by Bennett Oghifo
Toyota has launched its all-new Yaris Cross that builds on a rich SUV heritage to deliver a stylish compact package designed to meet the lifestyle needs of active urban dwellers.
As Toyota’s first entry in the light SUV market, the Yaris Cross does not compromise when it comes to style or city-suitability and still delivers all the safety, versatility, functionality and capability of a larger SUV, according to the automaker.
The Yaris Cross – the second member in the all-new Yaris family – offers a game-changing presence with its class-leading safety features, hybrid drivetrain, advanced electric AWD system and a premium, flexible interior.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said the new Yaris Cross provides the perfect blend of small-car style and SUV functionality and capability.
“Toyota was a pioneer in the small SUV market when we launched the original RAV4 in 1994. RAV4 is now the world’s best-selling SUV and we expect the all-new Yaris Cross is set to make as big an impact on the light SUV market in years to come,” Mr. Hanley said.
“Set to appeal to metro-living, country exploring, active urban dwellers, it delivers all the style, advanced technology, safety and a very fuel-efficient hybrid drivetrain demanded for the weekly commute.
“Complementing that is a highly versatile and premium interior, AWD availability for when the tarmac runs out, dynamic driving characteristics and comfortable raised ride height, making it the ideal small SUV, wherever your journey takes you,” he said.
The Yaris Cross is available in nine variants with a choice of new petrol or hybrid powertrains, 2WD (front) or electric AWD, and three grades – entry-level GX, mid-range GXL and top-of-the-range Urban.
First-in-class Hybrid, and new petrol powertrains
Under the bonnet is a choice of two new 1.5-litre petrol and hybrid powertrains it shares with the all-new Yaris hatch.
The hybrid system for 2WD versions combines a 67kW/120Nm, 1.5-litre three-cylinder, Atkinson Cycle petrol engine with a pair of motor generators that produces a maximum combined output of 85kW.
Driving the front wheels through a smooth and efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT), it seamlessly shifts between petrol and electric power to deliver the optimum balance of performance and supremely good fuel economy with a combined cycle fuel consumption of just 3.8l/100km1. CO2 emissions are a correspondingly low 86g/km2.
AWD hybrid models gain a third electric motor generator to drive the rear wheels in slippery or off-tarmac conditions when maximum traction is called for.
The system operates automatically to split drive torque between the front and rear wheels according to road conditions from 100 per cent drive through the front wheels to 40 per cent to the front and 60 per cent to the rear.
The AWD system also offers a Trail Mode to further improve off-tarmac capability, with the system automatically braking a slipping or freely rotating wheel to ensure drive torque is directed to the wheels with the most traction at all times.
The total system generates the same maximum combined output of 85kW as the 2WD hybrid models, with a marginal increase in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions due to the extra weight of the vehicle. Despite the extra mass, it is still very fuel efficient, consuming a low 4.0l/100km1 and emitting only 90g/km2 of CO2 on the combined cycle.
The 2WD Yaris Cross is also offered with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that generates a maximum power of 88kW and peak torque of 145Nm that drives the front wheels through a Direct Shift CVT.
The Direct Shift CVT features a mechanical first gear for strong off the line performance and a 10-speed manual sequential shift function that can be activated by either the shift lever, or paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
While the new Yaris Cross is built on the same GA-B Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform as the Yaris hatch, it sits on a 10mm longer wheelbase and 35mm-45mm wider track to provide a broad, stable platform for all driving conditions and surfaces.
Ground clearance3 has also been increased by 20mm to 170mm to provide the ride height and underbody clearance demanded by SUV buyers.
All 2WD models share a front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension to provide the perfect balance of stability, dynamic driving characteristics, ride comfort and maximum luggage capacity.
Catering to off-tarmac conditions and to accommodate the AWD system, AWD models use a 2-link multi-link rear suspension to deliver superb handling, comfort and responsiveness in all road conditions.
Electrically-assisted rack and pinion steering and a small diameter steering wheel ensure quick, responsive control while braking performance is provided by ventilated front and solid rear discs, assisted by an array of electronic aids including Vehicle Stability Control, Active Cornering Assist, Secondary Collision Brake and Cross-Wind Assist4.
Class-leading safety features
Providing high levels of safety features has been a priority in the development of the Yaris Cross and it features the latest generation Toyota Safety Sense4 suite of driver assistance technologies.
These include Pre-Collision Safety (PCS) system with day/night pedestrian and day cyclist detection and Emergency Steering Assist, Lane Trace Assist and Lane Departure Alert with steering assist, daytime Intersection Turn Assist, Auto High Beam, Road Sign Assist and adaptive cruise control.
A rear view camera with guide lines, and eight airbags, including first-in-class front centre airbags to help reduce potential injuries caused by contact between the front passenger and driver, are also standard on every model.
The new Yaris Cross is also the first Toyota model offered with Toyota Connected Services5 employing a Data Communication Module (DCM) that is able to automatically generate an SOS emergency call6 to a 24/7 Toyota Emergency Call Centre and relay the location of the vehicle in the event of a collision that requires intervention, or if an airbag deploys.
The driver is also able to request emergency assistance via an SOS button7 on the overhead console and if the vehicle is reported stolen, Toyota Connected Services can assist authorities to help track the vehicle’s location via the Stolen Vehicle Tracking (SVT) service8.
The mid-range GXL and range-topping Urban grades gain front and rear parking sensors, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, a panoramic view monitor and Parking Support Brake. Urban grades also offer Head-Up Display to further enhance the extensive safety features on the Yaris Cross4.
Premium style, practicality and features
While the platform of the Yaris Cross is only slightly longer and wider than that of the Yaris hatch, it features a substantially longer, wider and taller body to provide maximum interior space, versatility and functionality.
Measuring 4180mm in length with a width of 1765mm and height of 1590mm, it is 240mm longer, 70mm wider and 85mm taller than the Yaris hatch.
The Yaris Cross is available in a colour9 choice of eight metallic, mica-metallic and crystal pearl finishes with Urban grades offered with two-tone colourways with a black or gold roof, mirrors and rocker mouldings.
Inside, the larger body translates into a light, airy space with a premium ambience for five occupants and plenty of luggage with all controls designed to optimise ergonomics.
Up front is a digital instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch Multi Information Display and small leather wrapped steering wheel with fingertip controls for audio, phone, cruise control and vehicle settings.
A large 7-inch touchscreen display sits atop the centre console offering convenient and easy-to-read controls and information for the latest generation multimedia system.
The system features AM/FM/DAB+10 radio, full Bluetooth®11 connectivity, Apple CarPlay®12 and Android Auto™13 compatibility, and enhanced voice activation and delivers high quality audio reproduction through six speakers.
GXL and Urban grades also combine satellite navigation14 into the system while all models feature USB and 12V DC power outlets.
Below the screen are controls for the single-zone automatic climate control to provide the perfect cabin temperature, regardless of outside conditions.
For GX and GXL versions, the comfortable and supportive seats are upholstered in a quality fabric with varying shades of grey materials for the seats, door trims and soft-touch dash.
Urban variants feature a tweed-like fabric and dark brown artificial leather accents for the seat upholstery, power adjustable driver seat, and front seat heating, providing even greater style, comfort and convenience.
Designed for maximum flexibility, the Yaris Cross features a 40/20/40-split rear seat with each individual section able to be folded flat to increase the rear luggage space.
A dual level 60/40-split deckboard in the luggage space for 2WD models provides maximum versatility and a large 390-litre capacity when it is in the lower position.
In the high position and for AWD models, the rear luggage space has a capacity of 314 litres with the rear seat backs in place.
Access to the rear is through a large opening hatchback with Urban grades featuring a power tailgate with a kick sensor for hands-free opening when carrying shopping or other items.
For further storage, the cabin features large front door bins able to hold 1.5-litre bottles, rear door bins that can take 600ml bottles, a 5.7-litre glovebox and an array of small storage cubbies.
Under the Toyota Warranty Advantage program, the Yaris Cross is covered by a five-year warranty15, seven years for engine and driveline.