You may think that the 2017 Toyota Yaris iA is too cheap to be reliable enough, but it's not true. It's a car that definitely deserves your appreciation. Let's start with honesty, and it begins from the minute you start equipping the car – the 2017 iA is a "what you see is what you get" proposition. You see, the iA moniker isn't the only holdover from the Scion era. The Toyota Yaris iA retains its "monospec" configuration, which means it comes with only one option: the transmission. Customers can choose from either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic which costs $1,100.
Everything else is standard, and "everything" includes some choice features. You get alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, USB and Bluetooth integration, a rear-view camera, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, and keyless entry with push-button start. The little 1.5-liter four-cylinder under the hood isn't particularly potent with 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. But with a Miata-like 2,385-pound curb weight and our car's manual transmission, it manages to feel fairly sprightly, and never has any trouble dicing it up with traffic. That transmission is is pretty decent, too. It isn't quite as short and sweet as that of the Mazda-badged predecessor, but it still glides into gear with little effort, and the gates are clearly defined and fairly tight.
If you opt for the manual, as we would, you can take an iA home for just $16,835, or $17,935 with the automatic. Though the Toyota-designed Yaris hatchback starts at $16,530, you'll need to cough up $17,280 for the cheapest five-door Yaris. That five-door is slightly cheaper than an automatic iA, and comes with a couple of extra safety features, but you'll be stuck with 4-speed automatic, steel wheels, no cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, and worse highway fuel economy. With that in mind, the iA is very clearly the better choice. It's cheap, honest, and good transportation.