A 2 Dressed up to a T: 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
a 2 dressed up to a t 2020 toyota yaris hatchback

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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  • 80Cadillac 80Cadillac on Apr 02, 2019

    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.

  • Notapreppie Notapreppie on Apr 03, 2019

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

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.
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