Toyota's small car becomes another of the growing breed that'll switch themselves off whenever you're stuck in traffic.
Toyota’s Yaris superminis gets a makeover for 2009, which includes a new look and a new super-economical motor that includes an automatic stop-start system to save fuel in traffic.
The 1.33 petrol engine is the newcomer – the existing 1.0 petrol and 1.4 diesel carry over but receive tweaks to improve fuel economy and reduce exhaust emissions so that no Yaris pumps out more than 120g/km of carbon dioxide.
Stop-start systems – where the car turns off automatically in traffic to save fuel and reduce pollution were pioneered by Citrn and BMW. But in the last few months they have been adopted by other makers, including Mercedes-Benz with its A-class and Fiat with the 500.
Toyota’s version comes as standard on the Yaris 1.33, if you choose a manual gearbox. To use, you simply put the gears to neutral once stopped and then release the clutch. Provided that the engine is warm and there’s no undue drain on the battery, the engine will stop. As soon as you dip the clutch, it will restart. The new model manages up to 55.4mpg across the combined cycle and produces 119g/km of CO2.
Otherwise, the car gets a new front bumper and detail changes to styling front and rear. The interior sees minor improvements, too. The model range now spans four equipment grades: T2, TR, SR and T Spirit. All but the entry model have air conditioning and nine airbags as standard. List prices run from £8585 to £13,455.