There are conflicting reports over whether Toyota is really preparing a hybrid version of their subcompact Yaris for sale. Is there really a point in making a hybrid Yaris when the standard version already sips gas and the Prius leads all contenders? As a matter of fact there is.
2 and 4 Door Yaris
The most significant among these reasons is price. If it comes to fruition, a hybrid Yaris would be priced well below the Prius and beat the current econo-hybrid: the Honda Insight. According to Bloomberg, the new vehicle “will probably be priced at $15,600. For comparative purposes, the Insight starts at over $19,000.
Of course, mileage is the real measuring stick here and according to Japanese news outlets, the Yaris hybrid will likely end up with EPA ratings in the low 50 mpg range, roughly 10 mpg better than the current Insight. The 2010 Toyota Prius also nets a combined city/highway fuel economy of 50 mpg. But anyone that has driven both can no doubt attest to the fact that the Yaris is definitely a step below the Prius in refinement. A fact that Toyota is certainly counting on to avoid a potential cannibalization of their own sales among consumers. At the earliest, a new Yaris hybrid could make its way into North America by 2012.