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Toyota Yaris Cross - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Although the Toyota Yaris Cross offers more space than the regular Yaris supermini, other small SUV rivals are more practical

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

3.5 out of 5

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Agile handling
  • Good finance deals available
  • Tight rear cabin space
  • Feels cheap in places
  • Poor ride at higher speed
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The front seats in the Yaris Cross offer good support, while standard kit such as a central armrest, a reach and rake-adjustable steering wheel and front cup holders help to make things more comfortable. Step up to mid-range Design trim, and you get electrically adjustable lumbar support – a rarity in this class. The Yaris Cross is taller and rides higher than the Yaris hybrid supermini it shares its underpinnings with, giving the raised driving position many drivers like.

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Storage could be better, with the Cross featuring a relatively small boot and little space to keep odds and ends secure in the cabin. The fabric parcel shelf appears rather cheap, too, which adds to the feeling that Toyota approached its small SUV with a certain cost firmly in mind.

Slightly unusually, seatback pockets and underfloor boot storage are only standard on Excel trim and above, and if you want cupholders in the back, you have to upgrade to the Design trim level.

Size

At 4,180mm long, the Yaris Cross is 240mm longer than its supermini sibling, but the 2,560mm wheelbase is the same for both. They’re similar widths, too, with the Yaris Cross measuring 1,765mm wide, but the compact SUV stands 1,595mm tall – 95mm taller than the regular Yaris.

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To get a sense of how the Yaris Cross sizes up compared to its close rivals, the Ford Puma is a little longer and wider, although it has a lower roofline, while the Renault Captur is the longest of the three and sits between the Yaris Cross and Puma in terms of overall width and height.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Entry to the rear of the Cross’s cabin is more awkward than it should be due to the tight door openings and sloping roof line. You’ll also find carrying three adult passengers in the back is asking a bit much of the small SUV because both knee and legroom are limited. Bulky child seats won’t be easy to accommodate, either. 

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Two ISOFIX child seat mounting points are provided on the outer positions of the 2nd-row seats.

Rear seat space comparison 

 

Knee room (min-max)

Headroom

Elbow room

Toyota Yaris Cross

590-845mm

930mm

1,310mm

Honda Jazz

655-875mm

910mm

1,245mm

Boot

If you’re prioritising load capacity for the Yaris Cross, then you’ll probably want to go for a front-wheel-drive model, which provides 397 litres of luggage space versus the all-wheel drive version’s 320 litres. Fold the rear seats down, and the load volume expands to 1,097 litres. It’s worth noting that entry-level Icon cars get a 60:40 split-folding rear bench, while all others get seats that split 40:20:40.

Similarly, more expensive models include a false boot floor that sits flush with the load lip and folded back seats. That’s pretty handy because when we drove the Yaris Cross, we found the opening for the boot to be nice and wide. It’s not all rosy, though, because the Yaris Cross has a hefty lip to try and get heavier items over, and you’ll need the high-spec Excel model and above to get an adjustable height boot floor – something that’s standard on the Volkswagen T-Roc.

Rivals have the Yaris Cross beat in this area, though, with the Ford Puma offering a 456-litre boot and the Renault Captur providing 422 litres – although the ace up its sleeve is its sliding rear bench, meaning you can push capacity to 536 litres if you need it.

Boot space comparison                              

 

Length 

Width 

Lip height

Toyota Yaris Cross

785mm

1,000mm

760mm

Honda Jazz

645mm

1,015mm

615mm

Towing

Towing capacity is nothing to write home about because no version can lug around more than a 750kg braked trailer, making the 13-pin tow bar option a bit pointless. A Kona Hybrid can haul up to 1,300kg, while dedicated caravan types must go for the four-wheel drive ‘4Motion’ VW T-Roc. That can tow up to 1700kg in both 2.0-litre petrol and diesel forms.

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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