• Aug 13, 2009
2008 Toyota Yaris – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a report originating from a Japanese newspaper, Toyota is planning to add another smaller, cheaper hybrid to its global lineup. The new model would be based on the Yaris sub-compact and be priced well below the current cheapest hybrid: the Honda Insight. This would be consistent with Toyota's oft-repeated plans to launch hybrid variants of almost every vehicle it sells over the next decade. The price in Japan could reportedly be as low as $15,650, and according to the Yomiuri Shimbun, the Yaris hybrid could achieve a fuel efficiency rating as high as 94 mpg!

Unfortunately, this is based on the same Japanese 10-15 urban test cycle that rated the new Prius at 89 mpg. While it's not unusual for dedicated hyper-milers to rack up those kinds of numbers, they are utterly unrealistic in real world driving conditions. Most likely we'll end up with EPA ratings in the low 50s and real world performance in the high 40s for most drivers. Although the Yaris is smaller than the Insight, Honda will have something to worry about if this new hybrid makes those kinds of mileage numbers and hits that price point.



[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Detroit should take note. Offering an actual, real hybrid for sale at low prices. And it won't be a freaking four seater for $43k like the volt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And this thing won't go 40 miles without using gasoline. I see your point, but it's apples to oranges, two very different products.

        And calling the Yaris a 4 seater is... well, I work at a rental car place and we have a few hatch and sedan Yaris's (Yarii?). I wouldn't recommend putting 4 people in it for extended periods of time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good move Toyota is making hybrids that people want unlike GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nah, just get a new M3. Everyone knows that they're more efficient anyway ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Farmboy - i don't believe the Yaris aged quickly but i do agree it is starting to show some age although it remains one of the best little cars on the market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I reckon so, it's probably I just never agreed with the styling. I never really came to terms with the front end. If it had more of a Corolla/Prius combo, maybe I would have accepted it more. I anticipate the upcoming model. This and the Fiesta will be in a complete slug out for a top B-segment car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      where are the diesel hybrids? Isn't that the best formula for hi mpg?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well diesel's main advantages are it's high torque and good highway mileage. But electric motors already provide a ton of torque-any more and you'll start running into problems like Tesla did with transmissions and the solution would drive up the $$$.
        And in city driving diesels don't have quite the same edge. Keep in mind that diesel engines require turboing to get a good burn, so now you're talking about putting a turbo, plus electric motors, plus batteries, plus intercoolers, plus the engine into the car, which is really adding both weight and complexity. There's also all the stuff necessary to keep emissions in check (like the urea systems).
        It is technically possible but with the price of diesel being higher than gasoline most of the time nowadays it's really hard to justify since you might just get a little better highway mileage versus a gas hybrid while spending a lot of money to do it.
        Diesel electric hybrids are in use though in situations where the massive combined torque is needed anyway, like city buses and stuff. In that application the super heavy-duty transmissions would have been necessary anyway, and there's plenty of space to put in all that stuff as well as weight not really mattering as much. And in a bus that runs all day and all night the improvement in fuel economy is worth the investment whereas that's not going to be the case with cars.
        In a small car trying to jam all that stuff under the hood is going to make for a really heavy car, with lots of heavy duty parts and tons of complex systems that are going to cost a ton of cash to save a little bit of fuel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A diesel engine costs $1000-$2000 more than an equivalent gas engine. Add in another $3-4k for the hybrid system, and the cost is huge. It just doesn't make economic sense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, doesn't that look like the most pathetic little thing in that picture?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Toyota can have a full-hybrid (as opposed to GM's 2-mode system) for a sub-compact that will come out of dealer for around 17K and achieve close to 50MPG, that will be a winner, especially if gas prices go back above $3/gallon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just give it a nice TRD sports suspension and I may look at one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I believe the styling of the Yaris is funky (ish) although starting to some age but it has been around for a while now. However, it remains one of the best little cars on the market and gives the overwhelming majority of owners virtual trouble-free motoring ... as with most Toyota's. As for a hybrid version, should prove to be a good move particularly for the city dwelling demography..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. It's pretty ridiculous to say that a car that's been on the market seven years has "aged quickly". In fact, it looks more current than similarly aged cars, such as the 2nd gen Prius. Heck, it looks more current than the 3rd gen Prius with the Insight shape.

        To compare it to a commercial lorry is even more deserving of ridicule.

        Not sure when Toyota wants to get rid of the Yaris, but it does say "based on", and not that it'll be a Yaris hybrid. That kinda means the styling will be... well, different. Probably like they did for the 3rd Gen Prius -- i.e. look at what Honda did and copy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Farmboy How bout we paint it in that there John Deere green and put a portable combine to spruce it up for ya.
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