The all-new, fourth-generation Toyota Yaris was awarded the coveted European Car of the Year (COTY) title for 2021, and it is easy to see why.
The new Yaris received the award 21 years after the innovative first generation was named European COTY in 2000, a first for Toyota. The Yaris has also consistently been recognised by the COTY jury with every generation of the model making the award’s shortlist. The 2021 European COTY award came just a few days after the new Yaris was named as the best-selling car in Europe for the first time. The new Toyota Yaris Hybrid was praised for its smooth driving, low emissions and accessible price point – illustrating why more than 80% of Yaris buyers across Europe choose the hybrid powertrain. The Yaris was also recognised for its striking design, dynamic performance, and class-leading safety. Competitors to the new Yaris include such talented rivals as the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208, Opel Corsa and Renault Clio, amongst others.
In terms of size, the new Yaris is slightly smaller than the old model, but its longer wheelbase is actually significant, increasing interior space in the process. The new Yaris is available with a choice of petrol engines – in 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre guises, while the Yaris Hybrid incorporates the latter petrol unit with an electric motor for outstanding fuel economy and refinement. The previous-generation Yaris Hybrid used a nickel-hydride battery, but this has changed to a lithium-ion battery for the new Yaris – as used in completely electric cars. Built on more than 20 years of experience, the new lightweight lithium-ion battery can store more power, whilst the self-charging hybrid system can recover more energy.
Trim Levels & Interior;
Trim levels in the new Yaris Hybrid consist of Luna, Luna Sport (Monotone), Luna Sport (Bi-Tone), Platinum, Style and range-topping Premier. The new Yaris Hybrid is Toyota’s most electrified car to date with an EV drive time of up to 80%. An EV indicator makes it easy for Yaris Hybrid drivers to see exactly how efficiently they are driving, and it is a great way of trying to beat your previous best eco score on every journey. The car’s interior is well made and functional, while the climate controls are separate from the touchscreen (either 7” or 8”, depending on the trim level chosen), and are very easy to navigate around. An improved infotainment system brings with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and is a very welcome addtion indeed. Every detail of the new Yaris is created around the driver, ensuring ease of use and reduced eye movement. A low dashboard, compact steering wheel and deep front windscreen combine to deliver the confidence that only a perfect driving position can give. Additionally, the new Yaris Hybrid has a boot capacity of 286-litres with the rear seat backs in place, but this can be expanded greatly by dropping the rear seat backs when needed.
Car on Review;
My review car was a Toyota Yaris Hybrid Luna Sport (Monotone), which was finished in delightful Pearl Ice White pearlescent paintwork with contrasting 16” black machined-face double-spoke alloy wheels for maximum visual impact. A wealth of equipment comes as standard across the entire Yaris model range, with the Luna Sport coming with key features such as rear privacy glass, front fog lights, dusk sensor, painted radiator grille, keyless entry, push button start, digital speedometer, binocular TFT, 8” touchscreen, reversing camera, 6 speaker audio system, rain sensor, front & rear power windows, front armrest, electronic handbrake, EV (driving style) indicator, Toyota Safety Sense 2 (TSS2), centre airbag (protects occupants in the event of a side impact), eCall, and a temporary spare wheel. The new Yaris Hybrid feels most at home in the city, with direct steering and a drivetrain that can operate under electric power for much of the time in ‘Eco’ mode. It is, however, great to drive on the open road too, with a crisp, responsive feel through corners. The car’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, in combination with an electric motor, produces 116bhp and 120Nm of torque, while providing swift and effortless performance from a standing start. A 0-100km/h sprint time of just 9.7-seconds is impressive, as is claimed fuel consumption as low as 3.9l/100km on a WLTP combined driving cycle. Excellent driving dynamics, together with terrific chassis control, ensure that the new Yaris Hybrid is a truly entertaining car to drive on a variety of road surfaces, while enabling the car to feel more grown-up and solid than ever before. Additionally, the Eco Score I achieved during my time with the new Yaris Hybrid averaged at 93 out of a potential score of 100, enabling me to efficiently enhance my Toyota driving experience.
Verdict & Pricing;
Designed by passion and driven by obsession, the new Yaris seizes the moment through expressive design, which is bold and distinctive, with a reassuring strength that belies its agile, dynamic nature. The new Yaris is now available in Toyota dealerships nationwide with prices starting from €19,110 for the Yaris Petrol Aura and €23,485 for the Yaris Hybrid Luna. Monthly repayment options are also available starting at €160 for the Yaris Petrol Aura and €163 for the Yaris Hybrid Luna respectively. A comprehensive 3-Year/100,000km warranty comes as standard, along with a 5-Year/100,000km warranty on hybrid components.
Quick Facts (if space permits);
- Super-Stylish Supermini
- European COTY 2021
- Outstanding Efficiency
- Spacious Cabin
- On Sale NOW.