Fiesta, i20, Rio and Yaris tested: Mild hybrid no guarantee for economical driving

For this test we wanted to collect models with a three-cylinder engine of about 120 hp in combination with a manual six-speed gearbox. At Toyota we thanked for the hybrid Yaris (with 116 hp and automatic transmission) and we chose the conventional Yaris 1.5.

Ford lent us the confusingly named Fiesta Hybrid, because it is ‘only’ a mild hybrid. The i20 and the Rio are also mild hybrids and with common designations such as ’48V’ and ‘MHEV’ there is no ambiguity about that. Are mild hybrids more economical than a regular Yaris in practice?

How does a mild hybrid work?

The technical affinity of the Hyundai i20 and the Kia Rio can be seen under the bonnet: both hatchbacks are powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder with a turbo, a starter generator and a 48-volt on-board network. The energy recovered during braking disappears in a miniscule 0.44 kWh battery pack. The starter generator can draw on this and give the combustion engine a boost from 5 to 13 hp.

In the i20 and Rio, the manual six-speed gearbox automatically goes into neutral when you release the accelerator pedal in eco mode. That way, the car rolls out without the friction of the gearbox, which is better for fuel consumption.

So (un) economical are mild hybrids

But as smart and plausible as this may sound, the Hyundai i20 and the Kia Rio consume more fuel than their competitors. Both complete our consumption test with an average consumption of 6.4 l/100 km or 1 in 15.6.

The Ford Fiesta Hybrid also has mild hybrid engineering and settles for just 5,7 liter per 100 kilometers. That equates to 1 in 17.5. That’s another way to do it! The Toyota Yaris 1.5 has no modern frills at all (not even a turbo) and shows its skills for it 5.8 l/100 km (1 in 17.2). The technicians at Hyundai and Kia will scratch themselves behind the ears.


Mild hybrid technology can ensure low consumption, as the Fiesta Hybrid shows, but does not guarantee economical kilometers. The Hyundai i20 1.0 T-GDI 48V and the Rio 1.0 T-GDI MHEV are the biggest slokops in this test. The Yaris 1.5 does justice to the Toyota image and is economical.

Curious about the full test from Auto Review 5/2021? Don’t feel like going outside? Order Auto Review 5 in our webshop.

Published by

Recent Posts

Max Verstappen can be seen again in popular Netflix documentary ‘Drive to Survive’ after “good conversation”

©  AFPMax Verstappen can be seen more often on Netflix in the new season of…

4 hours ago

The Ice Rabbit or the Half Fleming: Will George Russell or Lando Norris Be the New Lewis Hamilton?

Lando Norris and George Russell are both described as successors to Lewis Hamilton in their…

5 hours ago

Jaguar to demolish Bentley with new SUVs? See first, then believe…

Things have not been going well for Jaguar in recent years. That's why the British…

7 hours ago

Always wanted a Miami Vice white Ferrari Enzo? Then you had the chance

What's so special about a Ferrari Enzo? 400 units have been built and one always…

7 hours ago

Volkswagen does not want you to see that this is the electric Cupra Tavascan

Look closely, is a Volkswagen ID.4 driving here on the Nürburgring? You would think so,…

23 hours ago

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone would “catch a bullet” for Russian president Vladimir Putin: “He’s a great person”

©  REUTERSBernie Ecclestone said he would "take a bullet" for Russian President Vladimir Putin, according…

24 hours ago

This website uses cookies.