Toyota Yaris Hybrid review
The latest Yaris Hybrid is a major step forward from its predecessor and should be more of a worry for its rivals
- Handles very well
- Great potential fuel economy
- Improved interior and infotainment
- Uninvolving to drive
- Firm ride on rough roads
- Rear seats tight for adults
|Car type||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions||0-62mph|
Toyota has been refining its "self-charging" hybrid technology since its first appearance in the pioneering Prius, and from 2012 it has been available in the popular Yaris supermini. Refreshed in 2020, the latest Yaris Hybrid faces competition from other hybrid hatchbacks like the Renault Clio E-TECH and Honda Jazz – both of which feature on our list of the best hybrid hatchbacks.
Aside from other hybrid hatchbacks, the Yaris' main rivals are the efficient petrol versions of its traditional sparring partners the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 208 and Volkswagen Polo. In terms of dimensions, the new Yaris bucks industry trends by being slightly smaller than the old one: it's 3,940mm long, but has a 50mm longer wheelbase for greater interior space.
Under the metal, its hybrid powertrain is a big improvement on that of the outgoing model, with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine working in tandem with an electric motor. And where the old Yaris had a nickel-hydride battery, the new one's is lithium-ion – the same technology used in pure-electric cars.
The Yaris feels most at home in the city, with direct steering and a drivetrain that's more than willing to operate under electric power for much of the time when in 'Eco' mode. It's great to drive on the open road, too, with a crisp, responsive feel through corners, but motorways can make the powertrain feel a little strained.
Elsewhere, the car's interior is well made and functional, but stops short of being exciting. Infotainment is better than before, but still not class-leading, although proper smartphone integration is very welcome indeed.
Overall, this feels like the most relevant and impressive Toyota supermini we've seen for many years. Unlike some of its rivals, it's not concerned with eye-catching interior technology or particularly swish exterior design. Rather it looks at getting the basics that buyers want right, foremost among them being low running costs and hassle-free ownership. For a more detailed look at the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe latest Yaris Hybrid is a major step forward from its predecessor and should be more of a worry for its rivals
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsToyota is one of only a few manufacturers to offer a true hybrid supermini; the Yaris' focus on efficiency is impressive
- 3Running costs & insuranceLow CO2 emissions, great warranty and top reliability potential bode well for the Toyota Yaris
- 4Performance, engine & driveWhile a Ford Fiesta is more fun, the Toyota Yaris feels far better to drive than the car it replaced
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortIt's not the most exciting, but the Yaris' interior is comfortable, well built and packed with standard equipment
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalitySmall yet well packaged, the Toyota Yaris balances compactness with decent practicality
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Toyota Yaris is still fairly new but we expect it to be highly reliable, plus it has loads of safety kit as standard