Meet the 2017 Toyota Yaris iA: Full Test Drive

Updated on June 21, 2017

Full Test Drive

Toyota has specialized in ultra affordable sub compact cars since the birth of the original Toyota Corolla in 1966. The automotive industry has changed a lot since then, and in the advent of this Toyota has adapted to become one the biggest auto makers in the world.

Toyota has been working hard to attract Generation Y since the introduction of the original Scion brand, and although immensely popular at first the brands luster has died off and as such Toyota has issued the death knell, but not before keeping three of the name plates and putting a Toyota Badge on them.

The Yaris iA formerly known as the Scion iA starts things out with a wonderfully shaped design, with large head lights and an upward stance. The body looks far more expensive then the vehicle actually is, and the standard allow rims really make the difference to give the car an upmarket look. I had the pleasure of driving a test model that had the six speed manual transmission, which is very tight and the gears are spaced evenly.


The interior is what you might expect out of a sub compact car, very barebones no thrills design but the quality of the seats and the dash board are top notch. From the stitching across the dash board to the stitching in the seats, this is definitely a very functionally designed interior. Looking to hear your favorite tunes? Well the Toyota Yaris iA also features a very upmarket entertainment system, complete with six speaker sound and even a standard backup camera.

There is enough head and leg room in the front and back to fit four full sized adult men, and I was also able to seat three children in the back seat with one booster seat pretty well. I feel safe driving my children around in this car, and getting the car seats in and out of the rear is not as hard as one might think. The backup camera is also a very nice touch, especially with blind spot at the vehicles rear window.

The front driver and passenger seats are very comfortable, I had decent lumbar support and my back didn't hurt after driving an hour straight to Oklahoma City. I feel like this car would be perfectly fine for a cross country drive, and the rear seats are more then comfortable enough as well. Now the trunk space is also a strong suit, I was not expecting to have as much room as I did but I was able to pack two duffel bags and a children's suitcase in the trunk.


Taking the Yaris iA on the i-64 freeway in Oklahoma I was very impressed with how preppy the little 106 HP motor was, I didn't feel like I was struggling to keep up with traffic at all. The road noise is very minimal, and the suspension really rides great for this cars class. Acceleration is beyond decent, of course it is not a race car but it does have a decent amount of get up and go. The steering could be a little more nimble, but the car does have a very short wheel base to compensate for.

Functionality of the built-in entertainment system was above average, and like most Toyota technology it is very intuitive to use. Whether you want to connect a cell phone or a tablet, connecting to the in-dash entertainment system is a breeze. The speakers have a nice deep bass, and very decent highs, working great to keep the road noise out.

Final Word:

From an outside observers point of view, it would seem that Toyota really hit the nail on the head with the Yaris iA. This subcompact is one of the best choices for a new car, from the excellent interior design to the responsive four cylinder engine. The iA is a winning choice for the first time car buyer, or the budget conscious buyer who wants to stick with a trusted brand like Toyota.

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