Toyota Yaris Cross
By Bill McCarthy
Built for the European market, Toyota designers says the theme for this beefed-up Yaris was “Easy, Fast, Smart,” defined with the goal of creating a car that is an ideal partner for day-to-day activities. Not sure what that means, but it features the same wheelbase as the Yaris, but is taller, wider and longer.
It looks the part in metallic silver, with contrasting black roof and sitting high off the ground with, depending on the model,16, 17 or 18-inch alloys wheels. It has a ground clearance up from 25mm to 177mm and the wheel arches and sills get plastic protectors for that extra rugged look.
The front features eye-shaped headlights and two distinctive grilles flanked by two striking vertical daytime running lights.
To the rear there is a wide tailgate with a full-width light bars that feature LED technology.
The interior is smart, roomy and practical with hard-wearing upholstery, plus robust and logical switchgear.
Even the base model is well equipped with the usual electric and electronic aids, but this version adds piano black finish and dark chrome detailing on the upper front grille and auto-retracting door mirrors.
In the cabin, there are heated front seats, dual-zone air conditioning and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and power lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat.
The brains of the car on this model is the new High Definition Toyota Smart Connect with nine-inch display touchscreen. It controls major functions like navigation, infotainment and connectivity and offers live-updating via an embedded SIM card.
Navigation is connected cloud to services to provide live information. In addition, the binnacle contains a multi-function information right in the driver’s eyeline.
It is a roomy place to be with good headroom, although as you might expect from this size car, legroom isn’t so great in the back.
On the road, the car is powered by Toyota’s fourth-generation hybrid electric technology, a 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine with electric motors and provides a lively, yet economical drive.
Acceleration is brisk, with the growl of the three-pot engine offering a sporty note.
The 0-60mph sprint is achieved in around 11 seconds, while at the same time delivering low carbon emissions.
For a vehicle sitting high off the ground, it has sharp, agile handling and direct steering.
It is equally at home on the motorway, with plenty of grunt available, while road and wind noise, although noticeably present on this more than the standard Yaris, are reasonably well suppressed.
Boot space is large and versatile with 397 litres increasing to 1,097 litres with the multi function seats folded.
The Yaris is one of the safest small cars around. It features a full complement of airbags, including a centre airbag, stability control, intelligent adaptive cruise control, plus Safety Sense as standard which includes lane assist, pre-collision warning, pedestrian detection, steering control and a host of other features to keep families safe.
Toyota Yaris Cross Dynamic
Mechanical: 114bhp, 1490cc, 3-cylinder, petrol engine and electric motors driving front wheels via e-CVT transmission
Max Speed: 106mph
0-62mph: 11.1 seconds
Combined MPG: 55.3
Insurance Group: 12E
C02 emissions: 112g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles