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Toyota Yaris named European Car of the Year 2021

Toyota’s Yaris has won the coveted European Car of the Year, defeating the likes of the new fully-electric Fiat 500 and Volkswagen ID.3 as well as Land Rover’s Defender SUV to claim the award. 

The Japanese supermini – which starts from £19,910 in the UK – was crowned in a ceremony in Geneva on Monday afternoon.

It took the title of best new model for 2021 with 266 points, some 26 more than the Fiat.

European Car of the Year: The new Toyota Yaris has won the coveted title in 2021

A 59-member jury, composed of automotive journalists from 22 countries, selected the winner from seven models that had made it to the round of finalists. 

It’s the second time a Yaris has won the award, repeating the feat from 2000 when the first-generation of the car – along with the Yaris Verso MPV – received the European Car of the Year gong.

It is only the third time Toyota has won the continental award since it launched in 1964, with the Prius taking the title most recently for the Japanese marque in 2005. 

This year the jury praised Yaris’s hybrid electric technology for its smooth driving, low emissions and accessible price point, illustrating why more than 80 per cent of European Yaris customers choose the hybrid powertrain. In the UK, Yaris is an all-hybrid model range.

Yaris was also recognised for its design, dynamic performance and class-leading safety.

Furthermore, the jury particularly appreciated Toyota’s success in re-igniting passion for the hot hatch market across Europe with the launch of the GR Yaris.

This year the jury praised Yaris’s hybrid electric technology for its smooth driving, low emissions and accessible price point

This year the jury praised Yaris’s hybrid electric technology for its smooth driving, low emissions and accessible price point

The Yaris was also recognised for its design, dynamic performance and class-leading safety

The Yaris was also recognised for its design, dynamic performance and class-leading safety

The Japanese supermini - which starts from £19,910 in the UK - was crowned in a ceremony in Geneva on Monday afternoon

The Japanese supermini – which starts from £19,910 in the UK – was crowned in a ceremony in Geneva on Monday afternoon

The 2021 European Car of the Year award comes just a few days after new Yaris became the best-selling car in Europe for the first time, a clear sign that customers agree with the jury’s opinion.

Car of the Year president, Frank Janssen, described the Yaris as a ‘worthy winner of this year’s election, who deservedly prevailed against six top-class competitors’. 

ECOTY 2021 results

Winner: Toyota Yaris: 266 points

Fiat New 500: 240 points

Cupra Formentor: 239 points

Volkswagen ID.3.: 224 points

Škoda Octavia: 199 points

Land Rover Defender: 164 points

Citroën C4: 143 points 

Matt Harrison, executive vice president and Toyota Motor Europe added: ‘This is a great honour for Toyota and I’d like to thank the jury for their consideration and recognition. 

‘I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognise the passion of our development teams in Europe and Japan. 

‘This is the best ever Yaris, and just as Akio Toyoda intended, it is already putting a smile on the face of our customers.’

Second in the vote was Fiat’s new 500, with 240 points, which marginally finished above the Cupra Formentor SUV by a single vote.

The VW ID.3 electric hatchback was fourth, followed by the Skoda Octavia and Land Rover Defender – the latter getting 164 points in the vote.

With a smart, sporty interior, the Yaris will appeal to plenty of customers in the UK

With a smart, sporty interior, the Yaris will appeal to plenty of customers in the UK

Available only as a five-door hatchback, the new Yaris seats four comfortably and five at a squeeze with three in the rear

Available only as a five-door hatchback, the new Yaris seats four comfortably and five at a squeeze with three in the rear

The new Yaris is powered by a lean and frugal 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid that propels it from rest to 62mph in 9.7 seconds up to a top speed of 109mph

The new Yaris is powered by a lean and frugal 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid that propels it from rest to 62mph in 9.7 seconds up to a top speed of 109mph

What’s the new Toyota Yaris like to drive?

by Ray Massey for the Daily Mail 

For motorists looking for a highly reliable, economical car, Toyota has traditionally been a safe bet, if a little unadventurous.

But Toyota’s anglophile president Akio Toyoda, who when living and working in London in the Eighties used to whizz around in an original Mini, wanted to add some pizzazz.

Toyotas ‘must not be boring’, he decreed, ahead of the launch of the new fourth generation Yaris supermini. 

Ray Massey with the new Toyota Yaris with promises which promises improved fuel economy, lower emissions and more oomph over its predecessor as well as  a little more pizzazz

Ray Massey with the new Toyota Yaris with promises which promises improved fuel economy, lower emissions and more oomph over its predecessor as well as  a little more pizzazz

What a turnaround. The striking new Yaris, which promises improved fuel economy, lower emissions and more oomph, has dramatic styling and bold looks.

It is powered by a lean and frugal 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid that propels it from rest to 62mph in 9.7 seconds up to a top speed of 109mph.

Priced from £19,910 to £24,005, there are five versions: Icon, Design (which from £20,970 will be the biggest seller accounting for nearly half of sales), Dynamic, Excel and a Launch Edition.

With a PCP retail offer, however, the Design trim can come to £189 per month over 42 months, plus a deposit of £4,311.

Ahead of first deliveries to British customers — when the new ’70’ registration plate begins from September — I drove a Continental left-hand drive version running on 17in wheels rather than the standard 16in variety.

It was zippy around town and sufficiently long-legged on dual carriagweways and motorways.  

There are five versions: Icon, Design (which from £20,970 will be the biggest seller accounting for nearly half of sales), Dynamic, Excel and a Launch Edition

 There are five versions: Icon, Design (which from £20,970 will be the biggest seller accounting for nearly half of sales), Dynamic, Excel and a Launch Edition

It’s a fun, lively and engaging drive and a worthy rival to the likes of the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta.

There are four driving modes: the default ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, a jaunty ‘Power’, and ‘EV’ for short pure electric runs.

As a hybrid, electric power is in use for around half the time, rising to about 80 per cent around town.  

Running costs should be easier on the pocket, with fuel economy of between 65.7 mpg to 68.9 mpg.

I was comfortably into the 60s, despite some energetic driving. CO2 emissions range from 92g/km to 98g/km. 

With a smart, sporty interior, the five-door hatchback seats four comfortably and five at a squeeze with three in the rear.

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