The introduction of the Yaris in Germany marks the end of diesel-powered Toyotas here. Taking their place is hybrid gasoline and electric drive. Toyota's had these combined drivetrains in volume production since 1997. One of the few subcompacts with hybrid drive, the Yaris starts off with hardly a sound.
Energy efficiency is the small hybrids' main selling point. Most of the technology has been taken from the second-generation Prius. In the New European Driving Cycle, the full hybrid consumes just 3-point-3 liters of fuel. Its emissions of 75 grams of CO-2 per kilometer are impressively low.
Toyota provides its hybrid-drive buyers some help for driving optimally. An infographic in the infotainment display tracks the flow of energy. Recuperative braking helps to keep the battery charged - as long as the braking isn't too sudden. And a light touch is needed on the accelerator to stay well inside the green 'eco' area.
But if you flow with city traffic at a moderate speed, the continuously variable transmission and the hybrid technology tend to make life easier. Relaxation rather than driving fun is the idea behind the hybrid compact.
Alongside the exterior badges, blue-edged Toyota logos refer to the environmentally friendly drive technology.
The interior offers little to complain about. The controls for the sat nav may be narrow, but they're clearly marked.
A tachometer is nowhere to be found.
Since the battery's mounted under the rear seat, the cargo space is the same as in a non-hybrid Yaris.