Toyota Yaris Hybrid 1.5 VVT-i T3 CVT
Toyota car review: JOHN GRIFFITHS
What is it?
TOYOTA pioneered the petrol-electric hybrid and has sold more than 2.5m since the first Prius models reached Japanese customers back in 1997.
With the exception of Honda, most rivals have been slow or reluctant to follow the trend; even so, cumulative global sales of all hybrids have been edging towards the 5m mark.
Now, with its first, Ford Fiesta-sized Yaris Hybrid supermini already flowing out of showrooms, Toyota is accelerating the pace.
The £14,995 starting price for the base T3 model, rising to £16,995 for the well-equipped, range-topping Spirit, has dropped the hybrid to a new level of affordability, some £2,000 below the entry level Honda Insight, itself seen hitherto as the first “affordable” hybrid on the market.
But it is the Yaris’s other financial credentials which make it a force to be reckoned with by more conventional rivals, against which it is competitively priced.
The CO2 emissions of the cheapest T3 model are just 79g/km. For business users that puts it in the 10 per cent company car tax band, still shifting to only 11 per cent in for 2014/15 – so company car tax is stable.
In other words, the business user can wind up paying as little as £25.25 a month. That low CO2 rating also qualifies it for zero VED, congestion charge exemption and – so welcome to employers – 100 per cent first year writing down allowance.
The EU fuel economy figures are also pretty startling: 80.7mpg combined for the cheapest, lightest T3 version.
The Yaris Hybrid’s drivetrain is complex, combining an updated 1.5 litre petrol engine and downsized battery and electric motor system, plus continuously variable transmission from the Prius. To reassure business users and SME business car buyers, however, the hybrid Yaris comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the battery pack and five-year, 100,000 warranty on the rest of the car.
- Business user costs don’t come lower…
- …for employer and company car driver
- A new low for hybrid pricing
- Over 80mpg potential
- Reassuring warranty despite complexity
- Good interior space
- Pleasant looks
- Toyota build quality
- Not as economical as figures suggest on open highway
- Ride, handling, steering uninspiring