Motoring and Property Editor
2:00 AM 18th June 2022
All Smiles After A Week With The Toyota Yaris Cross
With fuel prices at a record high, it is no wonder many new car buyers are looking to downsize. However, the popularity of the humble family hatch has waned with buyers now clamouring to drive something more distinctive.
Step forward then the compact crossover, and one of the latest to join this burgeoning sector is Toyota with its funky Yaris Cross. It is predicted to be the Japanese carmaker’s second biggest seller.
Toyota has been refining its hybrid powertrain as the years go by and it works well, but with a few provisos.
Under the skin you will find the same platform and 1.5-litre petrol hybrid powertrain as the humble Yaris, but immediately noticeable is the raised suspension, more prominent front grille, and chunky wheel arches. There is even the option of all-wheel drive, useful for the rural motorist in need of go-anywhere capability, though looking at the 2023 Toyota price list, this model is likely to disappear.
The Yaris Cross adds to Toyota’s line up of hybrid SUVs, now up to six with the arrival of the Aygo X, which I will be testing shortly.
Mid ‘Design’ trim is likely to be the most popular and is priced at £25,790, competitive with its rivals but a considerable step up over a similarly equipped Yaris (approximately £3,500). What price style?
My test car for the week was a limited run ‘Premiere Edition’, retailing for £28,185 and was of course well equipped.
Toyota Yaris Cross
Priced from £24,100
1490cc 3-cylinder engine (116bhp)
Plus electric motor
0-62mph in 11.2 seconds
Combined economy 54.6-57.6mpg
Emissions 112-117.2g/km CO2
Toyota has been refining its hybrid powertrain as the years go by and it works well, but with a few provisos. Driven gently, the three-cylinder engine remains reasonably muted, but should a sharp burst of acceleration be required, the CVT transmission will see the engine revs soaring upwards, rather spoiling the refinement.
Driven in an urban environment this is seldom a problem, but on my fast rural test route, I adopted a rather more laid-back driving style than usual, and all was well. The on paper 0-62mph official sprint time of just over 11 seconds is class competitive.
Being a hybrid model, the engine shuts down swiftly when coasting, helping to improve the Yaris Cross’s economy. Toyota claim up to 57mpg for the car and I seldom saw the trip computer dip below 50mpg.
Emissions are a lowly 117g/km CO2, and the company car user will be pleased by the BIK rate of just 25%. Servicing costs should be modest and with Toyota’s enviable reputation for reliability, this is a good car to keep for many years.
Back to my challenging test route and I am please to report that the Yaris Cross handles well, with decent body control and direct steering. Yes, there is some body roll, but there is some fun to be had should you be that way inclined.
Ride comfort is fine, with only deep urban potholes spoiling things a tad. I would avoid the 18-inch wheels and downsize an inch or two.
Inside, expect to find a smart, modern interior where good quality materials abound. The 9.0-inch touchscreen dominates and is easy enough to use, with separate knobs most welcome for the climate control.
Seats up front offer plenty of space, but the rear is a tad cramped. Fine for children who will enjoy the better view afforded by a high-riding car. Adults will fit, but those up front may need to yield some legroom.
It’s not a car you will ever love, more one that you will grow to respect and trust. Dependable, reliable, and undoubtedly frugal, it’s undoubtedly a car for now.
All models offer a decent level of equipment and there are a multitude of options should you wish to personalise your Yaris Cross. The Panoramic Roof at £330 looks like a box worth ticking, and I could be tempted by a Nextbase Dashcam at £279 too.
Rivals include the Ford Puma and Nissan Juke, with the Ford being dynamically superior if that matters, whilst the Juke is the most boldly styled.
The Yaris Cross strikes a happy medium and is an easy car to live with on a day-to-day basis. It’s not a car you will ever love, more one that you will grow to respect and trust. Dependable, reliable, and undoubtedly frugal, it’s undoubtedly a car for now.