At Toyota, hybrid power has spread in recent years beyond the Prius to SUVs like the Toyota C-HR and RAV4, and the Toyota Yaris supermini.

With pricing starting from €19,575, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid is an entry point into hybrid motoring. For 2017, Toyota has revised the whole of the Yaris range, with updated styling, interior revisions, new equipment and a new 1.5-litre petrol engine. Toyota has used this update to also work on the refinement of the Yaris Hybrid, so it was worth a closer look.

Part of the brief for this facelift was to make the Yaris a little more dynamic looking. The test car’s grey brown colour finish was probably not the best showcase for a car trying to impart a sporty image, but the nose and rear have been significantly revised. Two new colours have been added to the range – Hydro Blue and Tokyo Red – while higher trimmed models have a chrome insert on the lower side doors and a black rear pillar finish.

2017 Toyota Yaris review ireland
Interior of the 2017 Toyota Yaris

Inside new Yaris, there is now more choice in terms of interior finish, with new, co-ordinated upholstery and trim colour options. The dials and switches are all large and easy to read, and there are some soft touch materials among the harder plastics of the cabin. All but the entry model have the ‘Toyota Touch® 2’ touchscreen infotainment system. Interior space is good for this size of car with good headroom all round and plenty of legroom too, while the 286 litre boot has quite a high load lip but otherwise does the job.

The 3-door Toyota Yaris range kicks off at €15,950 for a 1.0-litre petrol, while the 5-door range starts at €16,950. There are five trim levels: Terra (from €15,950), Luna (from €17,575), Sol (from €19,450), Aura (from €19,575, hybrid only) and Luna Sport (€22,750).

Mid-range Luna models have a good mix of equipment including 15” alloys, touchscreen with Bluetooth, front fog lamps, rear view camera, leather steering wheel and a 4.2 inch information screen for the driver.  Automatic High Beam and Pre Collision System are standard on all grades, while Lane Departure Alert and Road Sign Assist are standard on Luna, Luna Sport and Sol.

2017 Toyota Yaris review ireland
The Toyota Yaris Hybrid has a low emissions powertrain

Engine options for the 2017 Toyota Yaris range include a 1.0-litre petrol engine, a new 1.5-litre petrol, 1.4-litre diesel and a hybrid. According to Toyota Ireland, hybrid currently accounts for more than 35% of Yaris sales in Ireland, so this is a genuine option for Toyota buyers. The Yaris Hybrid uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor, with a CVT automatic gearbox.

Efficiency is a key priority for hybrid buyers and the Yaris Hybrid has emissions of just 82g C02 so motor tax is €170 per year. In real life driving, upwards of 50mpg is easily achievable, and the car is exceptionally efficient in low speed town and city driving, switching seamlessly between silent electric power and engine power as appropriate.

The Yaris Hybrid rides and handles pretty well too and Toyota has reengineered the Hybrid for quieter performance. Under light to moderate acceleration, it is very smooth and quiet but hit the accelerator hard to pick up speed quickly out of town for example, and the engine will hold onto the revs onto you reach your desired speed in the familiar manner of a CVT gearbox.

2017 Toyota Yaris review ireland
The Toyota Yaris is available from €15,950, with hybrids starting from €19,575

The Yaris Hybrid carries a premium over the smaller petrol models in the Yaris range, but it’s a properly frugal small car and is especially worth considering for urban motorists. Toyota has updated the styling and the interior, but the Yaris is still lacking that touch of desirability that Nissan for example has added to their radical new Micra. Yet the Yaris is spacious, comfortable and perfectly functional so it won’t be toppled from its position as one of Ireland’s favourite superminis any time soon!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota Yaris Hybrid Sol
€21,600 (Yaris from €15,950)
Engine: 1.5-litre petrol electric hybrid
Torque: 111Nm
11.8 seconds
Top speed: 165km/h
Claimed Economy: 
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€170 per year

If you are looking for a hybrid car for the city, you might also like this view of the Kia Niro.