Yaris HSD prices reveal cheapest new hybrid in the UK
Toyota's Yaris HSD - the company's smallest hybrid model yet - is available to order now from £14,995, making it the lowest-priced new hyrbid on sale in the UK.
CO2 emissions of 79g/km - 10 less than its Prius bigger brother - means the Yaris sneaks past both a yearly VED rate and London's Congestion Charge, savings that continue to make other hybrids a popular choice in the capital.
Specifications build on that of the standard Yaris - starting with the T3 at just under £15,000, whose spec (confusingly) is close the Yaris' basic T2 trim; and finishing with the T Spirit, which has a list of kit lifted from the equivilent trim of the same name.
Included on the middle-of-the-range option - the T4 - and upwards is the Toyota Touch system, a touch-screen stereo complete with Bluetooth and a reversing camera. As on the Yaris, this can be upgraded to Touch & Go, which includes satelite navigation and other additional features, at an extra cost - currently £650.
It's on economy alone that new hybrids must impress, though, and if the official figures are anything to go by the Yaris HSD shouldn't fail to do so. Fuel consumption for the T3 and T4 trims are 80.7mpg on the 'combined' cycle, while the T Spirit - with larger alloy wheels - acheives a still admirable 76.
The HSD uses Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system, also found in the larger Auris and Prius, which mates the standard petrol engine to a CVT gearbox, electric motor, regenerative braking system and selection of NiMH batteries to help propell the car along when accelerating, and conserve power when slowing down.
The system does come at a cost, though - the cheapest HSD is some £3600 more than a basic Yaris 1.0 5dr, but in fairness does include an ordinarily costly automatic gearbox, minor reductions in fuel and tax costs, and in all likelihood (as figures haven't yet been released) an increase in power output.
Compared like-for-like with the existing 1.4D - currently the Yaris' most economical engine - the HSD comes out at a much more palletable £660 increase for basic trims, or £960 for the next level up: figures entirely justifyable if you're a frequent visitor to London.
The HSD nicely undercuts the only similarly priced rival - Honda's Jazz IMA - by £1300, too, and that's before considering the latter's higher CO2 output and lack of Congestion Charge exemption. It's the Fiesta Econetic that Toyota have clearly set their sights on, though - with prices starting at just over £15,000 for a basic 5dr model, the diesel powered Ford sits into the same tax bracket as the Yaris too: also missing out on the £10/day charge to enter congested parts of the capital.
The fact remains, if you simply have to have a hybrid, the Yaris HSD now provides the cheapest means of buying one yet.