What Car? says...
The Toyota Yaris could be the solution for small car buyers struggling to decide whether to stick with a petrol engine or go fully electric.
You see, as a regular hybrid the Yaris lets you fill up with fuel, safe in the knowledge you're never going to suffer 'range anxiety', but also has a battery and motor, so you can do a few miles at low speeds on electricity alone.
Here's the thing, though: while the Toyota Yaris has long been a frugal choice, it has struggled to push to the front of the small car pack. The big-selling Ford Fiesta has beaten it for driver appeal and the Volkswagen Polo has had a distinct advantage when it comes to comfort and quality.
So can this latest Yaris narrow the gap with those rivals – or even close it completely? And how does it compared with the Honda Jazz and other small hybrids?
That's what we'll tell you over the next few pages of this review, which covers performance, interior quality, running costs and more. We'll also tell you which Yaris trim offers the best value for your money.
The Yaris Hybrid was too new to be included in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Toyota as a whole did well, coming joint fifth (with Mini) out of 30 manufacturers rated. Every Yaris comes with a three-year warranty, and that can be extended to 10 years and 100,000 miles if you service your car each year at an official dealership. Read more here
Not a full electric car, no, but as its full name (Toyota Yaris Hybrid) suggests, it has hybrid engine technology to improve fuel economy. That means you get a petrol engine plus two electric motors and a battery. It can travel very short distances on electric power, and is particularly effective in stop-start city traffic. Read more here
There’s only one engine available for the Toyota Yaris, and we think the best trim to pair it with is entry-level Icon, because it includes plenty of kit for a good price. That includes 16in alloy wheels, a 7.0in touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, climate control, automatic wipers and a rear-view camera. Read more here
The difference is in the price and the amount of equipment you get as standard. Entry-level Icon trim is well-equipped, but the more expensive Yaris Hybrid Design comes with a few more luxuries – including a larger 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system, rear privacy glass, electric rear windows and LED headlights. Read more here
The Yaris Hybrid scored the maximum five stars for safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP, and comes with plenty of safety equipment as standard. That includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and road-sign detection. If you go for the top-spec Excel trim, you also get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Read more here
The Yaris has a 286-litre boot, which is less luggage space than you’ll find in most rival small cars. To put that in context, there’s enough space in the Yaris boot for a weekly food shop or four carry-on suitcases, but the Volkswagen Polo can take six cases. Read more here
The Toyota Yaris is a smaller (and cheaper) car than the Corolla, measuring shorter and narrower. The Yaris is marginally taller than the Corolla, however. While the Yaris competes with the likes of the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, the Corolla is a Ford Focus or VW Golf rival. Read more here.
The Mazda 2 Hybrid is a rebadged version of the Toyota Yaris as a result of a co-operation deal between the two manufacturers. As such, the two cars are essentially identical. However, a bespoke Mazda 2 is also available for now under the same name, based on older Mazda technology. Read more here.
The Yaris is a very good car overall and an excellent one in part. It stands out for its incredible real-world fuel economy, amazing reliability record and for coming with a lot of kit as standard. However, it is relatively small compared to the Honda Jazz, while the VW Polo is more comfortable. Read more here.
The Toyota Aygo is smaller than the Yaris. It is 47.5cm shorter, 8cm narrower and 4cm lower. The Aygo is only available as a three-door model, whereas the Aygo has five. While the Aygo has many merits, we rate it as a three-star car and the Yaris as a four-star car. Read more here.
The Toyota Yaris Cross sits on the same platform as the Yaris, so is essentially the same size inside. However, the Yaris Cross is 24cm longer and 2cm wider as a result of its chunky bodywork. It also sits 9cm higher thanks to its quasi-SUV stance. Read more here.
|RRP price range||£21,460 - £26,625|
|Number of trims (see all)||4|
|Number of engines (see all)||1|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||hybrid|
|MPG range across all versions||64.2 - 68.9|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||5 years / 100000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£936 / £1,216|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£1,871 / £2,432|