Toyota Yaris has been crowned as Car of the Year 2021, beating the Citroën C4, Cupra Formentor, Fiat 500, Land Rover Defender, Škoda Octavia and Volkswagen ID.3.
This year’s Car of the Year award ceremony was broadcasted live from Geneva on Monday, 1 March 2021. Despite the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show due to the global pandemic, the competition was still held at the Palexpo exhibition centre, although this time swapping an audience for a live-stream, reaching journalists, brands and consumers from around the world.
The award, which has been around since 1964, is the most prestigious and coveted award in the automotive world. A 59-member jury, made up of automotive journalists from 22 countries, selects the winner from seven models that have made it to the round of finalists in the first round of voting.
“This is a great honour for Toyota and I’d like to thank the jury for their consideration and recognition. I’d 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, Toyota Motor Europe.
“A worthy winner of this year’s election, who deservedly prevailed against six top-class competitors,” said “The Car of the Year” President Frank Janssen after announcing the results.
The all-new Toyota Yaris has been designed to meet the increasing challenges of everyday urban life. To respond to new consumer demands, the new Yaris brings Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy to the compact car segment for the first time.
For the new Yaris, this is delivered through the first use of the new GA-B platform, and the first use of the new TNGA 3-cylinder, 4th generation hybrid system. This approach is complemented by advances in active and passive systems to create the world’s safest compact car.
Toyota’s new, fourth-generation hybrid technology makes its debut in the principal powertrain for the new Yaris. This 1.5 Hybrid Dynamic Force system is directly derived from the larger, 2.0 and 2.5-litre systems that were introduced in the new Corolla, RAV4 and Camry models and has been developed with the same level of scrutiny on component size and weight in the quest for ever-better fuel and emissions efficiency.
The hybrid system features the new 1.5 Dynamic Force three-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with variable valve-timing. As with its four-cylinder 2.0 and 2.5 counterparts, it benefits from detailed measures to reduce internal friction and mechanical losses and optimise combustion performance. In fact, the engine has the world’s fastest combustion speed, supporting high torque at low engine speeds and fuel efficiency. It is also fitted with a balance module, which helps reduce engine noise and vibration.
As a result, it achieves a 40% thermal efficiency, higher than typical diesel engines, helping secure a more than 20% improvement in Yaris’ fuel economy and CO2 emissions. At the same time, system output has been increased by 15% and power delivery refined to give a confident and natural feel.