Toyota Yaris Cross review - Interior, design and technology
The Yaris Cross offers good levels of standard kit, but the cabin feels a little cheap in places
The Toyota Yaris Cross sits on the same TNGA-B platform as the latest Yaris supermini, but being a small SUV it obviously rides higher, has more ground clearance and a more rugged look. The black plastic cladding around the wheel arches adds a little extra flavour to its chunky, cross-country credentials, while stylish aluminium roof rails are standard on all but the entry Icon model. You can also specify a black roof in combination with certain body colours to add a little extra personalisation.
The cabin of the Yaris Cross is best described as functional, as it uses the same straightforward switchgear as its supermini sister cars. In the centre of the dashboard is the touchscreen for navigation and media, with a set of physical dials for the climate control below. There are a few silver and piano-black trim accents that help to enhance the rather plain-looking interior, but otherwise its mostly scratchy plastics up front. The instrument panel is pretty dated too, giving the Ford Puma a serious edge in this department.
If you’re after luxuries such as heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, climate control and Toyota’s Smart Connect infotainment system, then you’ll need to look towards the Excel or GR Sport trim levels, although that’s not to say the Icon and Design specifications are poorly equipped; each includes alloy wheels, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are also standard.
Car group tests
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Used car tests
As the name suggests, the GR Sport version gives the Yaris Cross a slightly more athletic look, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s any faster or could be Toyota's answer to the Ford Puma ST – it’s mainly just a few styling changes and some suspension tweaks.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The infotainment system in the Yaris Cross is a significant improvement over Toyota’s previous efforts. Entry-level cars feature an eight-inch touchscreen with Toyota Touch 2, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, while higher-spec versions come with a larger nine-inch unit and Toyota’s Smart Connect system. The upgraded set-up provides live traffic information, plus shortcut buttons that allow you to quickly locate local places of interest. Pricier models also get wireless CarPlay, although we found it lost connection with our phones intermittently when we tried it.
Regardless, the central touchscreen in the Yaris Cross is relatively sharp, has clear graphics and is a lot more responsive than previous Toyota media set-ups. There are four physical buttons along the left-hand side that make it easy to navigate between the home screen and your smartphone connection, while the other two are for volume control.
Interestingly, if you add the £750 City Pack with 360-degree cameras, park assist and WiFi to higher-spec trims, the nine-inch screen is replaced by the smaller eight-inch display from the base model.
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 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 technology - currently readingThe 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