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

Top 10 best superminis to buy 2022
Best superminis - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best superminis to buy 2022

It's a hard-fought class, but these are the 10 best superminis on sale right now
19 Jan 2022
Toyota Yaris review
Toyota Yaris - best superminis
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris review

An efficient hybrid powertrain, sporty styling and high standard specs make the Toyota Yaris a key contender in the supermini segment.
11 Jan 2022
Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy 2022
Best hybrid SUVs - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy 2022

From mild to plug-in hybrid, we reveal the best hybrid SUVs you can buy
7 Jan 2022
Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
2 Jan 2022

Most Popular

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?
number plates
Tips & advice

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?

Everything you need to know about so-called ‘4D’ number plates, including whether you’re allowed to have them on your car
25 Jan 2022
Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
10 Jan 2022
New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time
Lamborghini Countach - front
Lamborghini Countach

New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time

Lamborghini’s reborn Countach pictured on the move ahead of it arriving with customers
25 Jan 2022