2013 Toyota Yaris Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 17, 2013
  • 2013 model carries over with few changes
  • Three- and 5-door liftback models available
  • Subcompact is offered in three trims
  • Recent redesign promises quieter ride
  • Electric steering is standard


The Toyota Yaris is a subcompact car with a liftback in the rear, available with two or four side doors. Toyota formerly offered the Yaris as either a sedan or a hatchback, but the sedan is no longer sold in the United States. Competitors include the Honda Fit, Ford   Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Mazda 2, Hyundai Accent, and other small budget-priced cars. The 2013 Toyota Yaris is offered in three trim levels, with the entry-level L and value-oriented LE editions available either as a 3-door or 5-door liftback. The sport-tuned SE is only available as a 5-door. All trims employ front-wheel drive, with a standard 4-cylinder engine. The 2013 model carries over from the previous year with a few upgrades, including a 6.1-inch touch screen for the audio system. The front grille has been redesigned for 2013, and a few changes have been made to the menus for each trim level.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Toyota Yaris is offered in a choice of eight exterior colors, although not all colors are offered for all trim levels. Standard equipment on the base L trim includes a rear window wiper and 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, color-keyed door handles, and color-keyed grille surround. The LE trim adds power mirrors, while the SE adds 16-inch alloy wheels, upgraded headlights, sportier suspension, sportier tires, a distinctive grille, and fog lights.

Interior Features

Standard interior features on the Toyota Yaris include seating for 5 (with a 4-way adjustable driver's seat), cloth upholstery, power locks, folding rear seat, air conditioning, 6-speaker sound system, tilt-only steering wheel, and a cargo cover. The LE trim adds power windows, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a 6-way-adjustable driver's seat, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded instrumentation, and extra interior trim. The SE has a sporty instrument panel and upgraded cloth-upholstered sport seats. The 5-door model of the Toyota Yaris offers 15.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats.

Optional Features

The Toyota Yaris is not option-heavy. Equipment upgrades come with each trim level. Available accessories include mud flaps, alloy wheel locks, body side moldings, rear spoiler, and rear bumper protector.

Under the Hood

All versions of the 2013 Toyota Yaris are powered by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 106 horsepower that produces 103 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Toyota Yaris are:

  • Yaris with manual transmission: 30/37/33 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Yaris with automatic transmission: 30/36/32 mpg


Standard safety features on the 2013 Toyota Yaris include anti-lock brakes (front disc, rear drum for all trim levels except the SE, which gets all disc brakes), stability and traction control, active front head restraints, and a complement of 6 air bags.

In government crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Toyota Yaris received 4 (out of 5) stars for frontal crash protection; 5 stars for side-impact crash protection; 4 stars for rollover protection, and an overall rating of 4 stars. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Yaris received "Good" ratings--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset and side-impact protection, and for roof strength. The 2013 Yaris was named an IIHS "Top Safety Pick."
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