Toyota Officially Axes the Yaris Liftback, But There’s Something New Coming To New York

There won’t be a 2019 Yaris Liftback model, either.

2018 Toyota Yaris Liftback
The 2018 Toyota Yaris Liftback will be the last year of the current model. [Photo: Toyota]

If you haven’t been paying attention to the Toyota Yaris Liftback lately, we certainly don’t blame you. While the model enjoyed relative success in the late 2000s as a result of rising gas prices and economical woes of the time, that is not the case for the model that’s still around today. According to a CarsDirect report, Toyota made the decision to discontinue the current Yaris Liftback in lieu of revamping the model to face its competition, or at least what’s left of it.

2018 Toyota Yaris
[Photo: Toyota]

There has been a divergence in the Yaris name in recent years, as Toyota repurposed the name for its Mazda2-based sedan under its now-defunct Scion brand in 2015. After the Scion brand itself met its maker late in 2016, the sedan model became the Yaris iA. For 2019, Toyota dropped the last remnants of its Scion branding, and now we have the Yaris sedan. But here’s the thing — even with the name change, the hatchback and sedan are two completely different cars.

On the outside and the inside, the Yaris Liftback has gone longer without a significant update, as the sedan has fresher Mazda styling (apart from the front fascia, which is all Toyota) and interior layout. It also has a newer powertrain, again stemming from a joint venture with Mazda. That means the Yaris Liftback, apart from its aging looks, also packs an aging powertrain. You get a 1.5-liter engine with 106 horsepower, and either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

The Yaris Liftback was updated with more safety equipment, and the base L models were cheap. They started at just $16,385 after destination charges. That evidently wasn’t enough, though, as Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell confirmed the current car’s demise with CarsDirect.

Toyota updated the Yaris sedan for 2019, dropping the “iA” name from the model lineup. [Photo: Toyota]

“We’re working on something new”

Hubbell also reportedly told CarsDirect that they’re working on something new for the 2020 model year. That announcement will come in April at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Could we see a new version of the Yaris Liftback? A later update from a Toyota spokesperson suggests that may be the case. The announcement will concern the 2020 Yaris, although it’s unclear what direction the company’s planning for the model. Could it be a new, wholly-Toyota development, or will it be a model once again co-developed with Mazda?

Stay tuned to for more updates!