First reports are in on the all-new Toyota Yaris and the verdict from the UK’s leading motoring and national media is resoundingly positive.
The new, all-hybrid fourth generation car has proved itself a strong all-round performer in the view of journalists who took part in Toyota’s official press test drive programme. Styling, ride and handling, safety and, in particular, the performance of the new hybrid electric powertrain, all earn high praise from some of the best-respected names and titles in the automotive world.
Their views are an early indication that Toyota has achieved its goals of taking Yaris to a higher level of performance and desirability in one of the most competitive sectors of the car market. Here is a sample of what they have had to say.
John McIlroy, Auto Express Deputy Editor, says the new Yaris “should be on the shortlist of any supermini buyer,” praising” the “pleasingly direct steering and taut chassis,” and noting how the “mightily efficient” hybrid powertrain “does spend a lot of time running on electricity alone.” He reports: “We saw 65mpg on our mixed route and, perversely, that figure rose sharply in every town centre.”
“Say yes to the Yaris” is he headline recommendation on Ray Massey’s report for the Daily Mail. He sees the new car as a complete departure from its predecessor, writing “The striking new Yaris, which promises improved fuel economy, lower emissions and more oomph, has dramatic styling and bold looks.” Crediting the car with a “fun, lively and engaging drive,” he considers it a “worthy rival” to the key players in its market segment.
The new Yaris’s styling caught the eye of Autocar’s Richard Lane: “butch wheel arches, squat rear and rising beltline give it an attitude…Even the entry-level Icon looks decently memorable – fun even.” He points up the benefits of the new global architecture modular platform in making the car stiffer, with better packaging and space for driver assistance systems that are standard across the board. Summing up, he writes: “The Yaris is now better than before in areas that matter and probably more characterful than at any time since its inception.”
“If you already liked the Yaris, this is better than ever, except now you’ll have fun driving it around town,” is the verdict of Murray Scullion in Car. He balances the driving pleasure aspect with the hard facts about how the car delivers both more power and greater fuel and emissions efficiency – a “win-win” in his words.
Greg Potts, reviewing for Top Gear, remarks how “in terms of efficiency it’s mighty” and says the hybrid system is “supremely well-integrated”. He points up the safety performance, drawing attention to the to the centre airbags and the fact that “whichever trim level you go for you’ll get Toyota Safety Sense” as standard.
“If you’ve owned a Yaris in the past you’ll love this new one – and if you’re after a hybrid, it takes some beating,” is the view Colin Goodwin in the Daily Express. He says that the “transition between electric power and the petrol engine is supremely slick” and also has praise for the fuel economy, helped by the fact that in town “the Yaris will be running in EV mode on the majority of occasions.”
Richard Aucock, for Motoring Research, considers the new model’s driving quality, responsiveness and handling make able to “go head-to-head with the sector leaders” with its “excellent hybrid tech” being its “ace card”.
Auto Trader continues the positive theme, reporting: “A new platform underneath, a greater emphasis on sharp handling and bold new styling all add up to an appealing package which… should be entirely fuss-free to own and drive.” And for Eurekar’s Chris Russon, the styling is “ahead of the game” on a car that “takes Toyota into fresh territory in the small car market”.
In The Scotsman, Jim McGill is unequivocal in his praise: “There’s no question this is the best-handling, most fun-to-drive ‘mainstream’ Yaris that Toyota has built,” he declares. He points up the extended all-electric driving capability of the car’s new full hybrid system and considers the CVT gearbox to be “one of the best in the market”. Like many of the first-drive media, he too reported fuel economy well above 60mpg on the test route.
Carwow’s Rory White says the frontal design makes the new Yaris “look like the newborn baby of Toyota’s raucous Supra sports car”. He says the car “excels” in town driving. “often running silently on electricity and feels punchy off the line,” and draws attention to its urban manoeuvrability with its tight turning circle and standard-fit reversing camera.
Tristan Young, writing in Company Car Today, focuses on the appeal to business motorists, remarking on the 22 per cent benefit-in-kind tax rating earned by new Yaris’s 92g/km CO2 emissions and its 65.7mpg fuel economy. “What’s impressive is that figure is achievable in the real world. Without any eco-driving effort, we recorded just under 64mpg,” he says. His verdict: “…overall the newest Toyota is a bit of a winner.”