Toyota and Mazda formed a development– and technology-sharing partnership in 2015. As part of the collaboration, we got the Scion iA in 2016, based on the Mazda2 sedan. That four-door became the Toyota Yaris iA when the Scion brand got put in the ground, and then became just the Yaris for 2019. In spite of Americans’ well-publicized aversion to sedans, the trunked Yaris sold 25,269 units last year. Meanwhile, the Yaris hatch, built at a Toyota factory in France, has carried on basically untouched since 2013 — with a four-speed automatic, even — helping to explain its slow take-rate.
If the Yaris five-door moves to the Mazda2 platform, we expect it to follow the same formula as the sedan. That means a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. That’s the same output as the Toyota NR engine in the current hatch, but from a better, more modern engine. Transmission options would include a six-speed manual as standard on the L and LE trims. For 2019, Toyota added an XLE trim to the sedan that comes with a six-speed automatic.
Assuming all comes to pass, the new Yaris five-door would be built at Mazda’s Mexico plant alongside the sedan. But we’ll have to wait until New York to know for sure.