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Toyota Yaris Test Drive Review

Date: 28 July 2014   |   Author: Tristan Young

BusinessCar reviews the new Toyota Yaris

Since the current-generation Yaris was launched in 2011, London has introduced tough criteria for vehicles to qualify for exemption from the £11.50 a day congestion charge.

That level was set at 75g/km or less, and with the Yaris hybrid at 79g/km, when the time came for a mid-life upgrade, Toyota worked on the car so that it now hits that 75g/km target.

The result is that the Yaris is the only non-plug-in vehicle that is exempt, and for a driver that travels in to London daily that means an approximate £2800 annual saving.

The facelift also sees a new, 'X' look  front grille for all models, while there have also been improvements to many of the interior materials. This applies particularly to the main dashboard and door panel inserts. These are now high-grade, soft-touch areas, and look and feel the part. However, because the top of the door panel and top of the dashboard have not been upgraded, the difference between the two has been accentuated and feels particularly cheap.

Elsewhere, wind noise levels are better, but remain behind some rivals, and driver involvement is still lacking, thanks in the main to lifeless steering, which gives very little feedback.

While the hybrid powertrain is still very refined, this is an area where the rest of the engines are below par.
In fleet terms, the tax, price and efficiency are all impressive. Prices have risen marginally, but remain competitive, particularly against the only other hybrid in the sector: the Honda Jazz. The Yaris prices, combined with low BIK tax bands, mean company car drivers will pay very little - particularly on the 5% rated hybrid.

The hybrid has an official fuel figure of 85.6mpg. The diesel 1.4 is also good with a 99g/km CO2 output and a 72.4mpg. And while this is the version to have for drivers covering motorway miles, not only for the efficiency but also the amount of overtaking shove, it is also a noisy engine.

Interior space hasn't changed, but then that was always a Yaris strength. There's room for four six-foot-tall adults and there's a decent sized boot

The result is that for a very specific, London supermini fleet driver, the hybrid is the number one choice - but beyond that there are better rivals.