Saved: The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Toyota Yaris iA
The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA.
Toyota's decision to shutter its Scion division at the end of the 2016 model year resulted in a couple of cars too good to die being shuffled across the corporate hall into the Toyota lineup.  One is the Scion FR-S, which our Publisher and Executive Editor has raved about since its introduction, and which is now the Toyota 86.

The other is the Scion iA sedan, which is now the Toyota Yaris iA.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Toyota Yaris
2017 Toyota Yaris iA
The Yaris iA is one we here in the Phoenix bureau had the pleasure of reviewing under its Scion nameplate just over a year ago, and we are pleased to report nothing of substance has changed.

Interior view of 2017 Toyota Yaris iA
2017 Toyota Yaris iA interior.
As we noted last time, the Yaris iA is not a Toyota product at all, but a re-badged Mazda 2.  And not the Mazda 2 that was an entertaining but underappreciated hatchback that came to the United States five years ago, but that car's replacement, which Mazda decided not to sell in the USA, despite building it in Salamanca, Mexico.

Mazda dealers' loss is Toyota dealers' gain, because this Mazda 2 is a sedan with a trunk and thus complements the Yaris 5-door.

And, while most enthusiasts tend toward the hatch, the Yaris iA is actually the better, more responsive car---because it's a Mazda.  The badges that say "Toyota" are the only Toyota pieces on a Yaris iA.

The iA even gets better fuel economy.  The automatic-transmission version, which we drove, has an EPA fuel economy estimate of 32 city/40 highway.  The Yaris 5-door is 30/36.

Nicely equipped just as it comes---our test vehicle had no options---a 6-speed manual Yaris iA has a base price of $15,950.   With the 6-speed automatic, that's $17,050.  Add $865 delivery processing and handling fee and the as-tested price is $17,915, which fills a sweet spot in Toyota's lineup, since the least-expensive Corolla starts a $18,500.  And it likely fills a sweet spot in a lot of people's budgets.  Here's hoping the Yaris iA benefits from Toyota's big dealer network.