The Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Picture by Laura Holme.
Car: Toyota Yaris HybridModel: T-Spirit 1.5 VVT-iMpg (comb): 76mpgCO2: 85g/kmPrice: from £16,995Loaned by Wight Motors, Sandown
IN A world where more and more demands are being made on our time and high stress levels are the norm, it is nice to know the good people of Toyota have produced a car which provides sanctuary from the chaos — and does its bit to save the planet, as well.
From the minute I got in the cabin of the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid, a feeling of calm washed over me. Press the start button and soft blue lighting illuminates the space-age dashboard, and activates a touch-screen console, which provides both entertainment and bucket-loads of information.
But what struck me most was the silence. Golden, blissful silence. No idling engine, no revs, just me and the car. It’s a lovely feeling, and as I pulled away, my zen-like state continued.
Being an automatic, the drive took some getting used to but over the course of my test drive, kindly provided by Wight Motors, I became massively obsessed with my new car and how to get the best from the tank — and listening to the nothingness.
The hybrid technology in this car, like the Prius, is much like a dynamo and, on the touch-screen console, you can see at all times how the motor is being powered.
Kinetic energy caused by the car going downhill charges the battery, as does the conventional petrol engine when its going uphill or looking for an extra burst of speed.
But in the main, the engine and the battery work together to run the car off its electrical charge. It means the car’s fuel consumption is incredible, with the T-Spirit’s combined cycle running at 76mpg, and the lower-grade cars T3 and T4 running at up to 81mpg.
Though Toyota has clearly invested a lot of time in this technology it has not scrimped on other things. As a general driving experience, I found the car to be light, easy and smooth, while I found the general look of the car appealing, the space inside tardis-like and the price exceptional.
I did some maths (pricing up the possibility of purchasing one in the future) and found I would save around £900 a year on insurance, car tax and petrol.
On top of that, I would know I had a lifetime of wonderfully calming, silent driving experiences ahead of me.
And when, like me, you spend the bulk of your time rushing around, that’s priceless.