By Alexi Falson, 30 Sep, 2021
Review - Toyota Yaris Cross
May 06, 2021
Compact SUV crossovers are all the rage in 2021, and Toyota is hoping to ride the wave of popularity with its latest introduction to the Australian market, the Yaris Cross. As the name would suggest, it’s a crossover variant of its budget Yaris, adding some ride height and extra practicality to the mix.
The Yaris-Cross competes against the likes of the Mazda CX-3, Kia Seltos and Hyundai Venue, which means that it needs to perform to an extremely high standard to win the public’s attention. Today, we’re going to dive in and answer the question of whether or not the Yaris Cross successfully takes the fight to its competitors..
Starting Price: $26,990
OnlineAuto Savings: $1,253
How Much Does It Cost?
The Toyota Yaris Cross line up starts at $26,990 for the base model GX, while the hybrid version of the GX is priced from $28,990; adding all-wheel drive to the hybrid brings the price tag to $31,990. Stepping up to the GXL variant kicks off at $29,990, while a hybrid GXL comes with a price tag of $31,990 and all-wheel drive adds $3,000 to the price.
The range-topping Yaris Cross Urban is priced from $32,990 in basic form, while a hybrid version comes in at $34,990 and an all-wheel drive hybrid variant of the Urban is priced at $37,990.
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What Features Does the Yaris Cross Have?
The Yaris Cross in its cheapest form (the GX variant) comes with a number of features, including 16-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, halogen headlights, keyless entry, as well as single-zone climate control, six-speaker audio system and three-years of My Toyota connected services.
Moving to the more expensive GXL model adds features like LED headlights, satellite navigation, a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring.
The flagship Yaris Cross Urban comes packed with 18-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate with sensors, heads-up display, powered and heated driver’s seat, leather upholstery, as well as an extra USB port up front.
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Keyless entry with push-button start
- Climate Control
- LED Headlights (GXL and above)
- Rear view camera with front & rear parking sensors (GXL and above)
- 18-inch alloys (Urban)
- Heads-up Display (Urban)
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The Yaris Cross is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine that produces 88kW and 145Nm of torque, which isn’t a whole lot of power, but it’s worth remembering that it is an extremely lightweight car. Weighing just 1140kg in its basic form, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much fun you can have in a car like this with a three-cylinder engine. More importantly, opting for the hybrid engine not only reduces your fuel consumption, it provides some low-end support for the little engine to get up and moving.
In terms of driving dynamics, the little Yaris Cross doesn’t offer anything for performance-enthusiasts, but it does manage to tick a lot of the more important boxes. It’s extremely easy to pilot around town, with a super lightweight steering feel that allows you to navigate tight spaces with ease. When tested, the chassis and suspension manage to handle Australian roads without a fuss, and keep the driver and occupants surprisingly comfortable.
Around town, it’s extremely quiet, but on the highway there is some road noise that enters the cabin which could become tiresome on longer drives. Other than that small gripe, though, the Yaris Cross is unquestionably comfortable and easy to drive, and would make a great companion for the commute, or a road trip away thanks to its practicality.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The Toyota Yaris Cross matches, and in some areas potentially exceeds the competition when it comes to practicality. While a number of its competitors are held back by their tiny proportions, the Yaris Cross manages to somehow swallow up people and bags with far more ease. There’s a number of storage options in and around the front of the cabin, packaged in an extremely ergonomic yet utilitarian design. There’s two USBs up front to accompany your road trip, as well as specialised stash spots for smartphones around the centre console.
In the rear of the cabin, there’s just enough room to accommodate a full-sized adult, but this might become problematic on longer road trips if the driver has long legs. Overall, though, there’s no car within this compact-SUV segment that shines when it comes to legroom, and the Yaris Cross is no exception. The car does, however, redeem itself when it comes to cargo space in the rear of the car, with 390L of boot space on offer, and the accessibility of the ISOFIX child restraints.
The reality of opting for a compact SUV crossover is that they’re often based on smaller versions of a manufacturer’s lineup, which means they lack the dimensions from the outset to be a super practical car; keep this in mind as you’re scouring the market.
Is it Safe?
The Toyota Yaris Cross is so new that ANCAP is yet to award it an official ANCAP Safety Rating. However, Toyota is throwing in a host of safety equipment with the Yaris Cross for those keen to buy. Included on the base model GX variant is lane-trace assist, pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear view camera, active cruise control, as well as eight airbags.
Unfortunately, Toyota leaves blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alerts for the step-up GXL and Urban variants.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
No doubt the Yaris Cross’ trump-card, this car sets the standard for the segment in terms of fuel economy. The base model two-wheel drive petrol returns figures of 5.4L per 100km, while the two-wheel drive hybrid is rated at an insane 3.8L per 100km. That 3.8L per 100km figure is rarely seen in any car, and is perhaps the most economical offering on sale in Australia without going for a fully-electric vehicle. The all-wheel drive variant of the Hybrid returns figures just as impressive, with an official rating of 4.0L per 100km.
Our Verdict: Is the Toyota Yaris Cross Worth it?
The Toyota Yaris Cross is a car that fails to disappoint in any significant area that we can test. While it lacks exciting driving dynamics, it was never intended to provide these in the first place. In terms of the Yaris Cross as a product that fits its design intention, it’s difficult to land any major criticisms on it. We’d suggest steering clear of the range-topper and instead opting for either the base model GX Hybrid or the step-up GXL Hybrid.
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Five Specs You Need to Know
- 16-inch alloys fitted as standard
- 3.8L per 100km economy figure (2WD Hybrid)
- 390L rear cargo space
- Hybrid option adds $2,000
- All-wheel drive a $3,000 premium
- Industry-leading economy figures
- Practicality for a pint-sized competitor
- Effortless to drive
- Some safety technology packaged as optional extra
- Uninspiring dynamics
- Higher-end models getting pricey for its size