The new fourth generation Yaris hybrid hatchback is on the way in the next couple of months. It is built on Toyota’s newest platform, which also underpins the latest Corolla, C-HR and RAV4 models.
Toyota boasts that the new Yaris hybrid is designed to be the world’s safest compact car, featuring what it describes as significant advances in both active and passive safety systems. For example lane trace assist might be expected to be fitted as standard on every new Yaris.
It is powered by a new hybrid 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which Toyota promises a 22 per cent improvement in efficiency and 16 per cent more power than the engine in the previous model. It is capable of running on electric power at up to 80mph. The engine is a derivative of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre hybrid systems that were introduced in the new Corolla, RAV4 and Camry.
The new lithium-ion hybrid battery promises increased output which in turn enables quicker vehicle acceleration. As well as being more powerful, the battery is 27 per cent lighter than the nickel-metal hydride battery it replaces.
We should expect standard features to include ‘Toyota Safety Sense’, air conditioning, electronic parking brake and smartphone integration with a seven-inch touchscreen. It may also feature automatic headlights and wipers as standard.
The new Yaris hybrid is lower and wider than the current model, which promises improved stability. A lower centre of gravity and lower driving position adds to the drivability of the new model. Inside, Toyota says it has been designed to maximise space and comfort.
For the first time, the new Yaris features soft-touch materials inside.