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Toyota unveils Mazda-based 2020 Yaris ahead of New York debut

by Ronan Glon

Mazda DNA gives the Yaris more character.

After unveiling a Yaris-based trucklet as an April Fool's prank, Toyota got serious and introduced the 2020 Yaris hatchback ahead of its scheduled debut at the 2019 New York auto show. The model is new to the company's line-up, but it may cause you to experience déjà vu.

Designers kept the visual changes to a minimum in a bid to bring the Yaris nameplate back as quickly as possible. The hatchback looks just like the Sedan when viewed from the front, but its rear end gains a tall hatch instead of a trunk. The Mazda roots are clearly visible, especially when you look at the hatchback from the side, but they give the Yaris a more dynamic look than the outgoing model.

The Yaris hatchback shares its dashboard with the Yaris Sedan; in other words, it looks a lot like the Mazda2. Again, that's not a bad thing. Stylists penned a clean, uncluttered interior with a three-spoke steering wheel, a simple instrument cluster, and a seven-inch touch screen on top of the dashboard. The infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two features that are finally spreading across the Toyota portfolio, and navigation is offered at an extra cost.

The Yaris will offer a single powertrain. It's made up of a naturally-aspirated, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that channels 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Toyota hasn't released performance or fuel economy figures yet, but it notes drivers can engage a sport mode for quicker acceleration.

Manufactured by Mazda in Mexico, the 2020 Toyota Yaris will go on sale across America in the coming months. The line-up will include two trim levels named LE and XLE, respectively. Pricing information will be published in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.

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