Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
Regardless of which trim you go for, the Toyota Yaris comes with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 114bhp in total (helped by the two electric motors that work with it).
When you squeeze the accelerator pedal, you instantly get power off the line, thanks to the immediate reaction from the hybrid system. After that, acceleration is moderate and enough for a 0-60mph sprint time of 9.0sec in our own tests – half a second quicker than we achieved in the more powerful Ford Fiesta Ecoboost 125, but slower than the Honda Jazz.
If you’re after something that’s still fairly firm but more comfortable, the Audi A1 offers one of the smoothest and best-controlled rides in the small car class, and will cost you about the same as the Yaris’s two top-trims.
The Yaris feels right at home when being driven briskly along a winding road, no matter which trim you've gone for. There's a reasonable amount of grip too.
However, while it's more fun to drive than the Jazz, it's not as entertaining as the Fiesta, the Seat Ibiza or even the Polo. Those rivals all have more feelsome, naturally weighted steering, and feel lighter on their toes – although the Polo does lean quite a bit through faster twists and turns.