments. The sporty steering wheel has control switches for the audio and standard Bluetooth. Hardly “entry level,” the standard seven-inch Display Audio system has a touch screen, six speakers, remote interface and rear-view camera. Pandora®, Aha™ and Stitcher™ come standard, providing a huge music, talk and podcast universe when paired with a compatible phone.

Features like cruise control and power windows, locks and exterior mirrors are also included on the lengthy standard equipment roster. The iA also features a standard 60/40 split rear seat back to extend carrying capacity and versatility.

Dimensions & specifications
Wheelbase: 101.2; overall length: 171.7; width: 66.7; height: 58.5
All vehicle measurements in inches.

Engine: 1.5L four-cylinder – 106 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 lbs-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Transmission: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
EPA Fuel Economy: 30 city/39 hwy. (manual); 32 city/40 hwy. (automatic)
Cargo capacity: 13.5 cubic feet

Safety features
Dual front airbags, front seat mounted side-impact airbags, dual head curtain side-impact airbags, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, low-speed pre-collision safety system, brake override system, traction control, dynamic stability control, Bluetooth hands free phone system, first aid kit, remote keyless entry, daytime running lights, rear-view back up camera, push button engine start, engine immobilizer, first aid kit, and tire pressure monitoring system.

Basic: 3-year/36,000 mile
Powertrain: 5-year/60,000
Corrosion: 5-year/unlimited
Roadside Assistance: 2-year/unlimited 24-hour

The base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2018 Toyota Yaris iA sedan starts from $15,950. Destination charges add $895.

About the Author

Ken Chester, Jr.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.® is a woman's guide to car shopping.
Copyright © 2021,, LLC All rights reserved.