What is this?
The first generations of the Toyota RAV4 were also SUVs of this size, even pioneers. Subsequently, however, that model grew and the Japanese manufacturer left the compact category for what it was. With the Toyota Urban Cruiser they sometimes put a small crossover on the market in 2008, but it was not very popular and was already removed after a few years. Competitors such as Nissan Juke and the Renault Captur now managed to crack the code and scored huge hits with their small SUV models.
In 2021 Toyota is here again, with this increased version of the Yaris. It has a lot in common with that city car, including the TNGA-B platform and the hybrid system, with either front or four-wheel drive. This is Toyota’s fourth-generation self-charging hybrid system, just like the Yaris, based on a particularly efficient 1.5-three-cylinder 115 hp. It is flanked by 59 kW of electrical power at the front and (optional) 3.9 kW at the rear.
The wheelbase of the Toyota Yaris Cross is unchanged, but this SUV has been stretched in all directions. With, for example, no less than 18 centimeters extra overhang at the rear, 3 centimeters extra ground clearance and a body that itself is also 6 centimeters higher. Visually, he clearly refers to the big brother RAV4, with that pronounced rear style and rectangular wheel arches. The Toyota Yaris Cross is also available with a roof in contrasting color.
What is changing?
The efficiency of Toyota’s hybrid system is now well known, but at times remains startling: during a test drive on a mixed course, we noted an average consumption of just 4.3 l/100 km. You don’t have to do much for that, except sufficiently anticipatory driving; the e-CVT powertrain behaves like any other automatic transmission. And it is striking how often the Toyota Yaris Cross drives fully electric, even above 70 km/h.