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Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year 2022: Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is the 2022 Auto Express Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year, with the Kia Niro and Skoda Octavia iV commended

Toyota’s persistence with hybrid technology has really started to pay off as the wider industry has moved towards electrification – and no car demonstrates this better than the Yaris. It’s the baby of Toyota’s hybrid range and yet it’s the model that feels furthest ahead of the curve in its class, delivering economy that very few of its rivals can match.

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In years gone by, the hybrid system forced you to make compromises in the name of efficiency, but that’s no longer the case. The latest iteration has enough electric shove to complete a high percentage of urban journeys using little or no petrol at all; you’ll be amazed at how frequently you’ll see between 60 and 70mpg – it’s an incredibly efficient machine. And if you do need to head outside of town, it has enough pep to keep up with motorway traffic.

Inside, the cabin is built to last, and because Toyota doesn’t scrimp on standard equipment, even the basic Icon trim level brings 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, air-conditioning and a seven-inch infotainment system with Android and Apple connectivity. While the Yaris  isn’t the largest vehicle in its class, there’s enough space on board the Japanese supermini for four adults, and the 286-litre boot can cope with a decent-sized supermarket shop.

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If you want something a little bit taller, then the Yaris Cross will deliver that baby-SUV feel with pretty much the same fuel efficiency. But we’d save the cash and stick with the regular Yaris; its price premium over conventionally powered superminis is modest at worst, and it’s a match for many less-efficient hybrids of a similar size. We’re not surprised it’s becoming the default choice for those wanting an affordable way to cut their fuel bills.

Our choice

Toyota Yaris  Design (£22,140)

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A payment of £283 per month gets you into the Yaris Design, based on a PCP deal financed over three years with a £2,500 deposit. Beyond that fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain, the Design features 16-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, and adaptive cruise control among its standard kit.

Commended

Kia Niro

Just over £27,000 gets you behind the wheel of the new Kia Niro hybrid. Thanks to its comfortable seating for five people and big boot, it’s an ideal choice for families. At a time when petrol prices are higher than ever, excellent real-world fuel economy figures are a huge bonus, too. And don’t forget it also has Kia’s seven-year/100,000 warranty.

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Skoda Octavia iV

The PHEV version of one of our favourite family cars is at the more expensive end of the line-up, but the Octavia iV still makes a solid case for itself if you’re in the market for a company car. It’ll manage up to 34 miles on electricity alone, and even a lower-rate taxpayer could halve their company-car BiK bill compared with a regular petrol edition.

The 2022 New Car Awards are brought to you in association with Hankook tyres

New Car Awards 2022: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

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