Reports about the death of the Toyota Yaris Liftback appear to have been slightly exaggerated as the company will replace the model with a new hatchback in the United States
Car and Driver talked to Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell who confirmed a new hatchback variant is coming for 2020. She declined to go into specifics, but the magazine believes the model will be a rebadged version of the Mazda2.
This isn’t too surprising as the current Yaris is a sedan based on the Mazda2. Given this, we can expect the hatchback to have familiar styling and a handful of a Toyota-specific touches.
The hatchback should be powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 106 hp (79 kW / 107 PS) and 103 lb-ft (139 Nm) of torque. It will likely be paired to a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic transmission.
While the engine carries over from the Yaris Liftback, the gearboxes are a significant improvement as the outgoing model only offers a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic.
The decision to introduce a new hatchback is a bit surprising as Car and Driver noted sales of the existing Yaris Liftback have been dreadful. Last year, the automaker only sold 1,940 Liftbacks in the United States which makes it rarer than the Lexus LC. The sedan, on the other hand, did significantly better as Toyota was able to sell 25,269 units last year.
The 2020 Yaris Hatchback is slated to debut at the New York Auto Show which kicks off on April 17th.