The widespread embrace of SUVs of all sizes has had dire ramifications on the small-car market, and this week, we mourn the loss of yet another dimunutive whip.
The Toyota Yaris hatchback, officially known as the Yaris Liftback, has been discontinued in the US, CarsDirect reports, citing confirmation from Toyota. Toyota's consumer site still has the Yaris Liftback configurator, but it hasn't been updated for the 2019 model year and likely will not be.
With a starting price of $15,635 for a three-door hatch and $16,760 for a five-door, the Yaris was one of the least expensive ways to slide into a new car. Yet, in traditional Toyota fashion, it still came standard with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and automatic high beams. The EPA estimated this little guy to achieve 30 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, so it was decently efficient, too.
That said, the Yaris nameplate continues to live on for the 2019 model year. The Yaris sedan is a rebranded Mazda2 that used to be called the Scion iA before that brand imploded, and it was renamed Yaris iA and folded into the Toyota lineup for the 2017 model year. That one will set you back $15,450 for the base model, and not only is it more efficient than the Yaris Liftback, it also has Mazda's superior infotainment system. It's a very competent small car for the money.
Don't give up hope for the Yaris nameplate just yet. Toyota's spokesperson also told CarsDirect that the automaker has an announcement about the 2020 Yaris lineup slated for the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Whether it means a new version of the hatchback or something else, we'll have to wait that long before we find out what's in store for the Yaris beyond this year.