Toyota Yaris hybrid
IT doesn’t matter how many times it happens, the moment an electrically-powered car glides into motion always feels a bit unnatural to me.
Not bad unnatural, but like magic, surprising and delightful.
Hybrids are nothing new, of course, but I’ve never seen one as small as the Toyota Yaris.
It’s a nice looking car – very much the cocky younger brother of the Toyota family. It follows that current trend for sharpening up the smoother lines of previous models, and as a result appears a bit more masculine and menacing.
Its size means it’s very nippy, and easy to park, but that doesn’t mean it’s tiny inside.
The petrol bit is a tidy one-litre unit which does the job on the city’s streets, but is perhaps a bit underpowered for motorway cruising.
However, Toyota claims it can do about 80 miles to the gallon, which is some compensation.
I didn’t get near that, but most of my weekly drive was on the motorway when the petrol engine is working harder than the electric motor.
The version I had for the test week was the Hybrid Excel 5 Door CVT Smart and Appearance Pack. The basic price of this model is a rather eye-watering £17,695, with options pushing it over the £20,000 mark. You should read that while bearing in mind that it is a hybrid.
It’s so comfortable it seems a shame Toyota have saddled it with such a small fuel tank – the 36 litres (just under eight gallons) means you’d have to refuel on your way if you’re going more than a few hundred miles.
But even so, when I did give it back at the end of the week, I was sorry to see it go.
It was so easy to drive, and such fun, it quickly became part of the family.
Which goes to show – you’re never really too old to try something new.
●● Toyota’s Yaris hybrid