The all-new Toyota Yaris hatchback has won the latest edition of the European Car of the Year award. It is also the only Japanese vehicle in the finalist of seven vehicles.
The Toyota Yaris scored a total of 266 points and 14 best votes, beating the Fiat new 500 EV and Cupra Formentor. Volkswagen’s electric-only ID.3 managed to garner 10 best votes and a final score of 224 points to finish behind the Cupra.
The jury comprising of 59 members across 22 European countries praised Yaris’ hybrid technology for its smooth driving, low emissions and accessible price point – illustrating why more than 80% of Yaris buyers choose the hybrid powertrain.
To recap, the self-charging hybrid powertrain in the fourth generation Toyota Yaris is an all-new system delivering a combined system output of 116 hp. A regular 1.5-litre engine is also available, with 125 hp of output paired to either a Direct Shift CVT or six-speed manual transmission.
A variant with a 72-hp 1.0-litre engine and five-speed manual transmission is offered in selected countries.
The new Toyota Yaris is also the first compact car in the company to adopt the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), with the GA-B platform being 50 kg lighter yet 30% more rigid than the outgoing model.
Many in the jury also praised Toyota for introducing the 261-hp 4WD GR Yaris that reignited the passion for hot hatch market across Europe.
The finalists of the 2021 European COTY and final points tally.
- Toyota Yaris (266), 14 best votes
- Fiat new 500 EV (240), 9 best votes
- Cupra Formentor (239), 10 best votes
- Volkswagen ID. 3 EV (224), 10 best votes
- Skoda Octavia (199)
- Land Rover Defender (164)
- Citroen C4 (143)
Safety features also scored well in the jurors books and the Toyota Yaris is the first Toyota to be fitted with a pair of front centre airbags to help prevent driver and passenger colliding with each other in a side impact.
Toyota has been awarded with European Car of the Year three times. Yaris won in 2000, Prius took top honours in 2005 and now Yaris has lifted the trophy again in 2021.
This 2021 European Car of the Year award could not have come at a better time for Toyota Motor Europe, as it coincides with Yaris becoming the best-selling car in Europe for the first time.
“I would 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,” said Matt Harrison, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe.