The Toyota Yaris went under the knife for the 2024 model year. The most important news is the more powerful hybrid version, which will command a significant additional price. Is he worth it? Yes and no …
Of course, you already expected it: the new Yaris Hybrid 130 has a power of 130 hp, or 15 hp more than the entry-level version of the Yaris Hybrid. Perhaps even more important is the higher torque: 185 instead of 141 newton meters. The extra power is purely due to Toyota's latest, more efficient hybrid technology and immediately makes the Hybrid 130 the most powerful Yaris.
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In the Netherlands, the Yaris Hybrid 130 has the Executive equipment as standard, which partly explains the large price difference with the Hybrid 115. On the outside, you can recognize the Hybrid 130 Executive by its 16-inch alloy wheels (instead of 15-inch steel with wheel covers) and glossy black accents.
The badge on the tailgate of the facelifted Yaris no longer says 'HYBRID', but 'HEV'. By hybrid electric vehicle. That smacks of a marketing ploy, because it sounds as if the distance to fully electric has become smaller.
Of course, it could also be an attempt by Toyota to protect Yaris drivers from the Tire Extinguishers. Because after a while they have chased all the SUVs out of the cities, they might puncture the tires of smaller cars that still drink fossil fuels. Who knows, maybe that HEV badge will confuse the - not very smart anyway - vandals...
Anyone who is unsure between a compact Chinese EV and the Yaris Hybrid 130 does not have to pass up the (European-built) Toyota because of its meager equipment.
Climate control with two temperature zones, electrically operated side windows front and rear and folding, heated mirrors are all part of the standard package of the entry-level Executive. The driver and co-driver also sit on heated sports seats, there is an extensively customizable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster on board, as well as a 10.5-inch infotainment screen, a wireless phone charger and steering wheel heating.
And then we haven't even talked about the safety features. Every Yaris Hybrid has adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera and automatic high beams. The Executive adds blind spot detection, lane keeping assistance and rear cross traffic warning. What you don't find in many brands yet is Safe Exit Assist, which alerts you to any cyclists coming from behind when you get out.
With its extra power, the Yaris Hybrid 130 does not immediately turn out to be the nightmare of the Dutch paving guild, but it does become a more pleasant driving car. The rumbling three-cylinder engine is less likely to cause you stress if you give it a little extra gas and rewards you with slightly smoother sprints. You reach 100 km/h in 9.2 instead of 9.7 seconds, and the intermediate sprint from 80 to 120 km/h is also half a second faster (7.5 instead of 8.0). The latter is especially nice when merging onto the highway.
The chassis is quite comfortable for such a compact car; you do feel bumps, but never in an annoying way. If you want more steering feel, you should opt for the GR Sport version (light gray car in the photos). It has 18-inch wheels instead of 16-inch (Executive) or 17-inch (Launch Edition) and rides a little tighter due to adjustments to the steering, suspension and damping. But if you want to be sporty, you also have to suffer a little, because the chassis communicates ridges, thresholds and other imperfections more clearly. Whether you appreciate the extra loud exhaust rumble is a matter of personal taste.
In the Barcelona area, we comfortably achieved an average consumption of 4.8 liters per 100 km with the Yaris Hybrid 130, or 1 in 20.8. Although that is more than the factory specification of 4.2 l/100 km (1 in 23.8), but that economy remains a strong selling point. Just like the 10-year manufacturer's warranty, by the way.
Toyota proudly mentions the smart voice control in the updated Yaris. But we do have some reservations about that alleged intelligence. Sometimes we managed to turn the climate control a few degrees warmer with verbal requests, but more often it seemed as if the Toyota lady was applying for the position of Marjon de Hond and belted out the local weather forecast, which then also appeared on the navigation screen.
Time for a hearing test, a modesty course or for one now over the air update? Blessings in an accident: you can also operate the automatic air conditioning with traditional buttons. You can also turn the steering wheel heater on and off with a regular switch, but it is very well hidden, at the very bottom left of the dashboard.
The sports seats in the Yaris Executive and GR Sports offer enough lateral support, but the seats are on the short side. This can be tiring in the long run, especially for taller people. Why not move to the back seat then? This is possible if the front occupants are no taller than approximately 1.75 meters. Then even two passengers over 1.90 meters tall can find a seat in the back. At least, if they have a contortionist diploma, because the rear doorways are tight. With a capacity of 246 liters, the trunk is not oversized either.
Then turn the tables? That won't work at all. If the driver and co-driver are both around 1.90 tall, there is only room in the back for very small children, dachshunds and garden gnomes.
The updated Yaris will be at the dealer at the beginning of March. You can order one now. You can get a non-hybrid, manual 1.5 VVT-i for 24,595, but that only interests 10 percent of Dutch buyers.
The other 90 percent choose hybrid and can order the basic version of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid 115 Comfort for 26,050 euros. It indeed has everything that is now considered the minimum in terms of comfort and more, such as automatic air conditioning and a fairly complete safety package. Unfortunately, you have to settle for steel wheels, covered by plastic caps.
For 27,550 euros, the Active adds electric rear window controls, as well as a sound-insulating windscreen, electric lumbar support adjustment and 15-inch alloys. The First Edition (29,795 euros) goes a step further with, among other things, full LED lighting, large digital instruments and cloud-based navigation.
We have already discussed the equipment of the Yaris Hybrid 130 Executive above. It is complete, but the car costs 33,250 euros. That sounds like a lot of money and it is, although it is not too bad if you look for a competitor with the same power and an automatic transmission. For the GR Sport with its 18-inch wheels and sporty interior and exterior you pay at least 33,750 euros and the top of the range is the super deluxe Launch Edition, which is listed for 34,750 euros (blue car in the photos) and comes with a black roof as standard.
A B-segment car for more than 33 grand? That's a tough pill to swallow for many people, I'm afraid. Especially if you compare it with the cheapest Hybrid 115. Yet Toyota expects the Hybrid 130 to account for a quarter of Dutch Yaris sales.
If sales figures remain stable, this means that dealers will sell around 1,100 units of the strongest hybrid Yaris this year. And I understand that; that extra 15 hp provides a more relaxed and at the same time smoother driving experience, and there is a lot of added value in the equipment. Personally, I would go for the GR Sport, because it steers the best. And you won't easily be bothered by the somewhat hard chassis in the Netherlands.
Or is it smarter to buy a compact EV for more than 33,000 euros? That depends greatly on your personal situation. Do you have a charging station nearby or can you have one installed yourself? Is a range of approximately 300 kilometers enough for you? And what about road tax from 2026? Questions, questions… But what no compact electric car has and the Yaris does, is a 10-year manufacturer's warranty (up to 200,000 km)…
This post was last modified on February 11, 2024 6:13 am
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