All models come with a 106-horsepower, 1.5L inline four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional across the line. The automatic has a shift logic feature to help reduce hunting while climbing/descending steep grades.
Fuel economy is very impressive; with the manual gearbox the Yaris returns EPA estimates of 29 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
The Yaris has a suspension that is tuned for quick steering response and maneuverability; it has a MacPherson strut layout in front with a stabilizer bar, and a torsion beam-axle setup in back. The turning radius is a tight 32.6 feet.
All body styles include seating for five, with headrests for all seating positions. The fixed rear seatback expands cargo space up to 25.7 cubic feet on the liftback.
The Yaris has a unique instrument panel layout, with the gauges mounted high in the center of the dash. Front and rear occupants get cup holders and storage spaces. Standard equipment on both models includes air conditioning, tilt steering, and intermittent wipers.
Noteworthy options include a Power Package, which brings a CD/MP3-compatible sound system with mini-jack input, a rear defroster, power windows, locks and mirrors. On sedans, the Power Package adds a tachometer and cruise control, while on liftbacks it adds a 60/40-split back seat that slides and reclines.
Yaris S models add sport seats with upgraded fabric, amber-toned Optitron gauge lighting, leather trim and larger 15-inch wheels. 15-inch alloys are an option.
Standard safety features across the Yaris line include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags.