New Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris vs Volkswagen Polo: costs

As hybrids, the new Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris should be frugal, but are they as well rounded as a conventional small car such as the Volkswagen Polo? Let’s find out...

Honda Jazz 2021 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Here’s where the Yaris starts to pull back a lot of ground, partly thanks to its incredible fuel economy. It isn’t just the most frugal car in this test; it’s the most efficient car we’ve ever put through our real-world True MPG test. Average consumption was a whisker under 60mpg, while the Yaris managed a remarkable 80mpg around town.

The Jazz averaged a very respectable 56.0mpg and the Polo 51.8mpg, with the latter proving far thirstier than the hybrid cars in town but bettering the Jazz and almost matching the Yaris on the motorway. So, the difference in fuel bills will depend largely on the type of driving you do, but on average, expect to squirt around £150 more petrol in the Polo’s tank than the Yaris’s every 12,000 miles.

Toyota Yaris 2021 side

A glance at the brochure prices of our contenders suggests either the Polo is a steal or the hybrid cars are pretty expensive. And when you factor in the bigger discounts available on the Polo, the difference in the cash price becomes even greater.

However, the Jazz and Yaris are predicted to shed value at a much slower rate, so while the Polo will cost private buyers the least to own over three years once all the bills have been tallied up, the gap isn’t anywhere near as big as it might appear at first. If you sign up to a PCP finance agreement instead, the Yaris will cost you barely any more than the Polo, at around £240 per month (assuming a three-year term with a £2500 deposit and a limit of 10,000 miles per year), with the Jazz being about £35 more.

CO2 emissions of just 92g/km (in Icon and Design trims) help to make the Yaris the cheapest option for company car drivers paying benefit-in-kind tax. If you’re in the 40% tax bracket, you’ll sacrifice £138 of your salary a month to run one, compared with £156 for the Jazz and £160 for the Polo.

Volkswagen Polo 2021 side

All those prices are without any options, though, so it’s also worth bearing in mind that you get the most standard kit with the Jazz. Like the other two, it has alloy wheels and automatic lights, except its headlights are the powerful LED type, as opposed to old-school halogen units. The Jazz and Yaris also come with rain-sensing wipers, climate control and adaptive cruise control, which can automatically maintain a set distance from the car in front. You can add those three things to the Polo, but you’ll be relieved of a total of £1245. LED headlights will cost you a further £1000.

It’s a similar story for safety kit, because while all three cars have automatic emergency braking to prevent you from accidentally running into the car in front at low speeds, the Jazz and Yaris add lane-keeping assistance and can display the speed limit of the road you’re driving down in their instrument panels. Adding these things to the Polo will cost you another £735.

Honda Jazz vs Toyota Yaris vs Volkswagen Polo costs

The Jazz and Yaris have been appraised by Euro NCAP under the latest crash testing standards, and while neither was immune from criticism (adult protection in the front impact test could have been better), they both scored five stars, with the Jazz being the slightly better all-round performer. The Polo was tested back in 2017, when the tests were less stringent, making comparisons tricky.

The Polo performed averagely well in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey, as did Volkswagen as a brand. The Japanese cars weren’t included, but there’s reason to be optimistic, because Toyota ranked third (out of 31) in the brand league table, while Honda was eighth.


<< Previous | Next: Our verdict >>

Page 4 of 5