Currently reading: New 2020 Toyota Yaris priced from £19,910 in UK
Supermini's design overhaul is combined with all-new platform, interior and powertrains – including a three-cylinder hybrid

Toyota’s top-selling European model, the Toyota Yaris supermini, has been redesigned from the ground up with a new platform and a three-cylinder hybrid powertrain – and it is now on sale from £19,910. 

Ahead of the first customer deliveries in September, Toyota has detailed the Ford Fiesta rival's UK specifications. Entry-level Icon trim comes equipped with 16in alloy wheels, a reversing camera, automatic headlights and a 7.0in infotainment screen with smartphone compatibility. Design trim bumps the price up to £20,970 and brings extra equipment, including a larger, 8.0in touchscreen, LED headlights, rear privacy glass and a digital speedometer. 

Second-from-top Dynamic trim - with 17in alloys, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone air conditioning, upgraded sound system and sports front seats - is priced from £21,920, while the Excel package heads up the range at £22,220 and can be specified with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a panoramic roof and a 10.0in colour head-up display.

To mark the model's arrival in the UK, a special Launch edition, priced from £24,005, is available to order. Finished in a unique black and red two-tone paint scheme, it comes fitted with the same equipment as the range-topping Excel. 

As with previous Yaris generations, the new supermini has been designed in Europe with European customers in mind and it will continue to be built in the Valenciennes plant in France. However, for the first time, the Yaris name will now be used globally on small cars tailored for each region, much as Toyota has done with the latest Toyota Corolla.

The design itself is said to be more “condensed and agile” than its predecessor, with the aim of banishing the MPV-like proportions of that car. Enabled by the new GA-B platform, there’s a significant 40mm reduction in roof height without, Toyota claims, a significant loss in head room. It is also 50mm wider, with a 60mm-wider track, while the wheelbase has increased by 50mm to boost passenger space. Despite this, the new car has actually reduced in length by 5mm. It means the Yaris is the only supermini that is less than 4.0m long, aiding in-town manoeuvrability. A claimed best-in-class turning circle fits with this, too.

98 Toyota yaris 2019 facelift official studio rear


Read our review

Car review

The original Toyota Yaris was a landmark car, since then it has lost ground to more talented rivals. Can it regain its crown from the formidable and long in the tooth Ford Fiesta?

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Toyota claims the cabin follows its principle of ‘hands on the wheel, eyes on the road’, with a minimalist dashboard and infotainment screen mounted within the driver’s eyeline, alongside ‘binocular-style’ instruments. The driving position has been improved, with a hip point 3.6cm lower than the old car's and greater seat and wheel adjustment for a less upright seating point.

It’s the first car in its class to feature a centrally mounted airbag system between the driver and passenger, while a comprehensive suite of driver aids is standard.

89 Toyota yaris 2019 facelift official studio dashboard

The European Yaris will be available with three petrol engines, all with three cylinders. A base 1.0-litre will be offered with a five-speed manual gearbox, while a 1.5 will come with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic option. The UK will take the two 1.5s initially, with the 1.0-litre likely at a later date. The hybrid, set to account for more than 80% of sales, uses the 1.5-litre unit mated to a 79bhp, 103lb ft electric motor and an air-cooled lithium ion battery. That battery is 27% lighter than the nickel metal hydride pack it replaces yet is capable of delivering more power at a faster rate than the old item.

Together with a new transaxle and more efficient motor, the powertrain is 15% more powerful than before yet produces around 20% less CO2, Toyota claims. Power, torque and efficiency figures have yet to be released. What has been confirmed is that the Yaris hybrid can switch to electric-only mode at speeds of up to 80mph – far higher than previously. The engine itself runs on the Atkinson cycle for greater efficiency, uses variable valve timing, has a thermal efficiency figure of 40% and runs at a diesel-like 14:1 compression ratio.

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Toyota says the new GA-B platform, related to that of the Corolla and Toyota C-HR, offers best-in-class structural rigidity at 40% more than the Mk3 Yaris's, thanks to the use of high-tensile steel. Despite this, and the hybrid tech developments, engineers told Autocar that the new Yaris will be around 20kg lighter than the old car, spec for spec. The platform’s lower centre of gravity, combined with the wider track and a stiffer rear torsion beam with softer spring rates, are said to improve both ride quality and handling composure.

81 Toyota yaris 2019 facelift official studio lights side

Q&A: Stefan Ramaekers, senior technical trainer, Toyota

Q. How have you managed to avoid the ‘elastic band effect’ of CVT-equipped hybrids with the new unit?

A. “First, there is more power from the engine side but also more torque, accessible more quickly from the electric side. It suppresses engine revolutions and makes more use of EV power. The way it drives is much more fun, more dynamically engaging.”

Q. Is it easier to keep the car in electric-only mode?

“You will find the throttle pedal is less sensitive in terms of waking the engine. It is easier to keep in electric drive, yes. There’s a theoretical pure EV range of up to four miles, but that’s not how it works. We estimate that in normal urban driving, the engine will be off for 80% of the time, charging itself through regeneration.”

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Q. If sales of the hybrid are so strong, why bother with traditional petrol engines?

A. “The hybrid is the focus, but some people still want the lower prices of petrol engines. Nevertheless, the target of 80% hybrid sales? We can beat that, I think. We’ve sold 500,000 Yaris hybrids in eight years already.”


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Add a comment…
geed 17 September 2020

How much!

How much!
Lessis More 1 August 2020

Better to buy used

20 grand for the cheapest version of a small hatchback ?  Ridiculous.  Buy used.

Andrew1 1 August 2020

Peugeot 208 is a much better value

The Peugeot 208 is much better inside and outside while starting at 2K cheaper.
The new Renault Clio starts at £15250 which makes the Yaris an expensive joke, unfortunately.