Toyota has joined the compact SUV brigade with the launch of the brand new Yaris Cross. Maybe instead of branding it as a B-segment crossover, it could be renamed the Small Sports Utility Vehicle (SSUV) as the latest model in the Toyota Motor Company’s hybrid range draws on the Japanese marque’s strong heritage of advanced hybrid technology, small car design and SUV engineering. The Yaris Cross will be sold exclusively as a self-charging hybrid.
Despite its compactness, Yaris Cross is a genuine SUV, benefiting from Toyota’s experience in originating the concept of the recreational SUV 25 years ago with the RAV4 – today the world’s best-selling SUV – and more recently in producing the stylish and highly efficient C-HR.
New 4th generation hybrid powertrain
Yaris Cross benefits from Toyota’s fourth generation hybrid technology – using Toyota’s latest 1.5 hybrid system, developed directly from the larger 2.0 and 2.5-litre powertrains used by recent new models such as the Corolla, C-HR, RAV4 and Camry. This features a new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, precision-engineered to reduce friction and mechanical losses and optimise combustion speed. The result is high torque at low engine speeds and excellent fuel efficiency. The engine’s thermal efficiency is rated at 40%, which is greater than comparable diesel engines and ensures strong fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. The new hybrid system has a maximum output of 116hp. In terms of emissions efficiency, the front-wheel drive model starts from below 90 g/km CO2 and the AWD-i version from below 100 g/km.
Yaris Cross has the same 2,560 mm wheelbase as the new Yaris hatchback, but is 240 mm longer overall, with 60 mm added to the front overhang and 180 mm to the rear, securing more interior space. The ground clearance is 30 mm higher and the vehicle is taller and wider overall – by 90 and 20 mm respectively.
Practical and Versatile
Being a true SUV, special attention has been given to practicality and versatility. There’s a power back door for when your hands are full. And an adjustable load deck height in the boot to give the flexibility of either a secure underfloor compartment or increased space for larger items. In addition, the deck board itself can be split in two, giving customers both increased space and an underfloor storage area. The trunk can also be equipped with a new flex belt system to secure items and stop them shifting during driving.
Intelligent all-wheel drive
One of the features that defines the new Yaris Cross as an authentic SUV is the availability of an intelligent all-wheel drive system – a unique feature in its class for a hybrid model. AWD-i provides extra stability and traction in everyday driving, in poor conditions and on low-grip surfaces.