Test Toyota Yaris: Car of the Year 2021 not only for gray pigeons

Toyota is proud of its racing CEO Akio Toyoda. The grandson of the founder of the Toyota auto division has been at the helm since 2009. Toyoda is not only at his chic desk, but also often behind the wheel. He is a bit like the Willem-Alexander of Toyota: he sometimes secretly participates in a major sporting event under a different name. Toyoda never completed the Elfstedentocht, but in 2009 he did participate in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. Not under his own name, not even as WA van Buren, but as Morizo ​​Kinoshita.

“No more boring cars”

When Toyoda took office, something bothered him. Of course he cherished the lists of breakdown statistics, in which Toyota always scores the best scores of all car brands. But what really sleep-inducing a Yaris, Auris or Avensis. “No more boring cars” became his new motto. It took until 2016 before the deed was put into practice – the Japanese will not happen overnight and not even in one year. The C-HR was the first surprisingly designed Toyota in years. This was followed by the successor to the Auris, which was again called Toyota Corolla, and the Camry. Perhaps more importantly, they also drove nicely: Akio’s racing pleasure had found its way into the road cars.

Yaris for younger

The Toyota Yaris is an important new car in Akio Toyoda’s endeavor. It is the best-selling Toyota in Europe, but a rejuvenation of the target group is desired. Toyota hopes that not only the members of Jan Slagter’s broadcaster will fall for the charms of the Yaris (although they are of course very welcome). The latest, now fourth generation, must combine the typical Toyota reliability with economy, driving pleasure, and youthfulness.

Previous review Toyota Yaris

Such a list of requirements seems impossible, but the Japanese have more often surprised us with technical highlights. In February, just weeks before the corona crisis first took hold of the world, we already got a taste. Colleague Remco Slump wrote a first review of the Toyota Yaris, which was still partially camouflaged, but technically almost completely finished. He judged that the Yaris delivered on what Akio Toyoda promised: “Hats off to Toyota, which has radically changed course with the Yaris. The Yaris is not only a fun car to see, but also a fun car to drive.”

New three-cylinder, new battery for hybrid technology

The fact that the Toyota Yaris is no longer boring is even more visible, now that the car drives on the road completely uncamouflaged. The look might be a bit busy, especially on the back with its wavy lines. But hey, it is certainly not boring. Typical for Toyota’s home industry is that the Yaris is 5 millimeters shorter than its predecessor, but that the wheelbase has grown by 50 millimeters. Which unfortunately does not mean that the space in the back is spacious.

Technically, the Toyota Yaris was also thoroughly overhauled: the old four-cylinder in the Yaris Hybrid has made way for a 1.5-liter three-cylinder with 92 hp. The total power of the petrol engine and the electric motor together is 116 hp. The battery pack (lithium-ion instead of nickel-metal hydride) became 12 kilos lighter.

Yaris Hybrid with automatic transmission

This time we can be a bit shorter about driving than in February: the Toyota Yaris Hybrid with 116 hp turned from a nimble to an excellent driving car. The new chassis offers an excellent balance between comfort and sportiness. Even the stepless CVT automatic transmission no longer gets on the nerves as before: the roar at full throttle, when a high speed is suddenly selected, has been reduced to a civilized raising of voice. The direct control also adds to the fun.

Consumption of Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Even more advantages: the consumption of the Toyota Yaris is low. In theory, Toyota promises an average of 3.8 l / 100 km (WLTP), and in practice we were only 0.4 liters above that. Without us driving like a strict treasurer. If you are careful, you can largely use the electric motor in the city. The Yaris also remains under the WLTP declaration on roads where you are allowed to drive at 80 km / h. On the highway, consumption is rapidly increasing, but an average test consumption of 1 to 23.8 is excellent.

Price Toyota Yaris Hybrid

The new Toyota Yaris is at the dealer. The Yaris 1.5 Hybrid is not the only version available. The basic Yaris has a 1.0-liter petrol engine (72 hp) and a manual five-speed gearbox, and is available from 17,895 euros. For comparison: the price of a Volkswagen Polo is 20,500 euros (90 hp), for an Opel Corsa (75 hp) you pay 17,699 euros.

There is also a Toyota Yaris with a 1.5-liter direct-injection petrol engine without turbo (125 hp), which is basically the same as the engine in the Yaris Hybrid. This Yaris 1.5 VVT-i does not have an electric motor on board. It costs 20,195 euros, but has a higher consumption (5.1 l / 100 km, 1 in 19.6).

The Yaris 1.5 Hybrid is for sale from 21,195 euros and always comes with a stepless automatic transmission. Anyone who wants a Toyota Yaris with really all the trimmings pays at least 28,495 euros (Yaris Hybrid Launch Edition). Toyota comes with sports seats, half leather upholstery, blind spot warning, lane keeping and a head-up display.

Toyota Yaris Cross is coming in 2021

Toyota is further expanding the Yaris range with practical and exciting versions. A crossover called Toyota Yaris Cross will appear in 2021. He competes with cars such as the Renault Captur and the Volkswagen T-Cross. Not only Akio Toyoda will get warmer from the Toyota GR Yaris, which is also planned. The four-wheel drive GR Yaris delivers 261 hp (from a three-cylinder!) And is screwed together by Toyota’s racing department Gazoo. The Toyota GR Yaris is not a bargain, it probably costs more than 60,000 euros.

About an electric Yaris, Toyota is ready. There will not be one. Despite subsidies in the Netherlands, France and Germany and excellent sales figures for the electric versions of the Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa. Toyota reasons that buyers dread the hassle with loading and that the hybrid Toyota Yaris (good for three-quarters of sales) is exactly what the Yaris driver wants at the moment. Could that really be the reason or is Toyota misunderstanding the popularity of the electric car? The new platform on which the Yaris stands is suitable for fully electric driving. So who knows, maybe the Japanese will change their minds …

You can drive the Toyota Yaris Hybrid for a fixed low monthly fee via Toyota Private Lease.

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