Which Toyota model will become a hybrid next?

Toyota Yaris: Coming soon in hybrid dress

Toyota Yaris: Coming soon in hybrid dress

Not long ago we speculated about what Toyota’s answer would be to Honda’s offering the least expensive hybrid, with their sub-$20K Insight.

We thought maybe they’d knock a few thousand off the price of the Prius to be more competitive, or load it up with technology to justify its higher price.

We even thought Toyota might introduce an all-new hybrid. 

Nope.

Toyota’s taking the easy way out and will build a hybrid version of the Yaris. The current gas-powered Yaris already gets 36 mpg on the highway and doesn’t cost more than $15K. There aren’t any estimates as to what a hybrid version would be rated at, but you can be darned sure the price will be below the Insight’s $19,800 starting price.

The price of the Prius will probably jump as the Yaris fills the entry-level hybrid slot for Toyota and competes directly with the Insight. Then it’s Honda’s move to try and undercut the price of the Yaris hybrid! We look forward to seeing what happens.

Hybrids haven’t received the warmest response from readers of this blog, but would a cheap, ultra-efficient hybrid be of any interest to you?

-tgriffith

2 Comments

  1. Yeah, I’ve heard that a Yaris hybrid will be out soon. I agree with Colin though. There has to be some distinction between the normal Yaris and the hybrid one, and a very noticeable one at that. Or else, I think it will fail.

  2. I think they will run into the same issue that Honda had. People want a hybrid because its a status symbol and is instantly recognizable as a hybrid vehicle. The reason the Civic Hybrid didn’t sell very well is because it looks exactly the same as the Civic sedan. I think is pretty much the reason why Honda developed the Insight.

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