- Toyota’s supermini is capable if a little expensive
- We help you choose the best one for business use
- Diesel and hybrid versions emit less than 100g/km CO2
The Toyota Yaris is one of those cars that’s easy to overlook. It’s not the most exciting small hatchback on the market either to look at or to drive but it’s quietly very capable.
A roomy, sturdily put together interior, a range of economical engines and robust residual values could make it a solid company car choice, although rather high P11d values are one of its weaker points.
In a range that encompasses three- and five-door bodies, petrol and diesel engines and even a hybrid version, which one should you pick? We’ve crunched through the Parkers data to lend a helping hand.
The Yaris can lay claim to being the only small hatchback in its class available with a choice of petrol, diesel or hybrid power.
Since CO2 emissions dictate company car tax to such a degree, let’s look at the hybrid first as that can boast the lowest carbon dioxide rating of the range: 79g/km.
It combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, both hooked up to the front wheels. It can operate under the electric motor’s power alone for short periods, or the motor can assist the petrol engine for a bit of extra power when overtaking. Toyota claims average fuel consumption of more than 80mpg (although you’re likely to find this figure difficult to achieve in real-world driving) while that low CO2 output means a friendly BIK tax band of 11 percent.
Sole diesel option is an 89bhp 1.4-litre unit that averages a claimed 72mpg and emits 99g/km of CO2. That means a 15 percent BIK banding once you’ve taken into account the three percent diesel surcharge.
If you’re likely to spend most of your time driving in urban areas, you may want to opt for one of the two petrol engines (a 68bhp 1.0-litre and a 98bhp 1.33-litre). The larger engine can manage longer motorway journeys without difficulty but given its higher CO2 rating of more than 120g/km the diesel and hybrid Yaris models are the more tax-friendly option (although they are more expensive to buy in the first place).
Which one then, hybrid or diesel?
It’s actually pretty close. Assuming both are in the same Icon Plus specification, the hybrid currently has a P11d value of £16,540 and the diesel £15,740. That’s a big old difference but the hybrid claws back some value with its lower BIK charge, costing £542 less over 24 months.
For an employer, the hybrid would cost almost a penny less to run per mile over 24 months and 20,000 miles and have a higher residual value at the end of that period.
As an aside, if you want or need an automatic gearbox, a CVT option is available with the 1.33 petrol engine only.
If you’re going for the diesel engine this one’s an easy question to answer, as it’s only offered in Icon Plus specification which sits one from the top in the four-level Yaris trim range. That means you get Bluetooth, climate-control, a rear-view camera, USB and aux-in ports, a touchscreen multimedia system, cruise control, speed limiter and electric rear windows.
If you want sat-nav, that’s a £650 option at the time of writing.
The hybrid is offered in three grades: Active, Icon Plus and Trend. Entry-level Active grade is cheapest to buy but rather sparse on kit, while it’s best to forget about the top Trend as it’s expensive and only really offers cosmetic differences over the Icon Plus.
All diesel and hybrid models are five-doors – if you want a three-door for any reason you’ll have to go for the 1.0-litre petrol engine.
Overall, we’d suggest Icon Plus trim makes the most sense for company car drivers thanks to essentials such as cruise control and Bluetooth.
Powertrain is a harder question to answer. Both hybrid and diesel stack up well from a tax standpoint, and the hybrid the best of all. Despite its higher purchase price it’s arguably the right choice, especially if you’re likely to spend some time driving your Yaris in the city. If the maths stack up for your projected use, this could be one of those rare moments in the company car world where a break from the diesel norm could pay off.