By Staff Reporter
Toyota is conspicuous by its absence in the Compact SUV Segment. You may argue that it has the Rush and Avanza fighting that good fight. Let’s just say no Ford EcoSport or Volkswagen T-Cross owner sees themselves in those cars no matter how practical or affordable they may be. Those owners may, however, see themselves in the new Toyota Yaris Cross.
Size and looks
The new Yaris Cross has the same 2,560 mm wheelbase as the new Yaris hatchback, but is 240 mm longer overall, with 60 mm added to the front overhang and 180 mm to the rear, securing more interior space. The bigger Yaris Cross also offers practicality in a rear bench that splits 40:20:40. The ground clearance is 30 mm higher and the vehicle is taller and wider overall – by 90 and 20 mm respectively compared to the Yaris hatchback.
In terms of looks, the Yaris Cross is fresh and youthful compared to anything in the local Toyota line-up. We anticipate this will give it a broader appeal should South Africa ever be on the cards to get it. There’s a bit of RAV-4 and Tacoma at the front resulting in quite an assertive look. On the side, square plastic claddings on the wheel arches dominate with wheel arches can house wheels that are up to 18 inches big.
Based on GA-B platform, the Yaris Cross benefits from Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems and advanced driver assistance functions which provide information, early warnings and, when necessary, automatic braking and steering intervention.
Engine and all-wheel drive system
The Yaris Cross features two drawcards in this arena as it offers a 1.5 litre hybrid engine and an all-wheel drive system. Those are not common in the segment and to find both of them in one car is fairly unique.
The new three-cylinder Atkinson-cycle 1.5-litre petrol engine which the Yaris and Yaris Cross become the first Toyota models to use is said to offer more power and efficiency. The total power output of the hybrid system is approximately 85 kW.
Toyota SA says the Yaris Cross is a European market model and is not on the cards for SA. That said, we would not be surprised to see this car in Mzansi but with a different engine as the hybrid power system would make it uncompetitive compared rivals.
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