Toyota Yaris Hatchback 1.5 Hybrid Excel 5dr CVT [Panoramic Roof]
Image for illustration purpose only
Ten Second Review
In MK4 model form, the Toyota Yaris has been further Europeanised with sharper styling, a better quality interior, improved media connectivity and significant changes to its segment-leading hybrid engine. What was already a class act has just become genuinely hard to overlook.
If you were asked to name the cars vying for the title of best supermini, it would be a reasonable wager that the Toyota Yaris wouldn't be amongst your top three. If, on the other hand, you had to name a small car that would be trouble-free, cheap to run and easy to use, it would be right up there. The thing is, those criteria are exactly what many supermini buyers are looking for. They don't care if the car can't take the Esses at Donington flat without lapsing into understeer. It's an irrelevance for most but car magazines still put a huge priority on handling and award their 'best of' titles predominantly on which cars are most fun to drive at the limit. The Yaris has always been a supermini that works well in the real world and this fourth generation car is no exception. It has long lacked a bit of flair though, and Toyota has belatedly realised this, endowing the latest model with a lot more styling input, as well as engineering improvements. It's now exclusively a self-charging hybrid.
Here, Yaris buyers won't get the conventional 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines offered with the car in other markets. That's because the brand thinks customers will want the self-charging hybrid version. This electrified variant features a new 1.5-litre petrol powertrain mated to a CVT auto transmission that's claimed to be more linear in response than the old Yaris Hybrid 'rubber band'-like set-up. The electrified petrol engine is 1490cc in size but has the same bore, stroke and piston size as the 2.0-litre hybrid unit that Toyota uses in the Corolla. Maximum engine power is 90hp, the combined system output is 114hp and there's 120Nm of torque. This car makes 62mph in 10.5s en route to 109mph. The brand reckons that the new lithium-ion battery will be able to drain and recharge more quickly than the previous unit, which means that it will be able to provide more of an electric surge through the 79hp electric motor. As a result, the company expects that over 80% of urban journeys in this car will be able to be completed under electric power alone. On all models, ride quality should be better thanks to suspension tweaks and a considerably more rigid body.
Design and Build
The Yaris takes its styling influence from the current Corolla family hatch, the panel work adopting various creases to give it some extra flair. Pronounced blister feature over the wheel arches, plus there's complex surfacing over the rear doors - and the car is both lower and wider than its predecessor. Unusually and against the current trend, this MK4 design is actually slightly smaller than the one it replaces, measuring in at 3,940mm - most supermini rivals are over 4 metres long. As usual, of more importance is the stuff you can't see - namely the new generation 'GA-B' platform this car sits upon. Inside, you'll notice features more commonly seen in larger cars, including a large 10-inch centre-dash infotainment touchscreen. 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring is standard. There's also a further TFT information display between the two instrument binnacle gauges. The driver's seat positions you a little lower than before (36mm lower to be exact) and there are plenty of soft-touch materials around the cabin. The dashboard has been made slimmer and is set lower, with a wider and higher centre console. The driver's instrument binnacle has twin digital meters flanking the TFT multi-information display, and is presented with a shallow hood. Last, but not least, the steering wheel size has been reduced. The rear part of the cabin isn't especially spacious, but the boot area is of a versatile size and is enhanced by a variable-height boot floor.
Market and Model
Expect pricing to be much as before, which means you'll be looking at prices up towards £20,000. Most models will get features like dual-zone air conditioning, rear privacy glass, push-button start, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control and auto-folding mirrors. Plus leather steering wheel trim, air conditioning and a smartphone-mirroring-compatible multimedia system. Safety was a design priority: Toyota says that this fourth generation Yaris was designed to be the world's safest compact car, featuring significant advances in both active and passive safety systems. Standard advanced driver assistance systems include full speed-range intelligent adaptive cruise control and lane trace assist. In addition to these systems, the new Yaris has been developed to provide the best possible occupant protection, in line with stricter testing standards that will be applied in 2020. For example, to provide protection in the event of a side impact, the Yaris is the first car in its segment to be fitted with a centre airbag.
Cost of Ownership
The Yaris' residual values have always held up better than a Fiesta and a lot better than a Corsa and will stack up even more competitively now that the efficiency of this latest model has been improved. It'll help that the new hybrid engine is 20% lighter this time round, contributing to an overall weight saving of around 20kgs. And that a lithium-ion battery pack replaces the old model nickel hydride cells, meaning that more zero-emission all-electric progress should be possible. Toyota is talking of a CO2 figure as low as 86g/km. And a WLTP combined cycle fuel reading of 76.3mpg. The Yaris is covered by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty and buyers also get five years of pan-European roadside breakdown assistance, a three year paint warranty and twelve years of anti-perforation cover. And extended warranty can be bought at extra price as part of a package that includes free MOTs and extended roadside assistance cover. There's a dedicated 'MyT' app that allows you to book a service online using your 'phone. And Toyota has a 'Fixed Price Servicing' plan, so you'll know in advance exactly how much any work will cost before you check into a dealer.
The Toyota Yaris always used to be one of those cars that grew on you - it didn't have the force of personality to impress you with sheer showroom wow factor. The latest model ups its game quite markedly in that regard. Don't for one moment think that Toyota has given into superficiality, favouring style over substance. This is fundamentally better product and its hybrid engine will be a big draw. Electrified technology makes a lot of sense for a supermini buyer and this car leads its field in that regard. None of this will impress the enthusiast magazines or interest those who pore over 0-62mph times or wax lyrical about handling adjustability. But what the Yaris lacks at the ragged edge on a Welsh mountain road, it more than makes up for in everyday use. Put down the car magazines, ask yourself what you really need a supermini for and then see if this Yaris doesn't tick every single box.
Seat Arona Hatchback
1.0 TSI 110 XPERIENCE Lux 5dr DSG
per month inc. VAT
Renault Clio Hatchback
1.6 E-TECH Hybrid 140 Play 5dr Auto
per month inc. VAT
Kia Picanto Hatchback
1.0 X-Line 5dr Auto
per month inc. VAT
Dacia Sandero Hatchback
1.0 TCe Essential 5dr
per month inc. VAT
Hyundai Bayon Hatchback
1.0 TGDi 48V MHEV SE Connect 5dr
per month inc. VAT
Skoda Kamiq Hatchback
1.0 TSI 110 Monte Carlo 5dr DSG
per month inc. VAT
Vehicle maintenance packages are provided to you by the finance company and generally include and exclude the following elements. This cover is an addition to the standard full UK manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance that comes with all new vehicles.
Please note: Terms and conditions of vehicle maintenance packages can vary slightly depending on the finance company. Full details of the maintenance contract provided on your chosen vehicle will be forwarded to you with your quotation once you have enquired.
Maintenance Contract includes:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements, including associated parts and labour
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Wiper Blades, Alternators & Starter Motors (dependent upon finance provider)
- Tyre repair and replacement
- Breakdown assistance
- No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres (dependent upon finance provider)
- MOT tests (if applicable)
What are the key benefits of a Maintained Contract?
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses
What are the exclusions?
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. Bent Aerials, Missing Hub Cabs
- Vandalised and Stolen Wheels and/or Tyres
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement
- Lubricant and Fluid Top Ups between service intervals (e.g. Oil Top Ups, Screenwash Top Ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed as part of your maintenance package. However, this may be available at an additional cost, dependant on your finance provider
What is WLTP?
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaced the NEDC test procedure for establishing official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new cars and became mandatory from September 2018. WLTP is a more accurate way of reading the statistics of an engine’s economy outputs based on realistic driving on an every day basis. The cycle of WLPT is divided in to 4 sections which fall under different average speeds of the vehicle being at low, medium, high and more high. It also includes various driving scenarios such as breaking accelerating and stops.
How will this effect me?
From 1st April 2020 the first registration tax for new cars will be higher. If you currently have a car on order which has not yet been registered then the price will increase and this will vary depending on the cars. If the new car you have on order is being taken on finance or lease then your monthly payments will increase by the amount the first registration has gone up. The new payments will be displayed on the finance documents you receive to sign before delivery of the vehicle.
In addition, from the 6th April 2020 company car tax known as benefit in kind, increased as a response to the WLTP new testing procedure.