The 2014 Toyota Yaris may be among the cheapest cars on the market, but there's much more to recommend about this little hatchback than its low price. If you give the Yaris a chance, you'll discover that it's full of unexpected surprises. From versatility to fuel economy and even a little fun, the Yaris has an impressively well-rounded skill set. Here are five reasons to give Toyota's subcompact a shot.

Handy Hatchback

The Yaris is sold only in hatchback form. We're all for it, because let's be honest: Hatchbacks just make more sense. The cargo area boasts more than 15 cu ft. of space, which effectively matches the much larger Camry sedan's trunk. Fold the rear seatbacks down, and there's some real hauling capability for moving across town or just bringing supplies home from Target. It's almost like having a crossover SUV, except the Yaris is a lot easier to park.

Excellent Fuel Economy

It's hardly headline news when a subcompact is good on gas, but we still can't ignore the Yaris' numbers. It returns a remarkable 30 miles per gallon around town, and the 5-speed manual transmission returns 37 mpg on the highway compared to the 4-speed automatic's 36 mpg. Put simply, if you drive a Yaris, you're probably going to get over 30 mpg no matter what. That's a rare feat, especially for a nonhybrid.

Cool Standard Stereo

Most subcompacts come with either a Spartan sound system or none at all, but the Yaris cranks it up with its standard Toyota Tech audio system. Highlights include six speakers, satellite and HD Radio, Bluetooth (phone and audio) and USB connectivity. So if you're expecting a stripped-down stereo that can barely be heard at speed, you're not giving the Yaris enough credit. This Toyota has plenty of musical pop right out of the box.

Sporty Styling Touches

Even the base Yaris features a racy 3-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel, while the SE model takes it up a notch with fog lamps, a mesh grille insert, a rear spoiler, sport seats, and a sport-themed instrument package with a digital information display. It's rare for a car in this class to wear its sportiness on its sleeve, but the Yaris breaks the mold.

Fun to Drive

In terms of the driving experience, the SE hogs the headlines with its sport-tuned suspension, but that doesn't mean the other Yaris models can't keep up. In fact, even the base Yaris is more nimble and responsive than you'd think. As every racer knows, it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, and an enthusiastic spin in the Yaris can put a genuine smile on your face.

AutoTrader Says

The 2014 Toyota Yaris checks most of the boxes for a modern subcompact, and it does so at an appealing price. Don't overlook Toyota's entry if you're shopping in this segment.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as and He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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