A stellar year for Toyota in 2020 resulted in our brand collecting more than 30 awards, with key models such as the all-new Yaris and GR Yaris, the Toyota Corolla and the Proace City being honoured by both critics and motorists alike. With a raft of new models joining the range over the coming 12 months, it’s likely that Toyota will continue to win awards during 2021.
As our cars, services and people are recognised for their achievements in the automotive industry and beyond, this article will be updated throughout the next 12 months to reflect the growing number of honours bestowed upon us during the calendar year.
Akio Toyoda wins 2021 World Car Person of the Year
The World Car Awards announced: “Akio Toyoda is the charismatic President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, where he has spent years successfully remaking his company. In 2020, under his leadership, Toyota remained profitable, despite Covid-19, thus protecting jobs worldwide. He has maintained Toyota’s steady pace of development for the Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) era and has initiated the construction of the Woven City, an exciting, real-life prototype city of the future. All while actively participating in motorsports himself, as a driver.”
Responding to the World Car Awards, President Toyoda said: “On behalf of all 360,000 Toyota Team members around the world, thank you for this tremendous honour. If you don’t mind, however, I would like to change this award from car ‘person’ of the year to car ‘people’ of the year, because it’s the collective effort of all our global employees, retailers and suppliers that have truly made Toyota what it is today. And I for one could not be a luckier or more grateful CEO.”
Thanking and recognising the contributions of the entire automotive industry, he continued: “At Toyota we are very fortunate that we were able to protect the employment of our team members during Covid and continue our work to meet the future challenge of our industry. As a company we are committed to creating new ways to support the well-being of our planet and people everywhere.
“This has been a difficult period in the history of the world. But it has also reminded us that people are what matters most. And if we at Toyota can contribute some measure of happiness to their lives, it will be my never-ending goal to do just that.”
Van Fleet World picks Hilux as its Pick-Up of the Year
The recently revised and more powerful Toyota Hilux has loaded its first trophy, taking the title of Pick-Up of the Year in the Van Fleet World Awards. Announced today, the honour acknowledges Hilux’s latest design changes and the availability of a more powerful engine option.
In addition to Hilux’s title, the Toyota Proace City also featured in the awards with a “highly commended” rating in the Compact High Cube category.
Hilux embodies the quality, durability and reliability of the Toyota brand. The latest model, introduced at the end of 2020, has a striking new frontal design and more powerful 2.8-litre engine – available as an option for the Invincible grade model and fitted as standard to the Invincible X. These changes, together with new equipment features, added comfort and improvements in performance both on and off-road, strengthen the world-famous pick-up’s appeal, particularly to the growing numbers of customers who need a vehicle that meets both business and leisure needs.
John Kendall, Van Fleet World Editor, said: “Hilux is one of the few names that would be recognised just about anywhere in the world. The Toyota pick-up has just about become a byword for dependability. It largely shunned the fashionable end of the pickup market, where wheels rarely get dirty, until late 2020 when Toyota gave it a 201hp engine option and a refresh. Hilux still has a strong following among working users, providing single, extended (extra) and double cab options to suit their varying needs.”
Referring to Proace City, Kendall added: “The Toyota Proace City marks Toyota’s return to the European compact high cube van sector, offering buyers a range of driver assistance systems. The addition of an electric model is bound to sustain interest in a van that has already proved a hit with fleet buyers.”
GR Yaris is the UK Car of the Year
In perhaps its most remarkable award-winning achievement yet, the Toyota GR Yaris has been named the 2021 UK Car of the Year (UK-COTY).
The result reveals the level of love for a car that sits well outside the mainstream: an out-and-out performance hatchback designed and engineered with a focus on the pure joy of driving.
Announcing the result, UK-COTY Director John Challen said: “The GR Yaris exudes the same sort of emotions found in the original breed of hot hatches, with a modern-day twist thanks to advances in automotive technology. The most fun I’ve had behind the wheel of a car for many, many years.”
GR Yaris qualified for consideration having won the UK-COTY Best Performance title.
All-new Yaris is declared the 2021 European Car of the Year
On 1 March 2021, the Yaris hatchback scooped one of the biggest annual awards when it was declared the 2021 European Car of the Year. So significant was this victory that we dedicated a standalone article to it, which you can read by clicking here.
Double honours for Toyota in the UK Car of the Year Awards
The all-new Yaris and its performance-focused sibling GR Yaris won double honours in the 2021 UK Car of the Year Awards (UK COTY), with the fourth-generation Yaris taking the title of Best Supermini, while the GR Yaris has collecting the Best Performance trophy.
The annual UK COTY awards are judged by a group of top motoring journalists from across the country. In choosing the Toyota models as winners, they were lavish in their praise, describing the new Yaris as “an excellent evolution” and “well-styled, reliable and ideal for an urban environment.”
Agustín Martín, Toyota (GB) President and Managing Director, said: “These awards are warmly received. They demonstrate how Toyota is bringing exciting design and performance to its new models – and not just our special sports cars such as GR Yaris – while at the same time greatly increasing the efficiency and capabilities of our electrified powertrains. This is how we are able to offer cars that are genuinely rewarding to own and drive across the full performance spectrum, from everyday motoring to the challenges of the racetrack and rally stage.”
Toyota customer satisfaction rewarded with Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award
The immense satisfaction of its new car owners has earned Toyota a Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award. A wealth of positive reviews has been gathered by the independent reviews supplier since Toyota launched its partnership with Feefo in August 2020.
Feefo invites owners to rate their new car in areas such as features and specification, build quality, value for money and fuel economy. It also seeks feedback on the service the brand delivers, including all online and retailer touchpoints alongside the overall buying experience.
Toyota achieved consistently high scores, despite the restrictions on business imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its average rating was 4.8 out of 5 stars for both categories and the Toyota GT86 excelled as the Toyota model receiving the highest proportion of five-star reviews. Feefo identified 4,067 positive reviews for Toyota with more than 290 referencing customer service.
“Toyota is part of a unique group of automotive companies leading the way in terms of innovation within the automotive industry,” said Steph Heasman, Director of Customer Success at Feefo. “This award recognises the ability of brands like Toyota to adapt to the changing habits of their customers and put their customers truly at the heart of all they do.”
Corolla wins Best Lower Medium Car in the Company Car Today CCT100 Awards
The British-built Toyota Corolla has earned further honours, being named Best Lower Medium Car in the Company Car Today CCT100 Awards, announced today.
The fuel-efficient self-charging hybrid model is increasing in popularity with business customers in the UK, having achieved an almost 30 per cent increase in fleet/business sales in 2020, despite the impact of the Covid19 pandemic. Paul Barker, Company Car Today Editor said: “The Corolla exhibits all that is good about the latest generation of Toyota models, combining efficiency with good looks and excellent levels of safety kit to make a compelling company car package.
“Toyota’s industry-leading hybrid powertrains have always made financial sense thanks to their low emissions, but the Corolla, as well as siblings such as the new Yaris and C-HR, are examples of a design that adds emotional appeal.”
MPG wins for both Yaris and RAV4 in What Car? awards
The new Toyota Yaris has emphatically proved its real-world efficiency, claiming the What Car? True MPG Award with the best figures ever recorded in the magazine’s rigorous fuel-economy test.
It’s another independent validation of the leap in performance delivered by the fourth generation of Toyota’s self-charging hybrid electric system that powers the all-new hatchback, launched in 2020. The technology significantly increases the time and distance the car can be driven in pure electric EV mode, with zero emissions and zero fuel consumption.
Commenting on Yaris Hybrid’s performance, What Car? Editor Steve Huntingford said: “Our True MPG test proves that the new Yaris Hybrid has a remarkable ability to sip fuel gently. In town, it achieved 80mpg – almost double the economy of conventionally powered small hatchbacks. And overall it’s the most efficient car we’ve ever tested, managing 59.3mpg.”
Proving that a car doesn’t have to be small to maximise the potential of Toyota’s hybrid tech, the RAV4 Hybrid was singled out in the awards for giving the best True MPG around town. In fact, the family-sized SUV used even less fuel than Yaris on urban routes in the What Car? trial.
“The RAV4 debunks the myth that large SUVs are gas guzzlers, because when we put it throughout our True MPG test, its urban fuel economy was 10mpg higher than the next best car (91.9mpg compared to Yaris in second place),” said Huntingford.
GR Yaris wins What Car? ‘Hot Hatch of the Year’ to complete clean-sweep
The Toyota GR Yaris has been crowned Hot Hatch of the Year in the What Car? Awards, completing an impressive clean-sweep of honours. It has now won every major UK motoring media award for which it has been eligible since its launch just nine weeks ago.
Announcing the award, What Car? Editor Steve Huntingford said: “The GR Yaris is a truly special machine that feels tailor-made for tackling a British B-road. With its small proportions, clever four-wheel-drive system and firecracker of an engine, its performance is incredibly accessible. Yet it’s also fast enough to frighten thoroughbred sports cars. For pure driving thrills, hot hatches don’t get any better.”
GR Yaris wins public vote for Car of the Year at 2021 carwow awards
The new Toyota GR Yaris has won the hearts of the UK’s car fans who have voted in their thousands to make it Car of the Year in 2021 carwow Awards, after first claiming the Hot Hatch of the Year title in the awards. The GR Yaris was included in a shortlist of three models for online public voting for ‘Car of the Year’ which saw it win by a huge margin – around 5,000 votes clear of its closest rival.
Announcing the results last night, carwow’s car reviews expert Mat Watson said: “The Toyota GR Yaris is an absolute gem. Its fizzy 1.6-litre engine pumps out a whopping 261hp and its four-wheel-drive system gives it the traction of a rally car. It looks great too, and no other car has put a bigger grin on my face all year.”
The immediate impact the GR Yaris has made was also recognised in a special “thank you” award from carwow to Toyota President Akio Toyoda for committing to make the car and bring it to market. Watson commented: “This award is to personally thank the boss of Toyota for making us happy, for giving us the glorious GR Yaris. Akio Toyoda personally pushed through this project to make a gem of a rally-bred homologation special that appeals to every car fan.”
carwow also honoured its more conventional sibling, giving the Best Small Hybrid Car award to the new, fourth-generation Yaris. Mat Watson declared: “The new Toyota Yaris has everything you want from a small car. It looks good, is easy to drive and it comes with loads of standard kit. And because it’s a hybrid it does more than 60mpg. You can’t argue with that.”
Land Cruiser retains Sustainability Award for second year in 4×4 Magazine awards
The Toyota Land Cruiser has maintained its status as the most “sustainable” SUV on the market, taking the honour for a second year in succession in 4×4 Magazine’s 4×4 of the Year Awards.
Once again, the key quality is Land Cruiser’s legendary reliability as a vehicle that owners can trust to put in year after year of faithful service.
Alan Kidd, 4×4 Magazine Editor, said: ““We’re well aware that a traditional off-roader is a controversial choice for our Sustainability Award. But to us, it’s very simple. The Land Cruiser may not be electric, but to us, it has something even stronger in its favour. Unlike even the best battery-powered vehicles, it’s designed to last forever.
“Buy one of these and keep it maintained, and if you so wish you have a car for life. That’s not good news for carmakers, perhaps, but it’s excellent for the planet. It’s to Toyota’s credit that after two decades of leading the way on hybrid propulsion, it’s still also building trucks like the Land Cruiser for people whose idea of green motoring is to own a 4×4 whose lifespan will be measured not in years but in decades.”
Two class wins for Proace and Proace City in Company Car & Van Awards
Andrew Walker, Company Car & Van Editor and Publisher, said: “The Proace City may cost a little more… but for that extra money, you get a lot more. It comes better specced, with standard twin sliding side doors and offers a longer five-year/100,000-mile warranty. Proven reliability and an excellent dealer network add to its appeal.”
Outlining Proace’s winning qualities he again highlighted the high equipment specification and the lengthy warranty, together with “a cleverly designed cabin, the latest tech and a raft of safety features.”