Toyota may not have invented the hybrid-powered vehicle, but it has become accustomed to breaking through petrol-electric barriers nonetheless. The Yaris Hybrid is Toyota's first foray into the supermini segment with parallel hybrid technology.

When the original Prius went on sale in Japan 15 years ago, it was the culmination of a development process that had begun five years earlier, and marked the introduction of the first mass-produced hybrid car.

The seismic ripples generated not only by its novel configuration but also by the 2.5 million sales it subsequently accumulated continue to be felt across an industry that’s still working frantically to catch up with the manufacturing colossus.

The Yaris has the potential to be an even more conductive lightning rod than its bigger hybrid brother. It is smaller, cleaner and, most importantly, cheaper than the established hybrid norm, and it is perfectly positioned to unlock the untapped market potential of the petrol-electric supermini.

Buyers can pick from one of three trim levels: T3, T4 and range-topping T Spirit.

Top 5 City cars

  • Volkswagen Up
    The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

    Volkswagen Up

  • Hyundai i10
    The Hyundai i10 is offered with either a 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.2-litre petrol engine

    Hyundai i10

  • Suzuki Celerio
    The Celerio is an all-new city car from Suzuki

    Suzuki Celerio

  • Fiat Panda
    Panda’s 4 star EuroNCAP crash score falls short of some rivals

    Fiat Panda

  • Vauxhall Viva
    Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

    Vauxhall Viva


First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Toyota range

Driven this week

  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation?
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    The last hurrah for the current Aston Martin Vantage adds the track-ready GT8 to the range
  • Audi S5 Sportback
    First Drive
    20 October 2016
    New S5 Sportback is more spacious, better to drive and offers a calmer ride than before, but rivals offer greater involvement
  • Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy
    First Drive
    19 October 2016
    Mildly revised hot hatch is enjoyable on UK roads but continues to play second fiddle to the Ford Fiesta ST
  • 2016 Smart fortwo Brabus cabrio xclusive
    First Drive
    18 October 2016
    Mechanical upgrades make the Smart Fortwo Brabus cabrio better to drive, but it’s too pricey to recommend