Toyota Yaris a fuel

sipping supermini

Toyota Yaris Design, 2016, front
Toyota Yaris Design, 2016, side
Toyota Yaris Design, 2016, rear
Toyota Yaris Design, 2016, interior
Toyota Yaris Design, 2016, seats
Toyota Yaris Design, 2016, boot

I THINK it's time for legislation on the brightness of headlights and daytime running lamps.

Many of the latest headlights - usually those fitted to up-market cars like Mercedes, Land Rover and Audi - are dangerously dazzling even when dipped and properly adjusted.

What is needed now is a maximum light output for all headlights, to make them the same brightness for everyone. This would make driving safer for us all.

Likewise, there is often a problem with many day running lights, which are usually very bright LEDs. They too can dazzle and be very distracting for other road users even on quite bright days.

The Toyota Yaris I've been driving didn't have them but often, where they are fitted, it's impossible to turn them off - believe me, I've tried.

The Yaris - in hybrid petrol/electric form - is a real eco warrior, boasting tiny emissions of 75 grammes per kilometre and excellent real world economy of 58mpg.

That's a lot less than its government figure of 85mpg but it's still pretty good. Power comes from a 1.5 petrol engine and an electric motor. Together, when you push the loud pedal right to the floor, they give decent performance and, when the batteries run low, they are charged by the petrol engine and by braking.

The electric motor, with charged battery, will do about a mile on its own, with a very careful right foot, and takes most congestion in its stride.

Drive is to the front via a standard CVT automatic gearbox that makes life very easy and refinement is generally good.

Comfort is also good most of the time, matching most superminis, and road holding is safe, with enough grip for quick cornering.

Toyotas are renowned for their bulletproof reliability and, of course, all new models come with pan-European five-year warranty for real peace of mind.

That said, the hybrid is £2,000 more than the standard 1.3 Yaris and £4,000 more than its nearest petrol competitor, the Suzuki Swift Dualjet.

Standard equipment in the mid-range Icon includes electric front windows, six-speaker audio, USB and aux, seven airbags and tyre pressure monitoring.

FAST FACTS

Price:£16,495

Mechanical:98bhp, 1,497cc, 4cyl petrol and electric motor driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed:103mph

0-62mph:11.8 seconds

Combined MPG:85

Insurance Group:8

C02 emissions: 75g/km

Bik rating:13%

Warranty:5yrs/ 100,000 miles

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