Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year 2020: Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is the 2020 Auto Express Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year, with the Honda Jazz and Skoda Superb iV commended

Perseverance with hybrid systems has paid off for Toyota. The firm has years of development behind it, and its electrified products are showing a rich vein of form, which is why the all-new Toyota Yaris is our favourite affordable hybrid car for 2020.

Based on an all-new platform closely related to the Corolla Hybrid – a car that picked up the gong in this category last year – the Yaris is agile and fun to drive, while practicality is fundamentally sound for a supermini, with an acceptable 286 litres of boot space.

Hybrids needs to be efficient, and with economy as high as 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 92g/km, the Yaris fills the brief. It’s also surprisingly quick, with a combined 114bhp from its 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and twin motors supplied by a small battery.

That means electric-only running is more limited than in a plug-in, but with eager assistance from the electric motors, and thanks to the CVT automatic gearbox, the Yaris is nippy in town and fairly fun to drive. Toyota has clearly got a handle on its transmissions too, because for a small car the Yaris offers good refinement and comfort from the updated chassis.

However, as we’ve mentioned, efficiency is key to any hybrid, and balancing the cost to buy (which is even more affordable on finance) with the cost to run, the Yaris is a very appealing efficient small car.

With an eye on budget we’d go for Design trim. It features equipment such as an eight-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – that’s a benefit because the brand’s own infotainment systems still leave a little to be desired – as well as climate control, full LED headlights, a reversing camera and Toyota’s Safety Sense 2 pack.

This includes autonomous braking with collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beam. Given lots of bumps happen around town, where the Yaris will spend plenty of time, it offers strong safety too, crowning a great, affordable hybrid package.

Our choice

Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid Design (£20,970)

As we’ve already mentioned, the list of features on mid-spec Design trim means this Yaris offers a great balance between equipment and cost. In addition, it features 16-inch alloy wheels, so CO2 emissions are lower as well. The Yaris drives sweetly, too; it shows that efficient hybrids can still be fun and packed with personality.

Commended

Honda Jazz

Along with the Yaris, the latest Jazz demonstrates how far small hybrid cars have come. The Honda offers even more practicality than the Toyota, albeit at the expense of style perhaps, with its clever flip-up Magic Seats in the rear. It also features the brand’s new infotainment system, which is a big improvement.

Skoda Superb iV

Available as a spacious hatchback and even roomier estate, the plug-in Superb iV has further improved the appeal of Skoda’s largest family car. The powertrain is punchy, smooth and refined – but importantly, it delivers on the numbers as any affordable hybrid has to, with high economy and low running costs.

New Car Awards 2020: the winners

Recommended

Best used hybrid cars 2021
Best used hybrid cars - header
Best cars & vans

Best used hybrid cars 2021

Want to switch to electrified driving but on a budget? Try one of our best used hybrid cars for 2021
18 Aug 2021
Best used small cars 2021
Best used small cars
Best cars & vans

Best used small cars 2021

Our guide to the best used small cars for 2021, covering the top second hand city cars and superminis
18 Aug 2021
New 2021 Honda HR-V: UK prices and specs revealed
Honda HR-V - front
Honda HR-V

New 2021 Honda HR-V: UK prices and specs revealed

There are three versions of the new hybrid Honda HR-V SUV coming to the UK, with prices starting from £26,960
2 Aug 2021
Best low emission green cars 2021
Best low emission green cars 2021 - header image
Best cars & vans

Best low emission green cars 2021

Low emissions and good fuel economy go hand-in-hand - here are 10 cars that deliver low everyday running costs
29 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released
Number plates
News

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released

Latest DVLA list of banned UK registrations reveals which 71-plates are too rude for the road
21 Sep 2021
Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030
Volvo interior
Volvo

Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030

New C40 Recharge will be first Volvo to be offered without the option of leather upholstery
23 Sep 2021
New MG HS plug-in hybrid 2021 review
MG HS PHEV - front
MG HS SUV

New MG HS plug-in hybrid 2021 review

We find out where the new MG HS PHEV fits in the highly competitive plug-in hybrid SUV sector
21 Sep 2021