Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
1:00 AM 24th February 2024

What’s New From Toyota? Plenty!

Regular readers of my ramblings will know that I am a long-term Toyota owner. Their cars have graced my driveway for over 20 years and though the cars we now own are knocking on in years, they continue to work well. With thoughts of upgrading, here’s a look at what is on the horizon from the Japanese manufacturer.

The Urban SUV Concept
The Urban SUV Concept
A series of new and updated models are promised which should help build on the record-breaking sales achieved in 2023.

One of the key 2024 debuts will be a new battery electric model based on the Urban SUV Concept revealed in early December. The production version will be the most compact and accessible model in a planned line-up of six Toyota dedicated BEVs to be launched by 2026.

The Urban SUV Concept has a compact body set on strong shoulders and a high driving position. Drawing on Toyota’s experience developing the successful Yaris Cross, space is maximised in a flexible interior that can easily be adapted to prioritise passenger or load capacity as required. Both front and all-wheel drive powertrains will be available, together with a dual battery strategy: customers will be able to choose between two battery options, with different capacities to suit their priority for accessibility or driving range.

The GR Yaris
The GR Yaris
Keeping the focus on pure electric power, the bZ4X mid-size SUV remains a key player in Toyota’s multi-path strategy towards achieving full carbon neutrality in the UK and Europe by 2035.

The Yaris Cross range will expand early in 2024 with introduction of an additional, more powerful, 129bhp version of its 1.5-litre hybrid electric powertrain. In addition, the model gains a fully digital driver’s instrument display and the latest Toyota multimedia system with cloud-based navigation for journey planning with up-to-minute traffic intelligence. The Toyota Safety Sense package of active safety and driver assistance systems is boosted with new and enhanced functions. And for customers looking for the last word in equipment specifications, an exclusive new Premiere Edition model joins the line-up.

A similar package of changes including the new powertrain option, digital user experience and enhanced safety provisions – is also scheduled for the Yaris Hatchback.
At the sporting end of the Yaris spectrum, a new GR Yaris is lined up for release this year. The latest version of the high-performance hatch, developed by Toyota Gazoo Racing, comes with a more power from its turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a new Gazoo Racing Direct eight-speed automatic transmission that provides super-fast shifting and a redesigned driver’s cockpit. The car’s body rigidity and suspension have been increased, with a focus on even stronger competition driving performance. The previous version sold out quickly in the UK and was an absolute blast to drive. I loved it!

The new Landcruiser
The new Landcruiser
At the other end of the size scale, an all-new Land Cruiser is due for launch towards the end of the year. This I am most looking forward to. Toyota has taken Land Cruiser back to its origins as a strong vehicle that can be trusted to do the job in the toughest conditions, while incorporating new technologies to ensure it delivers exceptional performance both on and off-road. Under the skin, there’s a new vehicle platform supporting the classic body-on-frame construction that’s fundamental to Land Cruiser’s all-road capabilities. Meanwhile the exterior design moves to classic, sharp-edged look with heritage-influenced details. Power is from a turbocharged 2.8-litre diesel engine, with a 48-Volt mild hybrid electric system to follow in 2025.

The updated C-HR
The updated C-HR
This month marks the start of customer deliveries of the all-new Toyota C-HR. True to the spirit of the original model, this coupe-inspired SUV sports radical, eye-catching styling. Under the skin, there’s the latest, fifth generation of Toyota’s hybrid electric technology; later in 2024 the range will grow to include the option of an even more efficient plug-in hybrid electric system for the first time.

The choice of Toyota plug-in hybrids will also increase during 2024 with the much-anticipated arrival of the all-new Pruis Plug-in, following its introduction in continental Europe last year. Notably, the model was recently named the North America Car of the Year 2024.

The British-built Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports go from strength to strength, newly equipped with fifth generation hybrid technology – a key element in them securing the 2024 What Car? awards for Best Family Car and Best Estate Car.

The RAV4
The RAV4
RAV4 remains in high demand in both hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric forms. For the former, there’s a new grade structure for 2024, with Design, Excel and GR Sport versions, all of which come with a new Rear Seat Reminder system as standard, alerting the driver if a child or pet has been left behind on the back seats. The plug-in hybrid line-up now comprises two grades – Design and GR Sport.