Toyota Yaris Cross review
Offering more space than its supermini sibling, the Toyota Yaris Cross is an efficient and well-equipped small SUV
The Toyota Yaris Cross delivers where it matters most for buyers considering a supermini-based SUV. Of course, there’s the benefit of the higher-riding, slightly more practical set-up, but the Yaris Cross is also competitively priced compared to its rivals, is easy to pilot around town and offers excellent real-world economy courtesy of its efficient hybrid system.
Yes, it feels like Toyota’s bean counters have had the last word in certain areas of the cabin, but it’s a good-looking little car offering a generous level of standard kit, while buyers on a budget needn’t worry as overall running costs should be pretty low, too.
About the Toyota Yaris Cross
Toyota has a long and storied history when it comes to producing reliable, go-anywhere 4x4s and large SUVs like the Land Cruiser and RAV4, but that’s not where the big money is right now. Instead it’s small SUVs, and if you don't believe us, consider that the Ford Puma is one of the best-selling cars in the UK right now while the Fiesta it's based on has been axed.
The Toyota Yaris Cross is the Japanese manufacturer's entry into the already jam-packed small SUV segment, and as the name suggests, it’s based on the same TNGA-B platform as the regular Yaris supermini, slotting in below the larger C-HR crossover in Toyota’s line-up.
It also uses the same 'self-charging hybrid' powertrain as the little Yaris, which is at its best when driving in and around town, on shorter, urban commutes or competing in the hustle and bustle of the daily school run – precisely where you’d expect a lot of small and mid-size SUVs to be spotted.
Car group tests
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Used car tests
The Yaris Cross isn’t the only small SUV to feature hybrid technology, with some rivals like the Renault Captur and Kia Niro even offered with more advanced plug-in hybrid powertrains for a longer electric driving range.
Others like the Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V and Nissan Juke – the original small SUV – feature full-hybrid systems, which is another name for what’s in the Yaris Cross, and means you don’t have to plug in at any point. The aforementioned Ford Puma on the other hand only gets mild-hybrid technology, which boosts efficiency slightly, but can’t match the impressive fuel economy the Yaris Cross offers.
Buyers have a simple choice when it comes to the running gear for the Yaris Cross; every model has a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet, paired with one electric motor in front-wheel drive guise and another on the rear axle if you upgrade to all-wheel drive/AWD-i. Either way, the Yaris Cross produces 114bhp and takes over 11 seconds to get from 0-62mph. A CVT automatic transmission is standard throughout the range, with no manual gearbox available.
The entry-level Icon trim provides a decent level of kit, including 16-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and automatic air conditioning. Design, Excel and GR Sport specifications make up the rest of the range, with Toyota expecting the Design specification to be the most popular.
For an alternative review of the Toyota Yaris Cross, visit our sister site DrivingElectric.com...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingOffering more space than its supermini sibling, the Toyota Yaris Cross is an efficient and well-equipped small SUV
- 2Engines, performance and driveIt’s a case of hybrid efficiency over driving fun with the Yaris Cross
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsImpressive fuel economy, low insurance rates and decent residuals mean the Yaris Cross should appeal to cost-conscious family buyers
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Yaris Cross offers good levels of standard kit, but the cabin feels a little cheap in places
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceAlthough the Yaris Cross offers more space than the regular Yaris supermini, other small SUV rivals are more practical
- 6Reliability and safetyExcellent safety kit, comprehensive warranty cover and positive Driver Power feedback should give confidence to buyers considering the Toyota Yaris Cross