New 2020 Toyota Yaris priced from £19,910 in UK

Toyota’s top-selling European model, the Yaris supermini, has been redesigned from the ground up with a new platform and a three-cylinder hybrid powertrain – and it is now on sale from £19,910.

Ahead of the first customer deliveries in September, Toyota has detailed the Ford Fiesta rival’s UK specifications. Entry-level Icon trim comes equipped with 16in alloy wheels, a reversing camera, automatic headlights and a 7.0in infotainment screen with smartphone compatibility. Design trim bumps the price up to £20,970 and brings extra equipment, including a larger, 8.0in touchscreen, LED headlights, rear privacy glass and a digital speedometer.

Second-from-top Dynamic trim – with 17in alloys, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone air conditioning, upgraded sound system and sports front seats – is priced from £21,920, while the Excel package heads up the range at £22,220 and can be specified with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a panoramic roof and a 10.0in colour head-up display.

To mark the model’s arrival in the UK, a special Launch edition, priced from £24,005, is available to order. Finished in a unique black and red two-tone paint scheme, it comes fitted with the same equipment as the range-topping Excel.

As with previous Yaris generations, the new supermini has been designed in Europe with European customers in mind and it will continue to be built in the Valenciennes plant in France. However, for the first time, the Yaris name will now be used globally on small cars tailored for each region, much as Toyota has done with the latest Corolla.

The design itself is said to be more “condensed and agile” than its predecessor, with the aim of banishing the MPV-like proportions of that car. Enabled by the new GA-B platform, there’s a significant 40mm reduction in roof height without, Toyota claims, a significant loss in head room. It is also 50mm wider, with a 60mm-wider track, while the wheelbase has increased by 50mm to boost passenger space. Despite this, the new car has actually reduced in length by 5mm. It means the Yaris is the only supermini that is less than 4.0m long, aiding in-town manoeuvrability. A claimed best-in-class turning circle fits with this, too.

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Q&A: Stefan Ramaekers, senior technical trainer, Toyota

Q. How have you managed to avoid the ‘elastic band effect’ of CVT-equipped hybrids with the new unit?

A. “First, there is more power from the engine side but also more torque, accessible more quickly from the electric side. It suppresses engine revolutions and makes more use of EV power. The way it drives is much more fun, more dynamically engaging.”

Q. Is it easier to keep the car in electric-only mode?

“You will find the throttle pedal is less sensitive in terms of waking the engine. It is easier to keep in electric drive, yes. There’s a theoretical pure EV range of up to four miles, but that’s not how it works. We estimate that in normal urban driving, the engine will be off for 80% of the time, charging itself through regeneration.”

Q. If sales of the hybrid are so strong, why bother with traditional petrol engines?

A. “The hybrid is the focus, but some people still want the lower prices of petrol engines. Nevertheless, the target of 80% hybrid sales? We can beat that, I think. We’ve sold 500,000 Yaris hybrids in eight years already.”