The all-new Toyota Yaris won the Car of the Year 2021 in Europe for the first time in 21 years, since the first-generation Yaris won the award in 2000. What was the reason behind its win among European competitors?
The all-new Toyota Yaris has been named the Car of the Year 2021 in Europe
The award is hosted by nine automotive magazines from nine countries in Europe, in which the jury chooses a car of the year from new models launched in the past year.
In the 58th award this year, seven new models among 29 candidates were named in the shortlist, and on March 1, the winner was announced: the Yaris was named the 2021 car of the year.
The majority in the shortlist were BEVs and PHEVs by European automakers.
Among these competitors, what was it about the Yaris that made it so popular in Europe? Comments by the jury have been posted on The Car of the Year website as follows:
(Comments by the jury)
“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.”
“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 jury has recognized the Yaris’s fun-to-drive aspect and fuel efficiency as a hybrid.
As reported in a recent Toyota Times article, during its development stage in 2015, the launch of the Yaris was delayed one year from the original target of 2019.
The delay in the launch may have affected the business conditions of Toyota stakeholders such as dealers, but the decision was made to ensure that Toyota builds cars that would put smiles on the faces of customers.
As a result, the delayed all-new Yaris was equipped with a new hybrid system on a much lighter body - 50 kilograms less from the previous generation model, to be specific.
The decision made back in 2015 has contributed to the model achieving very good reviews in this award in Europe.
Some of the jury’s comments also talk about how hybrids are an option to reduce CO2 emissions for city dwellers and for households that don’t have charging facilities.
In Europe, too, there are many people who live in apartments in urban areas (as is the case of Japan and other markets). For such people, it is not easy to secure individual charging facilities.
The Car of the Year in Europe has made it clear that vehicle electrification is being promoted from the view point of real conditions of people’s everyday lives.
Toyota Times asked Akio for comments on the award as he was deeply involved in the Yaris development. He was happy to share his thoughts.
I am very grateful that the Yaris won the Car of the Year award in Europe, a place where people have continued to have strong passion for cars in its long automotive history.
Thank you to each member who was involved in nominating the Yaris this award.
Hearing the comments on why the Yaris was praised, I became even happier because it was the normal Yaris that earned appraisal for its driving performance, as opposed to the sporty GR Yaris, and also because it was the hybrid Yaris that was recognized.
When it comes to vehicle electrification, Toyota has a full lineup of HEVs, PHEVs, FCEVs, and BEVs.
We are very encouraged that a hybrid received the Car of the Year in Europe, as we are now trying to accelerate our efforts to help achieve carbon neutrality.
We will continue to make ever-better cars that will make customers happy.
Please continue to pay close attention to our ever-evolving hybrid cars.
To all members at the Toyota Motor East Japan in Tohoku plants, Toyota Motor Manufacturing France, GR Factory, and to all those who have been part of the development and launch of Yaris, GR Yaris, and Yaris Cross, and lastly to every customer who drives a Yaris, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.