According to a recent report by Tire Meets Road, the days of the Toyota Yaris are numbered in the United States. A memo sent to Southeast Toyota dealers here in the U.S. leaked on Reddit laying out the small car’s demise, with production for both the sedan and hatchback ending in June 2020 for the American market.
When asked for comment, a company spokesperson gave a brief statement: “The Yaris sedan and hatchback will not be available for model year 2021. Model year 2020 will be the last year for the Yaris.” Sitting at the entry-level end of Toyota’s lineup, the sub-$20,000 car originally came to North America in 2003, when Toyota sold it here as the “Echo”. The hatchback came along later, in 2006.
The news of the Toyota Yaris dying after the 2020 model year isn’t all that surprising. In 2019, Toyota sold just 21,916 examples, down 19.5 percent from the year before. So far in 2020 (through March, as Toyota reports quarterly), dealers sold just 2,416 units. Compare that to the slightly more expensive Corolla, which sold 69,214 examples through March 2020, and the picture becomes painfully clear. For a volume manufacturer like Toyota, this Mazda2-based car just isn’t pulling the numbers necessary to survive.
In our latest review, we concluded that the Yaris was great fun to drive, if a bit slow. That sort of comes with the territory for entry-level econoboxes, but to redress that balance the Yaris does get up to 40 mpg. At least on the sedan, you can also get it with a six-speed manual transmission, which is going to be an even rarer find after this car rolls into the history books.
There is reason to be excited
While the Yaris will soon exit the U.S. market, that doesn’t mean Toyota’s giving up on hatchbacks. We do still have the Corolla Hatchback, and we’re supposed to be getting a hot GR version soon. Global markets will also get a hot GR Yaris, supposedly with a 257-horsepower three-cylinder engine and an all-wheel drive system with Torsen limited-slip differentials. If the Japanese automaker brings a similar recipe to the Corolla and refines the current model over the coming years, that should help ease whatever sting some people may feel over losing the Yaris.