TOYOTA YARIS HYBRID

Recent updates for the Yaris family have progressed the regular petrol variants, particularly as the fresh 1.5-litre Toyota is simpler to drive than the withdrawing 1.3-litre.

But it’s the Yaris Hybrid that we’re interested in here – and it’s the most undemanding of the line­up to drive – although you’ll have to fork-out for the pleasure. While the petrol-powered Yaris kicks off at £12,995, the Hybrid’s price-tag starts at £16,195 in identical base- level Active guise.

Be that as it may, the efficiency figures speak volumes, and while we’re not certain how they’ll play out in day-to-day reality, you can’t be dissatisfied with 75g/km C02 and 85mpg, at least in writing.

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The Hybrid has another crowd- puller. It’s the only Yaris model to be hooked up to an automatic gearbox, albeit a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This might entice you if you can’t abide manuals, but take heed; a CVT isn’t the sweetest of ‘boxes.

The Hybrid is driven by a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, which jointly produce 99BHP. Hit the go pedal hard from a standing start and 62mph is reached in 11.8 seconds. That’s not fast on paper, but the torque from the electric motor makes the Yaris seem zippy.

You can dawdle along for about a mile in complete electric mode if you feather the accelerator, and when the petrol unit does come to life, it’s anything but intrusive. Indeed, Toyota has made more amendments to the Yaris Hybrid than any other of its brethren. The car is quieter now, thanks to supplementary sound-supressing materials, and the chassis has been tweaked to enhance the handling and ride comfort.

Alterations to the cabin give a more present-day feel, particularly with different trims, hues, and a colour information display in the driver’s binnacle.

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The Japanese automaker’s pledge to make its vehicles even safer is also tangible. Every Yaris now comes fitted with Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems. The technology comprises Lane Departure Alert, Pre-Collision System with Autonomous Emergency Braking and Road Sign Assist.

While the flat-as-a-pancake roads of the Netherlands meant it was difficult to appraise the Hybrid completely, it certainly felt better than the normal Yaris. There are very few corners in rural Holland, but when we saw any, we pitched our test vehicle into them as hard as we could. The result? There’s hardly any lurching, meaning composure isn’t compromised if you want some playtime with the Hybrid.

Indisputably, the 2017 Yaris Hybrid will be an unfussy machine to live with. It’s a talented, well-screwed-together, compact vehicle; and even if you don’t give a monkey’s about fuel economy, you’ll be pleased with its ride quality and powertrain.

Select the entry-level Active Hybrid model and you’ll be spending £3,200 more than the petrol only version. But it’ll be worth it.

 

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