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MOTORING TOYOTA YARIS CONT....... My test model was the 5-door T


Spirit, one of the upper range versions costing £17,195. While all models have seven airbags, stability control, adjustable steering wheel and a 5-star nCAP crash rating, - and most also have a touch- screen infotainment system - the T spirit adds extra kit which includes climate control, keyless entry and auto lights and


wipers.


And like all Toyotas, the Yaris Hybrid comes with five year/100,000 mile warranty, which is another strong sales point.


Cabin space is good - clever design means the interior is actually bigger than it appears from the outside. It can take 4 adults in comfort, with good leg room


even for the rear occupants. Boot space is similar to the class average and the rear seats split fold to accommodate larger items. I enjoyed a week testing the Yaris


Hybrid in town, country and motorway situations and overall found it very pleasing. It showcases all the plus-points of hybrid motoring.•


packages allowing buyers to individualise their cars with a wealth of additional equipment and features but these can boost the price quite considerably. I recently tested the Roadster in Cooper S form, a mid-


Mini Roadster The designers and engineers at Mini are adept at creating


new versions of the iconic car, and one of the latest models, the Mini Roadster, is a real head-turner, delivering cachet and kudos. It is immense fun to drive, yet it still retains enough practicality for everyday use. Roadster prices start at around £18,000 and there are


four engines on offer, each with a fuel-saving stop/start system. Three are 1.6-litre petrol units and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and all offer good economy. Convertibles are all-year-round cars these days and while the Mini Roadster has a fabric hood, which after unfastening one clip can be electrically lowered or raised in just eight seconds, it still provides a cosy weatherproof interior. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, alloy


wheels, power door mirrors, parking control, height- adjustable seats and an audio system with MP3-compatible CD player and AUX IN connection. As with most Mini models, there are many add-on


Unbiased Advice - Superb Service


range version priced at £20,900. The 1.6 litre turbo-boosted petrol unit provides a hefty 181 hp which gives a top speed of 140 mph with a 0-60 mph time of just seven seconds. Given its potent performance, fuel economy is impressive at 47.1 mpg combined. A handy feature is a Sport button on the centre console


“a real head-turner”


allowing the driver to adjust the steering characteristics and accelerator responses, so you are able to tweak the car to your preferences. no doubt about it, the Roadster is great fun to drive, responsive and with go-kart style handling characteristics. With the hood down, there is minimal body shake thanks to an extra strengthening cross-beam, and the sharp steering response and nimble agility make driving a delight. Ride quality is a little hard as you might expect in a sporty model, but it doesn’t rattle your teeth. The interior is roomy for two, even six-footers, and there is just enough space behind the seats for a couple of small bags, but the good news is that the boot area offers 240 litres of load space, very good for the overall size of the car. There is also a load-through facility into the passenger compartment for longer items. Overall, the Mini Roadster sets a new style standard in the


sector. It is a pretty car with the mighty reputation of BMW behind it, underlining superb built-quality and strong residual values.•


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