Most hybrid models usually come in the form of an SUV or a family car, and it can be very difficult to find anything much smaller than that.
But the hybrid pioneers Toyota have been offering the Yaris supermini with a petrol-electric powertrain since 2011, and here we have the facelifted version.
Given a refresh last year, the Yaris Hybrid comes with new equipment and design options, making it a more interesting package for those looking to buy an economical city car.
But can the Toyota cope against its rivals and prove that hybrid superminis are a good idea in the current climate? We take it for a spin…
With the hybrid model, you get a 1.5-litre petrol engine paired to the electric system that makes 98bhp and 125Nm of torque. Making up almost half of Toyota’s UK Yaris sales, it offers enough power for a supermini and comes with the advantages of an economical outlay.
That power combination leads to a 0-60mph time of 11.8 seconds and a top speed of 103mph – not the fastest but as a city car, performance isn’t everything. If the hybrid isn’t for you, Toyota offers the Yaris with one of two petrol engine – either a 1.0-litre or a 1.5-litre unit.Enquire Now on a new Toyota Yaris
Ride & Handling
Toyota has proven that the Yaris can be made a fun and interesting model with the GRMN version from earlier in 2018 – but due to the more subdued nature of the Yaris Hybrid, this one is aimed at being more comfortable and liveable in the day-to-day environment. The steering is light, which helps with driving around towns and cities, but it does lack a bit of feel.
The seats aren’t the most comfortable and the CVT transmission isn’t particularly quiet either, but the Yaris Hybrid copes better in the city limits. It isn’t the best motorway cruiser around, but you don’t expect that from a city car – but it will be okay on the open road.
Interior & Equipment
As with most other Toyota models, the Yaris interior is well put together and most of the materials used are soft to touch – although you will find scratchy plastics here and there. Despite the refresh last year, some of the equipment is in need of an update, but everything works well.
However, in terms of space, the Yaris is one of the best superminis on sale as you get plenty of passenger and storage space, with the spacious feel aided by the large windows at the side and rear. Boot space is set at 286 litres with the rear seats up, and that can be extended to 768 litres when the rear bench is folded flat.
Available on every specification, the standard ‘Active’ Yaris Hybrid comes with 15-inch steel wheels, Bluetooth, automatic wipers, fabric upholstery, an LED multi-information display and Toyota Safety Sense – which adds pre-collision braking, lane departure alert and automatic high beam. The Hybrid also gets dual-zone automatic air conditioning and projector headlights over the standard Yaris.
In just the next grade up, Toyota adds alloy wheels, front fog lights, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter, road sign assist, a three-spoke leather steering wheel, a reversing camera, the Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen and a DAB radio. Further tech levels add more premium features, such as satellite navigation, parking sensors and a panoramic roof as optional extras.
Prices for the Yaris Hybrid start from £17,895, which mainly down to its more complex drivetrain over the standard Yaris.
But with that different unit under the bonnet, you do get improved fuel returns and reduced emissions – helping the overall case of the model. You can return up to 78.5mpg and 82g/km CO2, which will mean running costs are respectably low compared to other supermini rivals.
As the only hybrid supermini currently on sale, the Yaris Hybrid is currently out on its own and doesn’t have any rivals of note, unless they are either diesel or petrol-powered. The fuel returns and reduced emissions help to make this a good option for those looking for a cheap supermini, but if you’re aiming to go further afield then you’re better off with a conventionally-powered model. It works well as a city car and although you may find some poorer quality materials in the cabin, the Yaris Hybrid is not a bad car at all.Test drive a new Toyota Yaris