If you want a hybrid supermini you face a choice of the Honda Jazz or the Toyota Yaris. The Yaris hybrid recently joined our long-term test fleet giving me the chance to see how it compares to the Jazz hybrid, which I have been running for the past year.
The Yaris is a full hybrid – capable of running on electric only – while the Jazz is a mild hybrid where the battery is there to assist the engine.
On the road the Yaris is a lot quieter at higher speeds and a tad more responsive. Both have an eco mode for better fuel economy. But the Yaris doesn’t offer the visual feedback that the Jazz does.
I also favour the Jazz's higher seating position, particularly when parking and manoeuvring.
On the looks front it’s hard to choose between the two although the LED lights on the Yaris give it a more modern look. Its interior is also less bland. Blue stitching around the steering wheel and seats, and a blue gear stick add a flash of colour. But, from a practical point of view I find moving the gear stick awkward in the Yaris as the gears are stepped.
Price-wise there’s a difference of around £1,000 between the two with the Yaris the more expensive.
That’s because the Yaris is the top spec T Spirit, complete with sat-nav, while the Jazz is the mid-range HS without sat-nav. The Yaris also comes with a reversing camera.
When comparing a similarly-priced Jazz and Yaris there is a clear advantage in choosing the Yaris from a tax point of view – as highlighted in a previous test (click here) However, this is surely something Honda will address when it brings out a new Jazz.