Automotive: the new Toyota Yaris Cross is made for family adventures

The Toyota Yaris Cross is a mix of two things, a small hybrid car and an SUV. It combines compact dimensions with the ability to run purely on electricity at low speeds, while the option of a four-wheel-drive model makes the new Yaris Cross a true urban adventurer.

Recently awarded the coveted title of World Urban Car 2022, the Yaris Cross stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons. The fully hybrid Yaris Cross range is designed to be the safest compact car in the world, with a class-first center airbag that prevents passengers from colliding in the event of a side impact.

Sophisticated looks

The Toyota Yaris Cross is longer and wider than the standard Yaris hatchback it’s based on and offers a commanding driving position that’s important to many SUV buyers.

Competition in the compact SUV market segment is strong, with the Ford Puma, Renault Capture, Peugeot 2008, Hyundai Kona and Opel Mokka among the talented rivals of the Yaris Cross.

Although built on the same TNGA platform as the Yaris hatchback, the Yaris Cross benefits from styling influences from the much larger RAV4 SUV. Up front, there are neat lights and grille, with indicators placed in faux vents on the outer edges of the bumper.

Combining a bold, sophisticated look with an unobstructed view of the road, the Yaris Cross delivers true SUV attitude on a scale that fits right into the city and beyond.

Substantial cabin and trunk space

Inside, the Yaris Cross is similar in many ways to the Yaris hatch, with many instruments and infotainment features carried over, but the cabin looks and feels more substantial than that of the standard Yaris.

Space up front is impressive and the front seats are extremely comfortable too, while the space offered to rear-seat passengers is about in and around class standard. The 397-litre boot space behind the rear seats is impressive, and is aided by the inclusion of a two-tier floor and 40:20:40 split-folding seatbacks for even more practicality.

Four upholstery variants

Available in a choice of Luna, Luna Sport, Sol and Adventure trim variants, the new Yaris Cross comes standard in front-wheel-drive format, with the range-topping Adventure variant available with the option of Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (i-AWD). ) which automatically switches from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive depending on road conditions.

Seamless wireless mobile device connectivity via Toyota Smart Connect offers industry-standard multi-device support for the first time on a base Toyota model.

In terms of safety, all trim variants benefit from the standardization of Toyota Safety Sense 2, which provides all occupants with the latest collision avoidance and protection systems in the event of an emergency.

The Yaris Cross’ hybrid powertrain is based on the 1.5-liter gasoline engine that debuted in the new Yaris hatchback. Producing 116 hp and 120 Nm of torque, the 3-cylinder engine allows the Yaris Cross to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.2 seconds and can boast fuel efficiency as low as 4.5 l/100 km on a WLTP combined driving cycle.

An on-board electric vehicle indicator is a really attractive feature that lets drivers see when they’re driving in pure zero-emission EV mode, and that can be up to 80% of the time according to Toyota.

Details of the test car

My test car was a new Yaris Cross Adventure (2WD) in Pearl Ice White paint with contrasting black exterior mirror caps and roof, dark gray body trim and sleek gray alloy wheels. 18 inch dark. Thanks to a relatively high seating position, the view out from inside the Yaris Cross is excellent.

This great visibility combines with Toyota’s lightweight steering and compact dimensions to allow easy maneuvering in and out of tight parking spaces, all aided by the standard rear view camera to make the process even easier.

The Yaris Cross packs a punch in the city, letting you weave through traffic gaps with confidence. A firm suspension setup can make the Yaris Cross a bit choppy on uneven road surfaces, but it settles down just fine on the open road. Plus, the firmer setup means the car doesn’t roll too much in the corners and feels planted on the road as a result.

The Yaris Cross can run purely on electricity at speeds of up to 128 km/h, the distance of which will depend on the power of the hybrid power unit at that moment. Overall refinement is good, with the petrol engine only really making itself heard when the accelerator pedal is pressed all the way down.

Verdict and price

Toyota’s reputation for rock-solid reliability is a well-known phenomenon, and their expertise in hybrid engines is also second to none, so the new Yaris Cross has really taken off — so to speak.

It’s an attractive compact SUV, with the benefit of an economical hybrid powertrain, plus the option of all-wheel-drive capability for owners who occasionally plan to take their Yaris Cross off the beaten path.

It is extremely well built, very spacious and is also fun to drive. The Toyota Yaris Cross is available at Toyota dealerships nationwide, priced at €28,050. It comes with a three-year/100,000 km warranty on mechanical components, a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and a five-year/100,000 km warranty on hybrid components.

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