Toyota’s new Yaris is now more powerful, is only sold with hybrid powertrains, and there’s just one propulsion unit, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that is connected to a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor. This is pretty much a regular hybrid setup for a ‘non plug-in’ model.
That said this fourth generation 2020 Yaris now produces 114bhp and 120Nm of torque, which allows for a 0-60mph time of 9.5 seconds and top speed of 109mph. The power is delivered through the front wheels only via Toyota’s e-CVT gearbox, arguably one of the best on the market.
The battery helps the Yaris operate in pure EV mode for around 80% of the time in typical urban journeys. It can also be driven up to 80mph before the petrol engine drops in which is a huge 55mph higher than its predecessor.
The Yaris is designed with efficiency in mind, with Toyota claiming a return of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 92g/km one of the lowest from any ‘non plug-in’ currently on sale.
At Female First we can agree with the mpg claim as our test Yaris returned on average 67.4 mpg during testing
Driving - There are three driving modes: EV only, Power and Eco. EV, as you would expect is all about using just electricity as much as possible for as long as possible. Eco eases back on everything allowing the Yaris to coast and make maximum use of the regenerative charging, Power sits in the middle not seemingly making much difference to the driving, though we noted it was getting the best results from the regenerative braking when in the Power mode.
Inside: The entry level for the Yaris range is the ‘Icon’ trim at £19,910. The Icon well catered for inside, with a seven-inch touchscreen, reversing cameras and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Above that is the ‘Design’ trim, which would set you back around a £1,000 more and gets a larger eight-inch touchscreen.
Then the Dynamic and the Excel sport which combined cloth and faux leather seats trims as well as a fully loaded Launch Edition even further up spec’d - these are truly luxurious models and have extras like a smaller sports steering wheel.
In general, the interior has been improved, with a pleasing and functional modern design, easy-to-use climate control buttons, 10-inch HUD which keeps your eyes on the road. The plastics used for the centre console and the lower dash take some of the shine off the interior, and the digital dials take some getting used to.
The Yaris comes as a three-door or the more practical five-door only. The only issue we could find was rear headroom for back seat passengers, this is a slight issue if your passengers are on the tall side. The 281-litre boot space is not over generous but adequate.
Safety features include, Pre-collision vehicle and pedestrian detection, Turn Assistance, Emergency Steering Assistance, Lane assist, Road Sign assist
On our test we took the Yaris around the busy streets of Manchester and Liverpool as well as across the M62 to Leeds find out how it dealt with a range of conditions and situations.
We found the Yaris to be beautifully simple and functional, but with added quality. Inside the textures and surfaces are pleasant and tactile, we were happy with the comfort and position/adjustment of the seats, access to the equipment, and the many safety features the car sported.
If you’re in the market for a supermini, the Yaris may well have been a car you may not have considered, but with the many improvements and upgrades it is a worthy and deserved addition to your list. During urban travel when driving around town, its hybrid powertrain is super-efficient, kind to the environment, and easy to handle.
The Yaris is a nippy and agile little motor that allows you get around and have some real fun, small enough to get about in an urban environment yet large enough to be comfortable on longer journeys.
As we often say this new Yaris ‘Looks after its occupants’, it is just as happy around busy town and city streets as on longer motorway journeys.
To find out more visit toyota.co.uk/new-cars/yaris/