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Toyota Yaris, Car of the Year 2021, A deserving winner

“The Car of the Year” trophy, which has been awarded since 1964, is the most prestigious and coveted award in the automotive world. A 59-member jury, made up of automotive journalists from 22 countries, selects the winner from seven models that have made it to the round of finalists in the first round of voting.

The finalists for “The Car of the Year 2021” are:

•    Citroën C4
•    Cupra Formentor
•    Fiat 500
•    Land Rover Defender
•    Škoda Octavia
•    Toyota Yaris
•    Volkswagen ID.3

One of these cars will be the successor of last year’s winner, the Peugeot 208.

Now it is a neatly different story. Yaris keeps on being more compact than other B-segment models, but has matured and refined in every aspect: looks, perceived quality, safety and comfort equipment, performance and handling too. The main feature about the new Yaris, despite the almost marginal existence of other petrol engines, is its efficient hybrid system.

The Toyota HSD technology started in models of certain size and price for cost and marketing reasons, but it is in urban areas where a hybrid vehicle excels in fuel consumption and emissions cleanness. Hence the special suitability of an efficient hybrid small car such as Yaris. The previous generation of this model already gave a chance to hybridization; but the new car improves in fuel efficiency, emissions and performance at the same time.

Compactness pays a certain price in luggage space and room for rear passengers. Otherwise, the Yaris treats well its occupants, and combines practicality with comfort, safety and fun to drive.

Yes, there is also the sporty 4WD 360-hpYaris GR, which has also caught the eye of many CotY jurors, and has helped to improve the image of this model. Just for fun!

Excerpts from the jurors:

“A very good all-rounder in its segment that offers top of class safety features.”

“An important car, for an important segment. Toyota continues their work to lower the emissions without compromising the car, with this 3-cylinder hybrid.”

“Not happy enough for having the best full-hybrid system in the segment, Toyota made it even better. More efficient, easier to use and it is fun to drive now.”

“A major qualitative leap in hybridization and efficiency that allows for almost unbelievable fuel economy figures.”

“Something has happened. Toyota Yaris used to be a reliable, fuel efficient but quite boring little car. The new Yaris is fun to drive, nice to ride in and still fuel efficient and reliable.”

“The hybrid system suits a small car. City owners mostly don’t have access to home charging. But the Yaris still gives excellent economy and frequent electric silence in urban driving.”

“Yaris is the best all-rounder in this competition. Hybrid is the way to reduce CO2 if customers miss charging infrastructure where they live.”

“The Yaris has been redesigned from the ground into a good-looking small hatch with also interesting riding, thanks to its new platform.”

The award ceremony “The Car of the Year 2021” is supported by the Touring Club Switzerland TCS, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.

Katherine E. Ackerman

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