Car review – Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid

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Filled to the brim with Toyota's latest Technology, the fourth-generation Yaris with hybrid powertrain has the power to surprise.

 

Best-selling Toyota

This new Yaris is already the fourth generation of the “big small car”. It is Toyota's best-selling car in Europe, accounting for more than 22 percent of the brand's total sales volume. The fourth generation is the first on Toyota's new GA-B platform, featuring a lower centre of gravity and significantly improved stiffness compared to the previous platform.

 

Shorter but more roomy

This Yaris goes against the trend, not getting longer but shrinking instead. At the same time, the wheelbase was stretched by five centimetres, creating more interior space. You are comfortable in the front and there is two centimetres more space between the front passengers compared to the previous model. In the back, adults of up to 1.80m can also sit comfortably, with just enough leg and headroom, but getting in the car is awkward because of the narrowness of the rear doors. The 286-litre boot is normal for a B segment car. The turning circle is very compact.

 

Technological extract

Toyota has introduced the fourth generation of the technology it has been pioneering: that of the self-charging hybrid. In this case, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder is mated to an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery under the rear seats. The three-cylinder is an Atkinson-cycle engine, which is all about efficiency. With a combined output of 116hp, it proves to be sufficiently powerful.

It goes from 0 to 100km/h in 9.7 seconds. The powertrain performs superbly and the electric motor can now reach 130km/h without the assistance of the petrol engine. Although it has no sporting ambitions, it accelerates swiftly. At full throttle, the three-cylinder grumbles heavily and there is still something of a coffee grinder effect (the engine revving up and staying in the higher rpm zone as the car accelerates very gradually), but that noise disappears immediately once the speed stabilises. Official consumption figures are 20 percent lower than those of its predecessor. During our test the Yaris used up 4.5L/100km, an excellent result.

Safety First

As Toyota has the ambition to make the Yaris the safest small car in the world, it invested in a whole host of safety features, making this the first Toyota to be equipped with centre airbags that ensure the driver and front passenger do not collide in the event of a side impact. There are no limits in terms of equipment, ranging from a head-up display to heated seats and a heated steering wheel, a JBL hi-fi system, a wireless smartphone charger, full LED lighting, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and much more. A back-up camera comes standard on all models.

We were pleasantly surprised by the new Yaris, which remains true to its concept of “big little car” but is also super smart with all the technology it has on board. Fuel consumption is still one of its greatest assets and legendary Toyota reliability is likely to help it remain the best-selling Toyota in Europe.

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      + Tech features

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      + Very low consumption

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      + Interior space for the segment

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      - Access to the back - Price of the higher trim levels