Want a stress-free drive? Try Toyota's Yaris Hybrid, says Edward Stephens.
Relaxed, refined, offering more than 80 miles per gallon and with no road tax to pay the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid has all the credentials to make it a best seller.
And while most hybrids – cars running on a combination of a petrol engine and an electric motor – tend to be niche models Toyota sees the new Yaris hybrid as anything but.
The flagship of the new Yaris range the hybrid is expected to account for some 20 per cent of the model’s European sales, which says a lot for the company’s confidence in this ever expanding sector of the market.
In fact, it’s so confident it plans to spend £3 million in the UK advertising this car, which will be in showrooms from the end of June.
Toyota has been associated with hybrids for a long time thanks to the success of the Prius and more recently the Auris hybrid, but the new Yaris version is a totally different animal.
Clever repackaging of the hybrid system and a reduction in the size of the battery pack which powers the electric motor means the new car has exactly the same amount of interior space and boot space as petrol and diesel Yaris models.
Normally the large batteries mean a reduction in luggage space to accommodate them beneath the boot, floor but in this case the batteries and the fuel tank are small enough to sit beneath the rear seat and so don’t encroach on interior space.
The Japanese car company says the new car is so efficient that it is running on the electric motor – and so has zero emissions and zero running costs – for 66 per cent of the average commuter journey length and 58 per cent of the total journey time.
Certainly this is one of the most relaxing and easy to drive cars I have ever experienced. If you want a car to get you from A to B without stress the Yaris hybrid ticks all the right boxes.