Toyota Yaris Premiere Edition, a luxury big car feeling

In Car Reviews, Hybrid, Toyota by Robin Roberts

The Toyota Yaris is one of the brand’s most successful models, with over 10 million so far

Car Reviewed: Toyota Yaris Premiere Edition

Toyota is not resting on its laurels, this Spring, the familiar Yaris hatchback range was expanded with the addition of the Premiere and sporty GR models, which have brought more electric power and greater refinement to the range.

Toyota has launched the new Yaris in five versions, ranging from £22,640 to about £29,715. They are all highly equipped for their class, and the top versions get the latest stronger electric motor to boost mid-range acceleration. They also have a bigger instrument display with 12 possible settings.

The Premiere has the new bi-tone Neptune Blue paint finish, an eight-speaker sound system, and a useful head-up display.

In a nutshell, the Premiere we tested brings many luxury and big-car features to a compact supermini at a reasonable price but retains that essential and familiar “fun to drive” philosophy. It’s what some term a ‘warm-hatch’.

The existing 114bhp and 85kW hybrid powertrain has been joined by a 130hp and 96kW system still using the proven 1.5-litre triple-cylinder petrol engine. Toyota has tinkered with the powertrain software, hardware and power control unit to give a 12% lift in output with 30% greater pulling power for easier driving. This also improves economy as the powertrain does not have to work so hard.

It’s still fitted with a straightforward continuously variable transmission and the emissions are reasonable while economy is hardly affected and very good overall.

The car starts instantly and silently until you press for more power. The petrol engine kicks in very smoothly and provides most of the urge, with an additional boost from the electric motor when required.

This blend of power meant we saw up to 72mpg at times and a surprisingly good 66mpg average.

We liked the smooth, consistent, and robust power delivery through the CVT box, the powerful and well-balanced brakes underfoot, and the easy-to-use ‘hold’ button on the parking brake.

The steering was faultless, with good feedback, no vibration, a neat turning circle, and modest weight when going slowly. The suspension had a firm feel, but it remained surprisingly comfortable for a supermini.

Much of that must be down to the extremely comfortable front seats, which had a good adjustment range and excellent support under the thighs and around the back. The rear three seats were flatter and less comfortable and hindered by a lack of legroom, unlike the space for the two in front.

Access was very good to the front, with a bit more of a squeeze into the back, but headroom was fair throughout. The boot, although small when five-up, could quickly more than double as the backrests were dropped. A useful underfloor compartment was welcome, but the cabin was not blessed with a lot of oddments room for a family car.

Visibility was very good to the front and sides, with good wipers and wash systems both ends, bright long-range wide-beamed lights, and a useful wide-view reversing camera. However, there were a few blind spots around the rear wheel arches.

The latest Yaris Premiere Edition delighted most inside, apart from the abundant black interior plastic over the fascia and door casings, because it is very highly specced.

A big 12.3-inch multi-function display in front of the driver can be set up to show 12 different patterns of information; remarkably, they were all very clear and easy to manage, helped by a simple and clear head-up display. Backing it up is a central 10×7-inch infotainment screen for navigation, media, telephone and vehicle settings. This was also quick and clear to use. Wisely, the heating and ventilation controls were separate beneath and the climate control was efficient with good output direction and temperature settings.

The driver safety systems on the new Yaris Premiere Edition are dominated by anti-collision measures, with radar detection, steering assistance and even safe exit assist to warn of oncoming danger when a door handle is pulled. Dynamic assistance includes intelligent cruise control, undertaking warning, filter lane assistance, and lane assistance.

The new Yaris displayed good ride and handling, excellent responses, grip and predictability, excellent pickup and very low noise levels from any source. It was particularly smooth when accelerating and cruised comfortably on the motorway, while it could also be a nimble cross-country car if desired.

Toyota has been wise to keep its hybrid technology advancing with a popular supermini that fulfils many roles very well.

For: Good powertrain and reasonable performance, excellent handling and major controls, economical and very well equipped.

Against: Some restriction to rear legroom and small boot, dark interior, modest oddments space.

© WheelsWithinWales 2024 

Author Rating 4/5

Car Reviewed: Toyota Yaris Premiere Edition

on the road price, as tested £28,295

  • 0-62mph 9.2secs
  • Top speed 109mph
  • Mechanical 3cyl 1.5-litre petrol engine with 62kW electric motor
  • Fuel Consumption 66mpg
  •  up to 320 miles
  • Max Power 130hp
  • Torque 120Nm
  • Dimensions MM 3940 L/1750 W/1500 H
  • CO2 emissions 96g/km
  • Transmission CVT automatic
  • Bootspace 286 / 768 1itres (seats folded)

Robin Roberts

Motoring Journalist

Robin contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.

Robin was the longest serving chairman of The Western Group of Motoring Writers. He specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.

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