Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Design

Toyota Yaris Hybrid Design, front
Toyota Yaris Hybrid Design, rear
Toyota Yaris Hybrid Design, interior

OPT for a bi-colour paint job on a Toyota Yaris - the company's best selling model in Europe - and you will certainly get a car that stands out from the pack.

For an extra £795 on top of the basic price of the new Design grade Yaris you get an Eclipse Black metallic finish for the roof, front pillars, door mirrors and upper grille to contrast with either Glacier Pearl White or Vermillion Red paintwork.

The third generation Yaris is a good looking car anyway since its recent re-vamp but the "look at me" two-tone paintwork is the icing on the cake.

And the bonus is that the extra money also buys you a two-tone grey interior and seats to ensure the inside is as different as the outside.

This option is available whether you opt for a petrol, diesel or - as in the case of this version - a hybrid Yaris.

The hybrid is powered by a combination of a 73bhp, 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 59bhp electric motor channelled through a CVT automatic gearbox.

Like all hybrids this one initially moves off using electric power and for that reason is eerily silent. But even when the petrol engine cuts in the Yaris is a very quiet car and sometimes without watching the gauges it's not always possible to determine whether you are on electric, petrol or a combination of the two.

When you put your right foot down hard the petrol engine always comes into play but once up to speed it's very simple to ease off so that for much of the time you are cruising on electric and enjoying free motoring.

In fact I was surprised just how large a proportion of journeys could be achieved on battery power.

The hybrid Yaris is not the sort of car that you would opt for if you want a lightning getaway from the traffic lights but it's reasonably nippy and does exactly what it's designed to - provide sensible city motoring.

Having said that it's perfectly capable of high speed, quiet motorway cruising and once you get used to the light handling always feels well planted and impressively stable.

After a few hours with the Yaris I quite warmed to its ways, and it doesn't lack in pulling power even with four large adults on board.

The Design model is well equipped and my test car was fitted with a colour reversing camera, satellite navigation, dual zone climate control and six speaker audio system, although electric windows are confined to the front doors only.

Opt for the Toyota Safety Sense pack and you get sensible safety features like lane departure alert, automatic high beam headlights and a pre-collision system.

For a small car the Yaris is surprisingly roomy and rear seat passengers get ample space to stretch out their legs. In the luggage area there is a reasonable 286 litres of space for the holiday bags or weekly shopping.

This is a car which is easy to drive and just feels well put together with doors which close easily and switches which all have a nice solid feel to them.

FAST FACTS

Toyota Yaris Hybrid Design

Price: £17,395

Mechanical: 1,497cc, 73 bhp petrol engine plus 59 bhp electric motor driving front wheels via a CVT automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 103 mph

0-62mph: 11,8 secs

Combined MPG: 78.5

Insurance Group: 8

C02 emissions: 82g/km

Bik rating:13%

Warranty: 5 yrs/100,000 miles

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