11 December 2020

Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020 Car Review

The 2020 new generation Yaris line up is quite large, with multiple variants based on the TNGA B platform. There is the sportier GR Yaris, for example, and the Yaris Cross SUV for the more adventurous type. Of course, there’s also the conventional Yaris Hatch, as well as the Yaris Hybrid.

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Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Yaris GX Hybrid 2020

There really is something for everyone with the new Yaris Hatch range, and we were recently given the opportunity to test the new entry level Yaris Hatch GX Hybrid that came in at just $2,000 dollars more than the equivalent petrol Yaris GX variant, at just $27,990 TDP (Toyota Driveaway Price).

Things have certainly progressed a long way since the first generation – the ‘Echo’ - first appeared back in 1999.

First Impressions

The first time we got behind the wheel of the Yaris Hatch GX Hybrid was at the Toyota GR launch day at Hampton Downs, where a procession of Yaris GX models were presented to us coated in some of the more striking colour options like Coral, Blue Gem, Lime and Eclectic Blue.

The new Yaris Hatch GX  – now in its fourth-generation - has a sportier and more bubble-like look. The wheel arches are emphasised particularly in the hind quarters to enhance the cars lower stance. There are also contrasting black trim elements that add to that sporty appeal and fun personality of the car.

The GX receives new 15-inch steel wheels with covers, while the ZR has two-tone machine-finished 16-inch alloys. It would have been great to see alloys on the GX model too as they look impressive.

A stiffer, more nimble chassis offers a more engaging ride. The sizing, as you’d expect, is compact at 3940mm long and 1695 wide, however, it sits rather high at 1500mm and sports a compact wheel base of 2500mm.

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

The interior is clean, simplistic and clutter-free, with the cabin dominated by a seven-inch infotainment system complete with full smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Music, radio and podcasts can be played through a crisp six-speaker audio system. Frustratingly, just one USB port is present.

The new platform has allowed the front seats to be pushed outwards by 10mm to create more space between the driver and front passenger, while the front seats are lower this time around.

More storage space is available in the front console, under the audio unit and in front of the front passenger. The rear of the Yaris GX also uses stadium-like seats, meaning rear passengers are actually sitting higher up than you might expect.

Despite the base level specs, the interior is still accommodating and, aside from just a conventional car key, it feels adequately equipped, especially when you consider the added Toyota Safety Sense package.

Even the entry-level car gets Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane-Tracing Assist and for added safety, front seat centre aisle airbags to reduce the risk of the driver and front passenger colliding during a side-on collision.

Thrifty Business

The Yaris Hybrid benefits from more than two decades of hybrid vehicle research and comes with Toyota’s high voltage hybrid warranty that covers the battery for up to 160,000kms or eight years to offer buyers some added peace of mind.

The hybrid system is a seamless affair and you can hardly notice the shifting between electric and combustion power. As with most hybrids, however, you are able to see usage displayed on the monitor so you know exactly where every ounce of energy is coming from.

The new compact, lithium-ion battery and electric motor combination provides a zestier ride and decent torque around town, with the new engine developing 85kW of combined power, which is only about 3kW less than the conventional GX petrol variant. The Yaris Hybrid has an extremely good combined fuel consumption of just 3.3L/100km. During testing, we actually saw our average drop to an incredible 2.8L/100km.

The economy of this car seemed to simply thrive in backed-up Auckland traffic, and the power was delivered smoothly through Toyota’s electronically-controlled CVT. It’s not blisteringly fast, but allows you to get from 0-100km/h in 10.2 seconds. The handling and ride felt good for a compact hatch.

Hybrid Legacy

Toyota have a lot of street cred when it comes to reliable and efficient models, and the latest Yaris GX Hybrid is no exception. It’s taken all it has learned in the past and distilled it into an affordable safe package that is even more enticing than before.

It’s a car that will get you from A to B cheaply and reliably, and if you’re reading this review and are looking for a small, efficient hatch, then it’s probably offers all you really want and need.

At a glance


Yaris Hatch GX Hybrid 2020


1.5-litre Hybrid


From $27,990 (TDP) 

ANCAP safety rating





Electronically controlled CVT

Fuel economy

Combined 3.3L/100km

Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

270 litres (all seats up)

Safety systems

  • Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)
  • Pre-crash safety system
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Crash Avoidance with Braking
  • Parking Assist - Graphical Display
  • Pedestrian Avoidance with Braking
  • Brake Assist

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