Arriving as the flagship of Toyota’s best selling model series in Europe, the Yaris Hybrid has been developed from the stable-mate Auris series, itself based on the Prius, but with smaller nickel hydride battery, tighter packaging of the powertrain in a smaller five-door body and the use of a smaller, extensively revised 1.5 litre petrol engine and an electric motor which jointly produce 98bhp and emit 79gkm CO2.
The lighter, more compact and efficient hybrid powertrain was designed as part of the Yaris series from the start of production with components shipped from Japan for assembly in eastern France alongside the regular Yaris models built at Valenciennes.
Yaris Hybrid uses a new battery pack stowed under the rear passenger seat for the first time which leaves a bootspace of 286 litres behind the fifth door and still gives room for five people.
It comes as standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission incorporating regenerative braking and fuel and emissions’ saving electric only drive modes.
Toyota say the Yaris Hybrid will hit 62mph from standstill in 11.8sec and run to 103mph.
In Britain, Yaris Hybrid will be sold in the familiar trim levels with the T3 costing £14,995, the T4 £15,895 and the T Spirit £16, 995.
Toyota UK MD Jon Williams said, “The Yaris Hybrid is a major step forward for the company rolling out its latest technology and I am confident of selling 2,600 this year, just under 6,000 next year, and it will help to break into more company business because of the 100pc write-down and 10pc BIK as well as zero congestion charge.
“Yaris sales last year were 18,000, this year they are likely to be 28,000 and next year about 28,600 models with an increasing proportion being the Hybrid derivative.”
Toyota retail product manager Alan Barrett added that with the changing economic situation he believes the Yaris Hybrid might see 80pc leased rather than bought and it will have more appeal to fleets and even publically funded authorities and bodies.
“Because Yaris Hybrid will take us into a new sector of the market with this technology it will also allow dealers to engage with customers who do not already use a hybrd or who have never considered a Toyota before.
Lots of plastic not so inviting as the rest of the car “It is going to give us great opportunities and with support from Toyota Financial Services I think that we might see about 80pc being acquired on PCPs, which are particularly attractive for this car.”That is because the new Yaris Hybrid is about £2,300 more than a petrol equivalent in the range and you have to look at tax and congestion charging benefits to offset this higher price.Yaris Hybrid is being sold with a 5yr & 100,000 warranty for most parts and an 8yr & 100,000 miles cover for the battery.
The new Toyota Yaris Hybrid was in its element on the European launch in the Netherlands this week, with unchallenging flat roads to make use of the EV running capability and smooth roads giving a good ride.
Its automatic transmission, good turning circle and feelsome brakes made Amsterdam city driving very easy and it proved very agile negotiating narrow streets in surrounding canal-side towns.
For older drivers, the wide opening doors and big apertures ease entry and exit, the seats are large and well shaped and you have a low waistline with big wipers.
Driving two differently specified models over two days and a narrow mixture of roads I averaged 62mpg equivalent at best but some colleagues pushed economy up to 78mpg when using the sophisticated EV modes at every opportunity.
Whether or not you like the exterior or interior styling is a matter of opinion but my guess is that after five years of use it will still look as pristine as it did when you first drove it.
This will assist with residual values as well and initial indications from independent assessors are good, which will also make the Yaris Hybrid attractive as a business car proposition.
Breaking news . . . . . . . . .
The new Yaris Hybrid is set to shake up the supermini market, not just by introducing Toyota’s high-efficiency full hybrid power technology to the segment, but also by delivering all-round, unmatched savings on cost of ownership. Data just released by KWIKcarcost rank Yaris Hybrid the best among its key competitors for delivering the lowest bills over three years for company car operators and drivers.
Industry monitor CAP predicts the new Toyota will be the class of the field in terms of residual value over three years/60,000 miles, at 38 per cent for the T4 model.
Private owners, too, will appreciate the new model’s fuel economy – particularly in around-town driving and zero road tax (VED). Add to that the smooth and easy driving character of the hybrid system, contemporary styling, passenger and load space that are every bit as roomy as the standard Yaris and exceptional technical reliability and the prospect is even more appealing.
KWIKcarcost analysis shows that, measured across standard ownership benchmarks over three years, companies running the Yaris Hybrid will be paying just 35.2p per mile. And for the company car driver, personal costs work out at 44 per cent lower (over three years/60,000 miles) than for a comparable Vauxhall Corsa, and almost 30 per cent less than if they opted for a Honda Jazz hybrid. There’s a clear advantage of 10 per cent against the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, too.