There is no cause for Toyota sibling rivalry in the 2021 Auto Express New Car Awards with honours bestowed on both the Yaris hybrid and the performance-tuned GR Yaris. The awards reaffirm the huge critical and popular acclaim both models have enjoyed since launch.
The hybrid, the current European Car of the Year, was named Affordable Hybrid of the Year for the second year running.
Steve Fowler, Auto Express Editor-in-Chief, commented: “The Yaris has always been a sensible and pragmatic supermini choice, but this latest version is far more than that. Due to its excellent hybrid powertrain and new architecture that makes it better to drive than ever before, it’s our favourite affordable hybrid for the second year in a row.”
Yaris was the first model to be built on Toyota’s new GA-B global architecture platform and the first to feature the fourth generation of Toyota’s hybrid electric technology. The high-efficiency powertrain features a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a compact, powerful electric motor, delivering fuel economy from 68.8mpg and CO2 emissions from 92g/km (WLTP combined cycle), together with all-electric driving capability at speeds up to 80mph (130km/h).
GR Yaris drives off with Auto Express’s Performance Car honour, adding to the exceptional haul of awards it has collected since hitting the road in late 2020. Steve Fowler explained: “This year’s Performance Car champ is a true giant-killer, fighting off machines with twice the power and prices three times as high. The GR Yaris was one of the most eagerly anticipated arrivals of the year and its blend of performance, poise and price means it hasn’t disappointed. Few cars as fun to drive, yet this pocket rocket is easy to live with and relatively affordable to run.”
GR Yaris is the most radical Yaris model yet, developed directly from Toyota’s championship-winning World Rally experience. Using a bespoke platform, a new GR-Four permanent all-wheel-drive system, and a new 257bhp 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, it is essentially an affordable rally car for the road, focused on handling and driver rewards. The success of the project is witnessed by universal media praise and a wealth of awards, including the latest accolade from Auto Express.