Toyota Yaris Hybrid

| October 26, 2012 | 0 Comments
Yaris Hybrid
 Small cars have come an awful long way over the past 20 years. For a start they’re not small anymore,with todays B segment cars larger inside & out than yesterdays Ford Escort & Volkswagen Golf. A case in point is Toyotas latest Yaris, which is much bigger than it’s first incarnation & is more the size nowadays in 5 door guise as a Corolla. There are benefits to the size increase though, as I found out when I tested the Yaris Hybrid, Europes first B sector hybrid.
 Toyota are at the leading edge of hybrid technology with the Yaris joining the Prius, Auris & Prius + in Toyotas arsenal of hybrid vehicles. The powertrain on the Yaris has been downsized in the Yaris, but there has been no loss of performance with 98 bhp on offer. It also delivers segment leading CO2 emissions of 79g/km, although our T Spirit test model was slightly higher at 85g/km. Coupled with a 1.5 litre petrol engine, the Yaris takes just 11.8 seconds to reach 62 mph, topping out at 103 mph.
 Hybrid means a large battery & the loss of boot space. Not in the Yaris though as the batteries fit underneath the rear seats meaning the boot has a 286 load area & that the Yaris Hybrid offers identical occupant & luggage space to conventional Yaris models.
 The real bonus of the hybrid Yaris though, is twofold. Firstly, a combined fuel economy of 76.3 mpg & secondly it’s automatic gearbox, normally a £1000  extra on similarly  equipped rivals. Anyone who lives in or commutes to & around a city will love the combination of it’s ease to drive & low running costs. It handles well too, with light precise steering, a perky suspension & being automatic an added bonus in towns ,the fun factor as in slow moving traffic there’s no clutch to engage. The CVT gear box  can be a little ponderous in other hybrid models, but in the Yaris it probably performs at it’s best. There is some whining as the engine gets up to speed, but at constant motorway speeds it performed well, although it should be noted that once up at around 80 mph fuel economy does suffer even in a hybrid.
 Toyota have packed an awful lot into the Yaris. Safety features include driver & passenger air bags, drivers knee airbag, curtain airbags, ISOFIX child set mounts, ABS with EBD,Vehicle Stability Control, & traction control. Convenience is catered for as well, with dual zone climate control,cruise control, auto dimming rear view mirror, dusk sensitive headlights, rain sensing wipers, part leather interior, electric windows, tilt & reach steering wheel, height adjustable front seats, remote central locking, Smart push button start, follow me home headlights & a  well worth it £650 extra on my test car of Toyota Touch & Go. This consists of a 6.1 ” touchscreen, six speaker audio system, Google Local Search, Bluetooth, USB port & Aux in socket, rear view camera & a hybrid system energy monitor.  Outside, Toyota haven’t skimped either, with heated door mirrors with integrated indicators, body colour door handles, mirrors & bumpers, 16″ alloys, front fogs, LED rear lights, a chrome grill & tailgate & rear privacy glass. Throw in a 5 year/100,000 mile pan European mechanical warranty, 3 year paintwork warranty, 12 year anti corrosion/perforation warranty & it’s a striking package. Perhaps having such a well specced model spoiled me , for this T Spirit isn’t cheap at £16,995, of which all the goodies on board certainly add up.
 What I really liked about the Yaris H though, was that it was fun to drive. Whether on my own, taking the school run or fully loaded on the motorway it brought a smile to my face & if I’m being honest I was sad to see it go. Super mini autos give you the best of both worlds. The enjoyment of driving a small car coupled with an auto gear box, make driving around towns & cities far more pleasurable than one should have the right to expect. And, with B segment cars now as spacious as C segment cars of old, one could happily downsize to a Yaris from an Auris & not lose too much in the way of space, but still get a highly commendable car. In my opinion, the Prius Hybrid works as well as the Yaris Hybrid & both are good examples of vehicles where hybrid technology works best. A convincing city slicker 4/5.

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Category: Toyota

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