Pros: Chunky SUV looks, cheap to run, strong cabin, big boot.
Cons: Noisy at times, feels smaller in the back than some rivals.
Toyota takes their bestselling Yaris supermini and turns it into an SUV. The Toyota YarisCross promises low fuel consumption from its hybrid engine wrapped up in trendy, rugged SUV looks. Can the Yaris Cross deliver on style, practicality, and efficiency in the hotly contested small SUV class?
Toyota Yaris Cross Design
The Yaris Cross is built on the same platform as the Yaris but it’s longer, wider and taller. It does a good job of masquerading as a small SUV with a big, upright front end and lots of rugged design features like squared-off wheel arches and an abundant use of grey cladding. It’s not quite as pretty as a Peugeot 2008 or as cool as an Opel Mokka, but it’s a solid offering from Toyota in the small SUV class and a big step up from the Yaris. 16-inch alloy wheels come as standard, while the higher spec Yaris Cross Sol on test gets 18-inch alloys.
Toyota Yaris Cross Interior
The cabin of the Yaris Cross takes its inspiration from the Yaris but feels more mature and grown-up. It's not the most stylish cabin of the class but it is exceptionally well-built. There are lots of good quality plastics and the Sol model has some nice fabric trim in the door panels. All versions get a digital driver display and touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The screen varies in size across the range - Sol models get the impressive 9-inch touchscreen with more modern graphics and a nicer interface.
There are four trim levels for Ireland but even the entry model comes very well equipped with push button start, reversing camera, and climate control. There’s also a full suite of high-tech safety features as standard including road sign assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and lane departure alert.
The Yaris Cross is bigger inside than a Yaris supermini, but it doesn’t feel as spacious in the back as some rivals like the Peugeot 2008 or Renault Captur. The door openings are also quite narrow for access to the rear of the car. The Yaris Cross makes up for it with a generous boot of 397 litres, with a number of practical features like rear seats that split fold 40:20:40 and an adjustable boot floor.
Toyota Yaris Cross Performance & Drive
The Toyota Yaris Cross uses the same hybrid powertrain as the Yaris based on a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine. It produces a healthy 116hp and is nippy around town, with plenty of power and flexibility for larger roads and motorways too. The engine sounds a bit rough at times and if you accelerate quickly, the CVT gearbox can get noisy. But at low speed around town and with a gentle right foot, this is less of an issue and the Yaris Cross is always impressively efficient. During our test drive we saw fuel consumption as low as 4.6 litres per 100 kilometres. Some rivals with small turbo petrol engines like the Ford Puma feel livelier and more fun to drive, but they cannot match the Yaris Cross for efficiency. It feels mature and comfortable on the road, moving effortlessly from town to motorway driving.
Toyota Yaris Cross Pricing
The Toyota Yaris Cross is available in Ireland in four trim levels. The Yaris Cross Luna kicks off the range at €29,700. The Luna Sport is available from €32,370, the Sol from €35,850 and the top of the range GR Sport from €37,530.
The Toyota Yaris Cross is a welcome addition to the small SUV class, with its rugged good looks, quality cabin and fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain. If you’re not quite ready to go electric, and are looking for a stylish and efficient small SUV, the Toyota Yaris Cross is a great choice.