The Toyota Yaris Hybrid may have singlehandedly dealt a death blow to every eco-oriented hatchback on the market, if Toyota’s figures are to be believed. The company reckons its new hatchback delivers 80.7mpg alongside a CO2 rating of 79g/km. This, on paper, makes it the cleanest, most economical fossil-fuelled motor money can buy.
It’s cheap, too. Somehow Toyota will be flogging the thing for a starting price of £15,000, so it’s cheaper than the 5-door VW Polo Bluemotion, a car long considered a real benchmark for high economy and low CO2. Naturally, real world running costs remain to be seen, but with those theoretical numbers and at that price, the Yaris Hybrid looks good enough to lick.
The car won’t have gone unnoticed by Honda, where heads will be scratching at best, and rolling, severed down a boardroom table at worst. The company’s Jazz hybrid was never particularly efficient or clean with a claimed 62.8mpg and CO2 of 104g/km, but it was, at least, supposed to be cheap.
The Yaris hybrid trumps its Jazz rival in almost every area. Toyota’s offering is over £1,000 cheaper, is exempt from road tax and qualifies for free entry into London’s congestion charge zone. Its hybrid powertrain is more advanced, too, and features a mode where it can be driven on electric power alone – albeit for just a couple of miles at a time.
Of course, we’ve yet to drive the new Yaris hybrid, so there’s every chance it could be a letdown in other areas. Given Toyota’s experience in building hybrids, though, we reckon it’ll be a real success. Deliveries for the Yaris hybrid start in early July. We’ll have a full review of the thing shortly, where we’ll see if it’s really as impressive as it sounds.