Toyota Yaris goes hybrid; ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE.
EVERY car manufacturer is striving to produce models powered with engines which give greater fuel economy and reduce emissions and Toyota is a leader in the field.
The Yaris is Toyota's best-selling core model in Europe, with more than 2.5 million units sold since it was introduced in 1999 - 368,000 of them in the UK.
The Yaris Hybrid is primarily aimed at people who are looking for an affordable town car which is ultra-frugal on fuel but still offers an enjoyable driving experience.
Thanks to some very clever engineering, the Yaris Hybrid's Synergy Drive system has been installed without reducing the size of the passenger accommodation of load space. All of the principal hybrid components have been reduced in size and weight from the Auris and Prius models and the fuel tank and hybrid battery have been installed under the rear seat.
As a result the Yaris Hybrid has identical space for driver and passengers and the same 286-litre luggage capacity as the standard petrol and diesel model.
The smaller hybrid system combines a re-engineered 1.5-litre petrol engine with a lighter, more compact electric motor, transaxle, inverter and battery pack.
Toyota claims it offers a best-in-class balance of performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Official combined cycle fuel consumption is 80.7mpg with 76.3 for the higher specification T Spirit. CO2 output is 79g/km and 85g/km for the T Spirit, still well below the UK's road tax threshold.
Around town, at speeds lower than 30mph, the Yaris Hybrid runs on electric power only but don't expect it to leap into action from the lights and, if you do plant your foot hard on the accelerator, it does make a considerable amount of noise before the petrol engine takes over.
But if you are gentle on the throttle the automatic transmission is slick enough and the hybrid can hit 62mph in about 12 seconds. Top speed is 103mph.
I drove the new Toyota in and around Amsterdam and managed to get around 68mpg on the run. Of course, there wasn't a hill in sight, and driving in the UK could make a big difference in fuel consumption.
As far as the looks of the Yaris Hybrid goes Toyota has made it much more attractive.
Face-on it has a larger trapezoidal lower grille which improves engine bay cooling, but serves to strengthen the car's ground-hugging appearance.
The slimmer, sculpted upper grille carries the Toyota badge in hybrid blue and is flanked by slim headlights.
It has the same cab-forward silhouette and long wheelbase as the standard Yaris.
At the rear the tailgate incorporates a new LED high-mounted stop light. On T4 and T Spirit models the clear lens combination lights feature an LED and tail lamp unique to the Yaris Hybrid.
The interior, which is comfortable but not exciting.
As with all Toyotas the Yaris Hybrid is well equipped with a good range of standard equipment including all-round airbags, anti-lock brakes, trip computer, intermittent wipers, adjustable headlamps, electric door mirrors, CD player/radio, air conditioning, immobiliser and central locking.
The Yaris Hybrid will appeal to those who are looking for comfort, a pleasant driving experience and who care for the environment but don't expect a thrilling driving experience.
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Jan 31, 2014|
|Previous Article:||Toyota Yaris makes the new grade.|
|Next Article:||Promoter Hearn rules out Millennium magic for big fight re-match.|