On the Road: The new Toyota Yaris Premier Edition
On the Road: The new Toyota Yaris Premier Edition

Ian Lamming becomes obsessed with the latest Toyota Yaris

LIFT and cruise whenever you can and the rewards are startling.

OCD folk like my good self are going to love it. My best result? A trip back home where the average miles per gallon on the trip computer reads 99.9.

It becomes an obsession every time I drive the new Toyota Yaris as I hyper-mile my way to maximum MPG.

The Yaris’ stunning 1.5 litre petrol hybrid is just so incredibly economical, especially on narrow lanes where it is happy to run on electric making a noise like a flying saucer.

Even up hills, if you let the electric motor take the strain and don’t press down too hard on the throttle, the Yaris climbs nicely without hitting economy.

When you do push on, such as on the motorway at the legal limit, the mpg hovers around the 60 mark because as soon as you lift off it cruises along on EV.

With that sort of economy available you would expect Yaris to be flatter than a three day old open can of pop. The reality could not be further from that and the Toyota has really fizz. It feels and sounds sporty, has bags of oomph for overtakes and climbs and is positively peppy in town.

The CVT automatic box is super-smooth and attuned perfectly with the rorty three cylinder motor, while the brakes are powerful with bags of feel. There are three driving modes – eco, normal and sport – but normal pretty much covers all bases.

It packs a safety punch too with a host of safety senses to stop you crashing and lane assist which is useful on the motorway. It is constantly working in the background, monitoring the driving environment, alerting the driver to potential risks and striving to avoid accidents. It even watches your blindspots whether you are driving or are parked and just about to open your door into traffic.

That just leaves the handling which is also exemplary. So many small cars are harsh over the bumps because there isn’t enough travel in the suspension. But the Yaris feels much more big car and with light, sharp steering and perfect body control is a hoot to drive along the twists and turns of country roads.

Premier Edition looks particularly fetching with its two-tone livery and polished black alloys. It’s a great shape too and looks low and wide with an attractive rump, making it as sporty to observe as it is to drive. Quite a few people commented on its looks and natty nature.

Inside is clean and tiny with great tech and high specification, there’s even head-up display, the usual touchscreen and the Premier Edition gets an upgraded JBL premium sound system. Satnav and cruise control are also on the list of standard equipment, there is wireless charging pad for your mobile and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for those requiring technology. The dash is virtual with myriad functions.

The boot is larger than you would imagine on a small car and the space opens up neatly as the rear seats fold down nice and flat. Sounds obvious but not all cars do.

When small cars are as good as this it does make me wonder why I bother going any larger. Yaris is fast, fun and frugal. You get to journey’s end feeling fresh and with plenty left in the tank both metaphorically and literally. It really is a most surprising vehicle.

Fact File

Toyota Yaris Premier Edition

Engine: 1.5 three cylinder petrol hybrid

Power: 130PS

Top speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 9.2 secs

Combined MPG: 70.6

Transmission: CVT

CO2 g/km: 95

Price: from £28,935.00