Toyota’s 2020 Yaris revealed

24 October 2019

THE new Toyota Yaris, which is one of the UK’s best selling small cars, is revealed for the first time before arriving here next summer with a new hybrid option.

It will be the fourth generation of the city car, which goes head to head against Vauxhall’s Corsa, Renault’s Clio and the Nissan Micra.

Having notched up an incredible four million sales in a decade, it will use the same platform as the Toyota Corolla, RAV4 and C-HR models, albeit with subtle modifications.

This makes the latest model stronger than the current car, with improved handling and steering, whilst fine-tuning the softer suspension to deal with the UK’s pot-holed roads.

Almost uniquely these days, the newcomer will be shorter than the car it replaces, although the amount of room inside actually increases, albeit by just five centimetres.

It is wider than the current car, but again unusually, it is also lower. This means that occupants sit lower down inside the car, which makes it slightly harder to step in and out.

There is also restricted rear leg and headroom, making it very much a city car rather than a family model.

To that end there will be a new hybrid option using a combination of a petrol engine and battery pack. There will also be a petrol-only option, although the hybrid is expected to account for the overwhelming majority of sales.

The hybrid uses a three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine and a lithium-ion battery pack to replace the former car’s nickel hydride system.

There will also be a new continuously variable transmission that Toyota says will overcome the annoying scenario where the engine always appears to be attempting to keep pace under acceleration.

This is where the engine sounds as though it is racing before settling down to lower revs when the engine and transmission become synchronised at a constant road speed.

Big claims are made for the efficiency of the new hybrid set-up, which is a quarter lighter than the current combination.

Latest developments enable it to achieve a 20 per cent improvement, which should mean a CO2 rating of about 65g/km, with a 15 per cent power increase to a new high of 115bhp.

The Japanese company is also claiming improved efficiency for the battery alone, with an estimated three quarters of urban use being achieved using only electric power.

Toyota predicts that eighty per cent of buyers will opt for the hybrid models in preference to the plain petrol, which will come with a choice of manual and CVT automatic transmissions.

There will also be a cheaper three-cylinder one-litre non-hybrid option with a five-speed manual transmission.

The important newcomers are due to arrive here next summer, with prices to be announced when the order book opens in spring.