By on April 2, 2019

Badge-engineering is nothing new under the sun, especially for those of us who lived through Detroit’s offerings in the 1980s. Here in the 21st century, all hands are getting in on the action, with Toyotas appearing as Subarus and Nissans appearing as Chevys. This time around, the Big T is continuing to forge a relationship with Mazda, applying its Yaris nameplate to a small Hiroshima hatchback.

They’ve done more than just slap a badge on the thing, of course. Like the Yaris sedan, Toyota has grafted a tribute to the whisker fish to the 2’s nose during a fit of reconstructive surgery.

Your author will cop to reading the press bumf very carefully, since it was released on April 1st and also included a prank shot of this “Yaris Adventure.” All the same, I can think of several small business owners in my town who would deploy this fictional pickup for fuel efficient errand running.

Anyway, Toyota describes the Yaris Hatch as a “cab-rearward” design (surely a nod to April 1 while also reminding one of the old Chrysler LH sedans). Its guppy mouth mimics that of the Yaris sedan and looks ready to hoover up those Cheetos that were dropped under the couch. It is longer than the old model, stretched to 161.6 inches on a wheelbase that is up by 2.4 inches. Toyota says it will have a trunk area spanning nearly 16 cubic feet, meaning college students across the nation can pack in more beer and pizza books and toiletries.

As is Toyota’s wont lately, the 2020 Yaris Hatch will be available in mono-spec LE and XLE models, meaning the content in each of those trims is a like-it-or-lump-it affair. There will allegedly be a selection of seven “vibrant” colors, making this a good contender for a future Ace of Base post.

Standard infotainment kit is robust, featuring a 7-inch touchscreen with CarPlay and satellite radio baked right in, even on the LE. Navigation, too. Color-keyed trim, aluminium wheels, and fog lamps on the base car won’t belie your cheapskate buying decisions, nor will the standard heated sideview mirrors.

Power will come from a 1.5-liter four banger making 106 horsepower. The company says it is mated to a standard six-speed automatic, making no mention of a stickshift. Pity. They do take the time to point out it’ll have a Sport mode and, it must be said, at least it is not a miserable CVT.

Toyota will show off its new hatchback at this year’s New York Auto Show, which kicks off just a couple of weeks from now. TTAC will have boots on the ground, so be sure to hit us up for shots of all the hottest models… and this Yaris hatchback.

[Images: Toyota]

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24 Comments on “A 2 Dressed up to a T: 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback...”

  • avatar

    Wait you mean they attached that front end intentionally??

    • 0 avatar

      Yes. Yes, they did. All cars have fish mouths today. Except for the ones that look like insects in a microscope. All the happy chrome faces on 1950s and early 1960s cars are a distant, receding memory. If kids mimic the front clips of today’s cars, will their mothers warn them that their faces might get frozen that way? I hope that bit of Americana remains.

  • avatar

    I thought Yaris was ending worldwide? So, now we’re finally getting the latest Mazda2 hatch, Yaris-badged?

  • avatar

    Lord Vader, your subcompact has arrived.

  • avatar

    This is a great little car, awful front end notwithstanding.

  • avatar

    The lower trim and fog lights (added to the XLE sedan package last year) help with the guppy mouth, but still unfortunate. Looks aside, this will be fun. Sales will be small, but this car is way better than the home grown Yaris it replaces.

  • avatar

    I mean, not bad, right? You get a Mazda Toyota with a pretty stylish interior for an econobox. Standard heated mirrors and an actual automatic transmission instead of a CVT?

    I’d look at it. But it’s hard to think this makes more sense than just getting a Corolla for a little bit more money.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, then why buy a Corolla when you can get a Camry for a little bit more. And why buy a Camry when you can get a RAV4 for a little bit more. And why buy…. you get my point.

      Some people don’t want the biggest vehicle they can buy for the money they have.

    • 0 avatar
      Jean-Pierre Sarti

      in my neck of the woods due to the corolla model changing you can get a corolla for cheaper than a yaris sedan.

  • avatar
    Kosher Polack

    I’m into it! Some of you may recall that my hunt for a car that can carry two children while being under 168″ in overall length is, uh, not going well. And with some luck, it might even be priced like a car instead of a CUV! And that low, low curb weight! *swoons*

    Remarkably, this has slightly more back seat legroom than the Corolla hatch, a car that I sat in and found surprisingly confining.

    I am definitely interested to see how the pricing turns out when this hits the dealership, finally I have an alternative to a Kia Soul.

  • avatar

    To quote Ahhnold. “You are one ugly mother f…..”

  • avatar

    Please, please, please, Toyota, you have to offer the hatch with a stick shift. You already sell the sedan with it, so why would you not make it an option on the hatch? I know, bean counters, millennials, whatever the excuse, but come on, the enthusiast and/or cheap skate cred has to be worth the minimal expense of doing something you already do in the sedan. Charge more, put red stitching in it and “S” badges, whatever ever you have to do, just please, you have to sell the hatch with a stick.

  • avatar

    Am I the only one who would rather have the April Fool’s trucklet?

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I’m quite glad it’s not a CVT. Yet.

  • avatar

    Star Wars fans must dig this. It’s as close as they can get to actual driving a Stormtrooper helmet.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    It figures this would show up right after I finished sorting through the 2008 Yaris I picked up as a daily. Oh well, maybe I’ll pick up one of these in 2028 after I’ve miled up the Yaris.

  • avatar

    Why buy this crap when you can buy Mazda2 much nicer looking and with higher quality and more elegant interior?

    • 0 avatar

      Mazda does not sell the 2 in the United States, excepting Puerto Rico. So If you really want a Mazda 2, you must buy it in Puerto Rico and have it shipped to the mainland.

  • avatar

    I would buy/drive that Yaris Adventure trucklet! Why is it just a prank? It looks better than the Chevrolet Montana and other small car-based trucks sold in South America. I wish this segment was a thing in the US.

  • avatar

    You know what? I’d totally rock the MazdYotaMino.

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