RIP: Pour One Out for the Toyota Yaris Hatch

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
rip pour one out for the toyota yaris hatch

In a less-than-shocking turn of events, Toyota has confirmed to CarsDirect that its Yaris Liftback, a slow-selling model that managed to score itself a facelift a few years back, is dead in the United States.

Official confirmation of the model’s discontinuation came from Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell. Starting at $16,565 after destination, the diminutive hatch’s sales paled in comparison to that of its Mazda-based namesake, the Yaris sedan. To all observers, the Yaris hatch was a dead car … driving.

Yaris Liftback sales were on a collision course with the earth’s surface for all of 2018. Overall volume dropped 77.6 percent last year, with December’s tally of just 98 vehicles — and the fact that Toyota hadn’t placed a 2019 model on its consumer website — foretelling the model’s fate.

Of the 27,209 Yaris vehicles sold in 2018, just 1,940 features a liftgate.

Powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four (whose only dance partner was a four-speed automatic), the Yaris hatch couldn’t boast the sharper handling of its sedan sibling, which is actually just a Mazda 2 in disguise. The model has the distinction of coming in a two-door version, not that you ever saw any on the roads.

Tears? There won’t be many — especially not from Tim Cain, who earlier this week held up his lacklustre Yaris loaner as Exhibit A when describing why buyers aren’t hot on subcompacts. The more competent 2019 Yaris sedan stickers for $16,380, so all is not lost for lovers of small Toyota cars.

It seems Toyota sat on the fence for a while, mulling the Yaris Liftback’s death. According to CarsDirect, fleet documents “listed 2019 Yaris Liftback production as ‘TBA’ for months well after the brand issued ordering guides. It’s not every day that an automaker issues order guides for a car it doesn’t end up building.”

Through correspondence with Toyota’s Hubbell, the publication learned that Toyota has something to show off in that space that hasn’t already been revealed.

“Additionally, we’re working on something new for MY2020 and look forward to seeing you at the New York Auto Show for more details,” Hubbell wrote.

Any thoughts on what this mystery vehicle might be?

[Images: Toyota]

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  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers.