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Toyota Yaris

GENERATION Y (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The Toyota Yaris gets more sophisticated in fourth generation form. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 42

In MK4 model form, the Toyota Yaris has been further Europeanised with sharper styling, a better quality interior, improved media connectivity and significant changes to its segment-leading hybrid engine. What was already a class act has just become genuinely hard to overlook.

Backgroundword count: 176

If you were asked to name the cars vying for the title of best supermini, it would be a reasonable wager that the Toyota Yaris wouldn't be amongst your top three. If, on the other hand, you had to name a small car that would be trouble-free, cheap to run and easy to use, it would be right up there. The thing is, those criteria are exactly what many supermini buyers are looking for. They don't care if the car can't take the Esses at Donington flat without lapsing into understeer. It's an irrelevance for most but car magazines still put a huge priority on handling and award their 'best of' titles predominantly on which cars are most fun to drive at the limit. The Yaris has always been a supermini that works well in the real world and this fourth generation car is no exception. It has long lacked a bit of flair though, and Toyota has belatedly realised this, endowing the latest model with a lot more styling input, as well as engineering improvements.

Driving Experienceword count: 211

Yaris buyers looking at the affordable end of the range will be offered conventional 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines. The 1.0-litre variant will come only with 5-speed manual transmission, while the 1.5 will be offered with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT auto. However, Toyota thinks that four out of every five customers will want the self-charging hybrid version. This electrified variant features a new powertrain mated to a CVT auto transmission that's claimed to be more linear in response than the old Yaris Hybrid 'rubber band'-like set-up. The electrified petrol engine is 1.5-litres in size but has the same bore, stroke and piston size as the 2.0-litre hybrid unit that Toyota uses in the Corolla. Total system output has risen by around 15% to around 115hp. The brand reckons that the new lithium-ion battery will be able to drain and recharge more quickly than the previous unit, which means that it will be able to provide more of an electric surge through the 79hp electric motor. As a result, the company expects that over 80% of urban journeys in this car will be able to be completed under electric power alone. On all models, ride quality should be better thanks to suspension tweaks and a considerably more rigid body.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Small Runabouts

Performance
60%
Handling
50%
Comfort
70%
Space
60%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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