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June 5, 2018

Review: 2018 Toyota Yaris 1.3 E

Stare at it; do you like what you see? Love it or hate it, the 2018 Toyota Yaris is a preview of things to come for the all-new Vios—Toyota’s stalwart and constant best-seller. Riding on the same platform and carrying the same mechanicals, the Yaris is basically the Vios with the rear-end chopped up. For that, it’s a functional Point A to Point B machine. It’s perfectly usable, although it must be said that “fun” isn’t in its vocabulary.

As far as updates go, the 2018 Yaris undergoes a tremendous change. The basic hardpoints are the same as the previous model from the windshield, pillars, and trunk, but everything else is new. The front-end tastefully tacks on Toyota’s new corporate look, particularly the smiling, grille-heavy face. Taken in isolation from the rest of the car, it’s actually quite pleasant. However, once the rest of the proportions are considered, it makes the entire car look too nose-heavy. Personally, it’s the rear part of the car that delivers the design goods. The new horizontal taillight scheme gives it much needed width, while the black trunk trim unifies the floating roof.

The Yaris’s interior treatment largely echoes the exterior. The same basic packaging applies down to the positioning of the major electronics bits such as the air conditioning, radio, and even shifter, but the wrapper surrounding it has been given a snazzier re-skin. As a result, it thoroughly modernizes the cabin. The orange scheme is now gone and replaced with a much more subdued, yet classier blue and black number. The interior plastics are still hard to the touch, but the overall feel has been upped. The sweeping silver accents, for instance, nicely echoes the fog lamp bezels while the new switchgear communicates a strong sense of quality.

Despite all these changes though, the Yaris’s most glaring interior weakness remains: the lack of cubby holes. With the exception of the decently-sized glove box, there’s no much place to put things like mobile phones or loose change. It’s also impossible to use a dashcam and a car charger at the same time since there’s only one power point and that one’s located in a rather awkward position.

The Yaris also plays host to Toyota’s newest infotainment system. The same one found in the Rush, navigating through its simple menus is both a breeze and a frustration. The graphics aren’t cutting-edge, but at least they’re legible and easy to read even in direct sunlight. Some typical one-step process such as changing radio bands require two steps as opposed to one, and the lack of knobs may make simple tasks like adjusting volume more difficult when on the move.

In terms of interior space, there’s not much to complain about the Yaris. The front passengers will find the dashboard unobtrusive allowing one to spread his legs comfortably without banging knees. The same can be said with those in the back with the surprisingly good knee room and flat rear floor. The luggage space is also pretty adequate for a car of this size and while the cargo hold doesn’t fold completely flat (the rear seat cushions protrude up when folded), the resulting space is good enough for two full-sized luggage and a couple of hand carry bags.

In its 1.3-liter guise, the Yaris 1.3 E offers a respectable 98 horsepower and 123 Nm of torque thanks to its Dual VVT-i engine. It may be carried over from the previous model, but Toyota’s done a lot of work to make sure that the 2018 model has uprated levels of NVH. As a result, this is easily one of the quietest sub-compact cars around. Mated to a CVT transmission, the initial power delivery is quite alright, perky enough for darting through traffic. But try driving it in any situation that resembles “spirted” and the drivetrain betrays, resulting in gutless progress with barely enough power to go past 120 km/h. Fuel economy is so-so at 8.98 km/L at 16 km/h.

The rest of the Yaris’s mechanical bits are also tuned for comfort rather than outright sportiness. Aside from its excellent NVH, the ride is also quite supple, absorbing heavy road cuts and cracks better than most other sub-compacts. The steering is overly light, but quick. The body itself leans through hard cornering, but at least it feels secure. Plus, having vehicle stability control is actually a nice touch for this class of car.

In the end though, the most bitter pill to swallow with the Yaris is its price tag. At P 927,000, it doesn’t come across as affordable anymore, especially considering that the Vios 1.5 G is just P 26,000 more. The extensively revised looks inside and out certainly boost interest once more in Toyota’s sub-compact hatchback offering, but once driven, it turns out that it doesn’t push the develop as far as anyone would have hoped. The Yaris is a pretty decent car, but it’s not one that raises the game.

2018 Toyota Yaris 1.3 E
Ownership 2018 Toyota Yaris 1.3 E
Year Introduced 2017
Vehicle Classification Sub-compact Hatchback
The Basics
Body Type 5-door hatchback
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.3
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 98 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 123 @ 4,400
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission CVT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 8.98 km/L @ 16 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,145
Width (mm) 1,730
Height (mm) 1,500
Wheelbase (mm) 2,550
Curb Weight (kg) 1,065
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Dunlop SP Sport 2030 195/60 R 15 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors No
Other Safety Features None
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights No
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control Manual
Audio System Stereo
# of Speakers 4
Steering Controls No


  1. As always great review. Too bad Yaris has difficulty going past 120 but at least it has 7 airbags, stability control and the infotainment screen is on top of the AC vents pushing it up in the dashboard. For 927k, good thing VW won't bring the old Gran Santana here in the PH.

    No plans on making YouTube reviews?

  2. Another typical overpriced yet underequipped Toyota. By the way, it looks like a fish, and not the good kind.

    1. and toyota has set a bad precedent for other brands..

  3. Safety is nice, but the level of equipment is underwhelming if compared to the Honda City and the Mazda 2.

  4. LOL at the lack of equipment and engine refinement with a price comparable to the Jazz and 2

    1. True. And it looks like baby prius

  5. ....ang in...

  6. The pre-facelifted version sold more than the Jazz but this one's uglier styling and higher price tag has made it rarer than the Honda.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. while the 7 airbags sounds redeeming, it's still way overpriced for a basic car

    1. with cheap plastics and bastardized spec/features packaging, the day will come that toyota won't be the no.1 selling brand here in the philippines

  9. As usual, ang pangit. Toyota eh. Plus Toyota PH sucks!

  10. Well i trust Lamborghini. Toyota ano ba? Toyota lang? Few years from now baka bilin pa ng Lamborghini yang Toyota mo sa liit nla. Anyway, practicality, reliability, comfort & longterm ownership ang preference ko for my family & business. Your still a kid probably who are trying to be racer racer type and Toyota fan. I've driven some VVT-i Toyota's. comfort is average, cabin noise is not good especially if it's raining, fuel efficiency is almost close to CVT, power is linear but not impressive, etc. And if I want a car with better road credibility then i'll buy Lexus, bmw, audi, mercedes if not Hyundai/Kia/Ssyangyong not Toyota kid. Goodluck kid

    1. Huh???? Ano pinaglalaban nito???

  11. The American 2018 YARIS iA looks better both interior and exterior and has more power with the 1.5L engine. Too bad they did not bring it here and dump us this weaker model instead.

    1. because US Toyota Yaris is Mazda 2.

  12. Overpriced, underspec'd. Toyota just thought to throw in more airbags as a consolation. I donno who's dumb enough to buy this car. Those 7 airbags wouldn't make them look smarter.

    1. Well those concerned about safety. You won't give a rat's ass on "look smarter", when you or your family members are injured or dead.

  13. For its excellent design and high fuel efficiency, Toyota Yaris definitely is a good sedan to buy.

    1. What is the book value of a 2018 Toyota Yaris 1,5 with a sunroof and with 50220 kms on the clock


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