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Published Date: 9/22/2014

Toyota is one of the best and most popular car manufacturers in the world today. Part of the reason the brand has stayed so strong for such a while is its commitment to improving fuel efficiency.

The model range on offer from Toyota currently includes a wide variety of practical family cars which utilise smartly engineered powertrains. Particularly standing out is Toyota’s selection of hybrid models.

As a matter of fact, Toyota has been one of the biggest companies to push forward with promotion of hybrid vehicles. The brand has done so for nearly two decades now.

With so much experience developing this technology, Toyota offers some of the best hybrid family cars on the market which offer excellent standards for fuel efficiency.

Here we’ve picked out a few of the best examples of fuel efficient Toyota cars which UK motorists can buy new today.

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius

The first-generation Toyota Prius was the first ever mass-produced hybrid car when it was introduced back in 1997. Now in its third-generation, the Prius remains one of the most popular sought after models in the ‘green’ hybrid car sector.

With the Toyota Prius, you get the space, practicality and comforts of a typical family hatchback. The key difference though of course is far greater fuel economy, and considerably less CO2 output then most typical hatchbacks.

Toyota has expanded the Prius range into a few distinct variants, which all use what is called a Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) powertrain. This consists of a 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine, combined with electric motors. An automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is also utilised.

For the standard Prius hatchback, the combined fuel economy recorded is up to 72.4mpg. On a side note, CO2 emissions range between just 89g/km and 92g/km depending on choice of trim level.

A larger and even more practical seven-seater variant of the Prius, called the Prius+, is similarly impressive. It records 68.9mpg on the combined fuel cycle and the minimum CO2 output is 96g/km.

For an even more remarkable standard for fuel efficiency, however, customers can also go for the Toyota Prius Plug-In hybrid.

The Plug-In variant uses new, more powerful batteries for charging the electric motor. Unlike the standard Prius, which recharges the motor with the engine, the Prius Plug-In can also be recharged by plugging it into the mains. The Plug-In has a lengthier electric-only travel range of 12.5 miles.

These improvements allow the Prius Plug-In to record a very impressive combined fuel economy figure of 134.5mpg. That’s about twice the figure achieved by the majority of non-hybrid family hatchbacks today. Even better, the CO2 emissions output for the Plug-In are a mere 49g/km.

With figures like these, the Prius range remains one of the best to consider for family car buyers who are strongly prioritising fuel efficiency and running costs.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Toyota Yaris Hybrid

The latest Toyota Yaris is a high quality entry in the supermini sector, where it challenges cars including the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. In its favour the Yaris offers a decent amount of space and equipment, and represents value for money in general.

Amongst the engine selection, the most efficient of all in the Yaris range is the 1.5-litre petrol hybrid.

The Yaris Hybrid is available for the five-door specification and the ‘Active’, ‘Icon’ and ‘Trend’ trim levels.

This is a great powertrain for getting around a city environment in peaceful comfort. The combined power output of the petrol engine and electric motor is 98bhp, but the electric motor alone can be run for a very limited number of miles.

The Yaris Hybrid has the same practical qualities and superb reliability like the rest of the range. With this, however, it also delivers the best possible combined fuel economy, recorded as high as 85.6mpg. Free Vehicle Excise Duty is another benefit, with CO2 emissions ranging between just 79g/km and 85g/km.

Toyota Auris Hybrid
Toyota Auris Hybrid

The Auris is Toyota’s current main rival for popular-selling family cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. It is a decent competitor that is well priced, spacious, reliable and supported with a five-year warranty. Crucially as well, the Auris can offer attractively low running costs.

These cheap running costs are of course achieved mostly through an impressive powertrain line-up. Included is the 1.8-litre Hybrid Petrol, which is available on Icon, Icon Plus and Excel trim versions of the Auris. It is also available for both hatchback and Touring Sports estate variants of the family car.

Like other Toyota hybrids, the petrol engine and electric motor work together to provide reasonably swift but also smooth and quiet travelling.

When used for the hatchback, the petrol hybrid powertrain returns a combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg. The CO2 emissions output is also very low for a family car this size, ranging between just 84g/km and 91g/km.

The Touring Sports version of the Auris Hybrid may be larger and heavier than its hatchback counterpart, but it’s actually even more frugal. It can return up to 76.3mpg on the combined fuel cycle.

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