Toyota Yaris SE Manual and Automatic, manual dumps automatic in performance, if any

2015-05-11 12:02:08
Toyota Yaris SE Manual and Automatic, manual dumps automatic in performance, if any
Toyota Yaris SE Manual and Automatic, manual dumps automatic in performance, if any

The mid-term refresh is always focused on keeping the brand name on the buyer’s list till the next big redesign happens. These refreshes are mostly restricted to superficial changes but sometimes the money spent cosmetics would be more fruitful if they are used in invisible changes.   The theory is applicable to the 2015 Toyota Yaris SE as it presents a stylish front but lacks in critical areas.  


The new Yaris has been given an impressive styling that includes reshaped rear bumper, fresh taillights, and several other upgrades in the cabin. But, unfortunately, the critical areas where the Yaris was trailing behind segment leaders like Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, and the Chevy Sonic. The refresh has been introduced by Toyota without giving it a new heart but allowed it remain with the anemic 1.5 Liter four-cylinder long-stroke engine that has been whimpering around since 2000. The same old five-speed manual has been offered again for gear changing duty along with the old four-speed automatic, and these were introduced in 2007 when the despised Echo was replaced by Yaris.

Compared to other engines in the class like the 1.5 Liter four-cylinder with direct injection which produces 130-hp and the Fiesta with 123-hp extracted from the three-cylinder turbo with direct injection, the Yaris falls behind miserably and looks outdated. It huffs and puffs to make 106-hp and gives an industrial response when you floor the pedal, and this is what you get most of the time. The real tragedy is the four-speed automatic as it lags behind most of the automatic transmissions in the segment in terms of forward movement the old world shift gate with zig zag paths misses the manual shift utility. We tested both the manual and the automatic when we took the Yaris to the track.

 The manual gearbox keeps ahead of the automatic with 1.3 seconds faster timing in the short sprint and also a 0.9 seconds jump in the quarter mile. The latest generation automatic transmissions are capable of matching or beating the manuals, and we are used to that, but the slushbox in the Yaris is not certainly derived from the latest generation. This should have been relegated to the antique status, and even five years ago it received a lot of complaints.

The   EPA rating for the Yaris is 30/37 mpg and 30/36 mpg in city and highway for both the five-speed manual and the four-speed automatic. When we drove the car we found 29mpg overall in both transmissions. The Toyota Yaris SE is built with the front-engine layout and has front-wheel-drive. It is presented in 4-door hatchback body style and can seat five passengers.  Base price of the manual is $17,645 and the one we drove cost $18,724, similarly the automatic we drove cost $19,524 whereas the base model had a price tag of $18,445.

The engine has a displacement of 1497 cc, and it produces 106hp at 6000 rpm and 103 pounds of torque at 4200 rpm. The manual transmission clocks 8.9 seconds for the 0-60mph and the automatic took 10.2 seconds to do that. The quarter mile was achieved in 17.0 and 17.9 seconds at 81mph and 78mph respectively for manual and automatic. Top speed was a governor limited 114-mph.

Toyota models:

Toyota Sienna
Toyota ECHO
Toyota Yaris
Toyota Prius c
Toyota RAV4
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Supra
Toyota Prius Plug-in
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Pickup
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Paseo
Toyota Tercel
Toyota T100
Toyota Prius
Toyota Tundra
Toyota Highlander
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Toyota Prius v
Toyota MR2
Toyota Venza
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota Avalon Hybrid
Toyota Matrix
Toyota Cressida
Toyota Camry Solara
Toyota Previa
Toyota MR2 Spyder
Toyota Tacoma