Theres no getting away from it – hybrids are here to stay. Since Toyotas Prius and Hondas Insight hit the scene, the concept has gone from strength to strength, with a multitude of manufacturers now offering hybrid vehicles – even Porsche.
Toyota is still something of a master though, and latest to join its line-up is the Yaris Hybrid. It joins the Honda Jazz Hybrid as one of the only hybrid small city cars, but unlike the Jazz the Yaris uses a Prius-style parallel hybrid system, meaning low-speed propulsion can be entirely electric.
The new small hybrid should achieve segment-leading CO2 emissions, which also means segment-leading fuel economy. The rival Jazz manages 62.8mpg combined and the larger Prius up to 72.4mpg, so expect something special from the Yaris. You can bet your house on it getting free road tax and London congestion charge exemption
Toyota is touting agile handling from the Yaris Hybrid, but also no compromise in packaging – sometimes a worry when a boot-full of batteries is added to a car.Thats because Toyota has downsized all its Hybrid Synergy Drive components. Combined with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, the hybrid drivetrain is 20 percent lighter than the one youll find in the Auris Hybrid.
With 98bhp and continuously-variable transmission, the Yaris Hybrid should be quick and easy to drive in its natural environment, around town. The interior is more conventional than the larger Prius, but still suitably high-tech considering the powertrain. Note though that we’ve noticed in reviews for the new Yaris that a lot of complaints are made about the poor quality materials found inside.
Pricing details have yet to be announced, but Toyota says it will be the most affordable full hybrid in Europe. The Yaris Hybrid will be making its full debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.
The new Toyota Yaris hasn’t been getting great reviews, but the addition of this hybrid engine could make things better.If Toyota gets the price right – and it undercuts the near 16,000 Jazz Hybrid – then this hybrid small car could begin make a lot more sense than the equivalent diesel.
Check out our full guide to the new Toyota Yaris. It features reviews, user reviews, videos, photos and stats.