Toyota-Yaris-rangeToyota will this week announce the latest Toyota Yaris Hybrid has become London Congestion Charge free, MR can reveal.

The facelifted Yaris Hybrid has been re-engineered to reduce CO2 emissions from the previous car’s 79g/km figure down to 75g/km – earning it a 100% discount on the CO2-based Congestion Charge.

Toyota previews facelifted Yaris range

Its introduction means it is now far cheaper to buy a conventional-fuel car that’s free from the London charge; the previous cheapest Congestion Charge-beating non-EV car was the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which cost £28,395 after the Government’s £5000 Plug-In Car Grant. The new Toyota Yaris Hybrid Icon costs £16,195.

Motorists can now thus buy a Congestion Charge-beating conventional-fuel car for £12,200 less than before.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid – a Congestion Charge first

The new Yaris Hybrid is the first non-plug-in hybrid or full EV car to meet the new Ultra Low Emissions Discount London Congestion Charge rules. Introduced in 2013, they were devised in response to big improvements in modern diesel engine efficiency: the previous 100g/km and under barrier was being beaten by ever-growing numbers of cars, ironically creating congestion-related headaches for officials.

Technically, the ULED doesn’t actually enable motorists to enjoy ‘free’ Congestion charge (and it’s not actually ‘exempt’) – they instead enjoy a 100% discount, provided they pay an annual £10 admin fee. Sounds fair to us.

It is only the base Yaris Hybrid Icon that is Congestion Charge free, though. The pricier Excel model has bigger alloy wheels and emits a little more CO2 as a result; London commuters should thus make sure they choose carefully.

Facelifted Yaris range launched this week

The greener new Toyota Yaris is being introduced as part of the facelifted Yaris range, which MR will be driving this week. A bold visual makover, it aims to address criticism that the current model is too dull and unadventurous with a new Aygo-style front end and, we hope, improvements to the way it drives.

Toyota has yet to release any images of the new Yaris’ interior, but we’re hoping for significant improvements over the current car’s surprisingly cheap-feeling cabin; Toyota is certainly promising them.

Come back later in the week for a first drive review on the new Yaris range – including that Congestion Charge-beating Yaris Hybrid.