• Jul 1, 2008
Click above image for a gallery of the Yaris 5-door

Small cars are back en vogue thanks to lofty fuel prices. As a result, Toyota is completing is Yaris lineup in the U.S. by finally adding the 5-door liftback to its list of offerings for the 2009 model year. Available in other markets (including Canada) since inception, the 5-door Yaris occupies roughly the same footprint as the 3-door, but is a lot more practical if you're going to be carrying backseat passengers frequently. Its powertrain will mirror the other Yaris offerings, and we're assuming it'll get the optional sport appearance package available on the 3- and 4-doors. Those sport models, by the way, get a new body kit and interior color schemes for MY09. Other '09 changes include the availability of cruise control on the hatch, as well as the addition of standard front side airbags and rear side curtains. Toyota hasn't released pricing or photos of the U.S. spec Yaris 5-door yet. We imagine the former won't stray too far off from the 3-door. In terms of photos, the gallery below shows you the base UK-market 5-door. Move the steering wheel over and you've pretty much got it. At least now when I catch the occasional episode of Psych, I won't be muttering that the blue 5-door Yaris the lead characters drive isn't available in the U.S.


[Source: Toyota]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      the unlamented Kia Spectra hatchback departs the US, and this ugly thing arrives.

      nothing says "cheap little teeny car" like a hatchback does.

      we were cursed with the hatchback plague beginning in the mid 70s, and it reached it's zenith in the late 80s. I give this current resurrection 5 years, tops.

      AZMike
        • 6 Years Ago
        leaving the cheap appearance out, hatchbacks don't really hold that much, either.

        cargo capacity is limited by the angle of the hatch door. large items will need to be pushed forward as far as possible, because the hatch will not close if anything is back beyond the roofline.

        in most cases, the actual space for the large objects will be less than two feet from the back of the front seatbacks...and that's achieved after you've pushed that large object over three feet from the back of the car.

        if you want utility, make it a box, and call it a wagon. with the tailgate on a wagon being nearly vertical, all space can be utilized.


        I had a friend looking for a new Mazda 6 hatchback.

        we couldn't find one in a five-state area. when asked, each dealer said they didn't order them because they didn't sell.

        AZMike
        • 6 Years Ago
        AZMike: The Mazda6 hatch is not proportioned anything like the car in question (Yaris 5-door) nor the car you spat on (the Spectra5.) Both of those cars have a hatch that's quite vertical and offer a somewhat useful cargo area. If you're JUST hauling something, you can fold one or both rear seats.

        I agree that a more vertical rear profile is more useful. I drive a Legacy station wagon for that reason. The only real advantage the Mazda6 hatch offers is in loading, you're not stock with a mail-slot trunk opening like many modern sedans offer. Subaru screwed up the new Impreza 5-door by sloping the upper part of the hatch way too much, my partner's '06 Impreza Wagon is much more usefully shaped, though still leans into the upper part of the cargo area more than my Legacy.

        The *usual* distinction between wagon and hatch is how much rear overhang it has. I think a wagon with a little more overhang aft of the rear wheels looks better-proportioned than an abbreviated hatchback, but if you sentenced me to a year driving a Yaris, I'd definitely choose this 5-door over the awful lumpy-looking "sedan."
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are so, so wrong my friend. This is the most underrated reason SUV's sold well in the $1.80/gallon days (ever seen a Ford Explorer with a trunk?). Hatchbacks just plain make more sense on any car (but especially small cars) than a realtively useless trunk, and many of us see the beauty in that functionality. If the SUV craze had one positive outcome, its that Americans finallly seemed to figure that out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What a goofy response, AZMike. Hatchbacks make the most use of space than most cars with trunks do. It's a great compromise from buying a full fledged wagon, which probably isn't going to be offered with sport-themed packages.

        Stop with the 'I don't like it, therefore it universally sucks' mindset most Autobloggers are cursed with.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I completely fail to understand this impractical nonsense. Nothing says "useless" quite like a small car with a little wart stuck on its butt masquerading as a trunk. If ANYONE thinks that having a trunk stuck to the back of their Yaris or Mazda3 makes it significantly more like some theoretically desirable big sedan than the hatch version, they're delusional.

        Yeah, the Kia Spectra5 was a cheap 5-door hatchback. No, the Spectra sedan doesn't look any better, doesn't look less "cheap" "little" or "teeny", and it's less practical to boot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good. But don't balance the energy by making a Yaris Coupe. Please.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the four-door hatchback has always been the best looking car in the Yaris family, so I'm glad the US is finally getting a version. Now if only the US also got the European interior--gah, so much more quality, consistency, and style (for what the car is).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Toyota has struggled for years to have a good NBC "new basic car" in their line-up.

      It took over a decade of failure (Tercel, Echo, et al) to final get the recipe right.

      For what it is, the new Yaris is a pretty decent little car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I live in Canada ,east coast , and the Yaris,Echos, Tercel have been a major factor here. The small car market in Quebec is in the 60 to 70 %. USA will most likely go the same route, at last.

        Ugly or beauty is not a dcision factor anymore here:

        Yaris
        Element
        Ridgeline
        Matrix
        Camry

        All ordinary looking but extraordinary reliability and gasoline efficient.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Tercel was quite successful in its day. Back when it sold well in the 1980s, hatches were more popular than they are now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Visit toyota.ca to see what the US-Spec will look like ... Around here, in Montreal, this is one of the best selling cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it's very interesting that they are bringing the 5 door here now. When I was in Thailand in April, the streets were full of Fits (Jazzes over there) and Yarii - but all the Yarii were 5 doors, nary a 3 door to be seen. I came to the conclusion that the 3 door is actually much better looking, although the Yaris seems to inspire a love/hate relationship (I love 'em).

      I think the 3 door was "purposed" as Toyota's rock bottom price, entry car. Thus the use of "coupe" or three door styling - "families" would have to go to the staider, more expensive sedan Yaris if they needed four doors. The original 3 door's one claim to glory was its stock aircon unit even in its most "stripped" form which was pretty stripped, lacking even a rear windshield wiper and radio. It's one glaring "shame" was the lack of standard side airbags/curtains, a pretty serious safety omission these days. That is precisely why I (reluctantly) let my 2007 Yaris go, despite 37 mpg tanks, and got a 2008 Fit instead of a 2008 Yaris, despite the Fit's straight out of annum 2000 styling.

      Now I am very happy to see that the 2009 Yaris has side curtain airbags in front and rear, torso side air bags in front. All safety studies indicate that the reduction in serious injuries and fatalities is significant with side curtain airbags. That ABS doesn't add much to the stats (people misuse them, apparently).

      Now I am back in the market for a Yaris. (With four doors, it would work for my wife with kids as an alternate to the minivan.) With one caveat - by the time you equip the typical Yaris to match a Fit, it costs as much, or more, than a Fit. Ugh. It's also difficult to configure the right way, what with "convenience" and "power" and "sport appearance" packages.

      I guess the Yaris will only "rule" in the stripped, bargain basement world (those "ad" specials with stick shifts).

      I guess I'll have to wait to see what the new 2009 Fit looks like - best as I can tell, the Fit has a "yaris-fied" front end - bulbous - a pedestrian protecting "look" I actually like.

      Looks like the Fit is going to retain the "upscale" category in small cars.

      Oh yeah - the "trunk" in the Yaris is kinda ludicrous. The back seat isn't bad, compared to micro cars other than the Fit, but the trunk is too small. Of course the Scion xD is too small too.

      The problem with the xD right now, based on my test drives, is that the 1.8 doesn't deliver the acceleration expected vs. the 1.5 in the Yaris, and doesn't deliver the gas mileage it does in the '09 Corolla (that simply doesn't make sense at all), and costs way more than the Yaris.

      The Yaris is intelligently underengineered compared to the xD - smaller engines, much better mileage, much lighter, only a little noisier.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is good to see Toyota is finally bringing the 5-door version of the Yaris to the US market. This is what the Scion xD should have been. Now they only need to offer a super high fuel economy diesel version.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They have been using this car in Psych set in Santa Monica, CA and up until now it really threw off my suspension of disbelief. This is great news because now I can enjoy Psych that much more. Other than that I am unaffected.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This always bothered me too.

        Wonder if they will do a Toyota/Psych commercial now that the actual car exists in the US
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, I think Gus' car in Psych is a 4-door Echo - the show started before the Yaris came out. You could get those in Canada, too, which makes sense, because they film the show in Vancouver.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Guess I didn't read the whole post. Funny how no one else cares about stuff like that.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Once Ford launches the new Fiesta, the Yaris might lose a lot of sales. Why buy the beast, when you can buy the beauty for the same price?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Opel- Saturn Corsa is better looking than the lot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And I think a hatch looks way better (and is far more usable) than a stubby little 4 door that has less storage with the extra length.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed, but this looks like it has no trunk space. At least the Fit does. But kudos to Toyota! A quick option in this mess.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that the 5-door is better looking than the 3-door, and clearly better looking than the sedan. I went up to Canada to see the 5-door when they came out there years ago.
      Those who complain about the placement of the gauges in the center, top location haven't driven one of these cars for more than a test drive. The location is IDEAL. It is much closer to your line of sight for driving (looking out the windshield) your view of the gauges are never blocked by the steering wheel. Have you ever tilted/telescoped a wheel to get it to 'fit' well, and then notice you've blocked the gauges? or that to see the gauges the way you like, it puts the steering wheel in a less-than comfortable place. Plus, I would think, the placement in the center helps them reduce costs for various markets (LH/RH drive) and guess what?! That reduces the PRICE of the car to you!

      Sounds to me like center gauges are win-win-win.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Do you think that when a company releases a car like this, they know how ugly it is and it's just too late to change it, or do you think they actually beleive it looks good?
        • 6 Years Ago
        At nearly $5 a gallon, Americans are less concerned with 'looks' and more concerned with 'being able to afford food'.
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