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2018 Toyota Sienna, 2018 Toyota Yaris and FT-4X Concept: New York Auto Show

What Is It? 

The 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan and the 2018 Toyota Yaris subcompact are both presenting their fresh facelifts at the 2017 New York show. The company is also displaying its latest concept, the FT-4X.

As well as a styling update — which brings a front-end look similar to those of the Camry and Corolla — the Sienna receives more equipment as standard, especially in the protection department. Toyota’s Safety Sense P array includes forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and automatic high beams.

It also receives navigation and five USB ports. Those ports are distributed over all three seating rows (the Sienna can accommodate up to eight occupants). And the second-lowest trim level upward (LE) comes with Wi-Fi. The Sienna doesn’t need a drivetrain update, since that happened for the 2017 model year with a 296-horsepower 3.5-liter V6.

The new styling of the 2018 Yaris subcompact hatchback brings it into line with the rest of the company’s output and puts it more in harmony with the former Scion iA subcompact sedan. Its cabin also receives an updated infotainment system with advanced voice recognition.

Looking like a successor to the popular FJ Cruiser, Toyota says the FT-4X is a compact, all-wheel-drive getaway machine for “intrepid urbanites.” Toyota assumes the FT-4X could be liked by millennials who are spontaneous and casual, as opposed to those are more intense about their outdoor pursuits. So although it might not take them too far into the wild, this vehicle could get them to the trailhead or a scenic point.

It was designed in Toyota’s southern California studios and its creators started at the rear, coming up with a “Multi-Hatch” that opens as either a pair of side-hinged barn doors or a conventional one-piece tailgate. There are plenty of clever interior touches as well. For example, the center armrest is actually a rolled-up North Face sleeping bag. And some of the cabin’s lights can be removed to act as flashlights.

Based on the same platform as the upcoming C-HR small crossover, the FT-4X looks like it could be a great rival to the Jeep Renegade, if Toyota ever decides to produce it.

How Much?

To be announced. As a guide, the 2017 Sienna starts at $29,750 plus a $960 destination charge, while the 2017 Yaris starts at $15,250 plus $885.

When Can You Get It?

The 2018 Toyota Sienna goes on sale fall 2017. The 2018 Toyota Yaris arrives this summer.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because… 

A minivan makes so much sense when there are kids in the picture. The Sienna is also the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive. The Yaris, meanwhile, has a reputation for being reasonable to buy and run, and wonderfully reliable.

Other Cars to Consider 

2018 Honda Odyssey — A major minivan player. A new generation arrives for 2018.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica — All-new for 2017, replacing the Town & Country minivan. Rated highly and comes with the kind of details families will appreciate.

2017 Ford Fiesta — More personality than the Yaris, with greater driving fun. If that matters.

2018 Kia Rio — A Yaris rival that is all-new for 2018. Should be well-equipped for the price and quite engaging as well.

Used Honda Odyssey — Taking into consideration that families can’t always afford new vehicles, a certified pre-owned (CPO) Odyssey from the outgoing generation is still a great and useful buy.

Used Mazda3 — Instead of a new Yaris, a used Mazda3 will have more space, a bigger engine, and will generally be a pleasure to drive.

See all 2017 New York Auto Show articles

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More

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