Toyota Yaris Cross review - Engines, performance and drive
It’s a case of hybrid efficiency over driving fun with the Yaris Cross
With a focus on efficiency rather than outright performance, the Yaris Cross doesn’t offer too much in the way of sprinting ability. Acceleration times are average at best and the combination of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, small electric motor and a CVT automatic transmission won’t excite keen drivers. That said, if you push on a bit the little three-cylinder provides a rorty soundtrack, which adds a little more driving spirit.
Toyota has identified that Yaris Cross buyers will most probably live in more built-up, urban areas, so it’s important that the compact SUV is comfortable and easy to pilot around town. Has it succeeded? For the most part, yes, with the Yaris Cross able to deliver the benefits of smooth electric power up to 30mph, and the petrol engine barely noticeable as it kicks in to increase the pace. It’s a good set-up for driving in stop-start traffic and, during our time with the car, we found the system made use of its battery power as much as possible.
Despite the increased ride height of the Yaris Cross model over the regular Yaris supermini, it remains pretty nimble through the corners, too. There’s not much lean, while its relatively low 1,265kg kerb weight helps with overall efficiency and performance.
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The ride comfort in the Yaris Cross is a different matter. It all starts off reasonably well at slower speeds, but put your foot down and you’ll notice how the small SUV struggles to maintain its composure. Rougher sections of tarmac make the Yaris Cross a rather uncomfortable drive, while there’s a fair degree of cabin noise to put up with, too.
The GR Sport trim promises better steering than other versions, and features tweaked suspension, however we found the stiffer set-up makes the car fidget most of the time at lower speeds. Similarly, while body roll is kept in check, the trade-off for the GR Sport’s agility is that the ride remains on the firm side, and like the regular model, the ride is harsher at speed than it is around town.
0-62mph acceleration and top speed
With just 114bhp on tap, the Yaris Cross isn’t going to set any drag race or land speed records, but it’s brisk enough around town and front-wheel drive models will do the traditional 0-62mph sprint in 11.2 seconds.
All-wheel drive models, or AWD-i as Toyota calls it in the Yaris Cross, get an extra electric motor to drive the rear wheels but no more power. We expect the extra weight of the other electric motor is why it takes 11.8 seconds for the AWD-i Yaris Cross to hit 62mph. However the top speed for both versions stands at 105mph.
In this review
- 1Toyota Yaris Cross reviewOffering more space than its supermini sibling, the Toyota Yaris Cross is an efficient and well-equipped small SUV
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingIt’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