Toyota has given a global launch to its new Yaris Cross, and it will be exclusively a self-charging hybrid when it goes on sale in Ireland in the second half of 2021.
It is constructed on Toyota’s new GA-B compact car platform, following its sibling hatchback models.
This new arrival also gives the company an SUV range that spans the B, C and D segments as Toyota claims the Yaris Cross is also a genuine SUV, benefiting from Toyota’s experience in originating the concept of the recreational SUV 25 years ago with the RAV4 – today the world’s best-selling SUV – and more recently in producing the stylish and highly efficient C-HR.
It features the raised ride height, and the availability of AWD-i intelligent all-wheel drive reinforces its authentic SUV credentials.
Toyota’s world leadership in hybrid vehicle technology includes the first use of a hybrid system in a B-segment car with the original Yaris Hybrid in 2012. The Yaris Cross also shares the “big-small” design and packaging concept that characterised the original Yaris, and presents a roomy interior within compact exterior dimensions.
Toyota tells us the Yaris Cross benefits from fourth generation hybrid technology, having successfully pioneered the use of full hybrid technology in B-segment cars with the introduction of the first Yaris hybrid hatchback in 2012. Since then, more than half a million have been sold in Europe, which it claims has made it a powerful tool in building public awareness and appreciation of the technology.
The new generation Yaris and Yaris Cross are the first models to use Toyota’s latest 1.5 hybrid system, developed directly from the larger 2.0 and 2.5-litre powertrains used by recent new models such as the Corolla, C-HR, RAV4 and Camry. This features a new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, precision-engineered to reduce friction and mechanical losses and optimise combustion speed.
One of the features that defines the new Yaris Cross as an authentic SUV is the availability of an intelligent all-wheel drive system, which is a unique feature in its class for a hybrid model. According to Toyota, the result is high torque at low engine speeds and excellent fuel efficiency. It adds that the engine’s thermal efficiency is rated at 40 per cent, which is greater than comparable diesel engines and ensures strong fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.
The new hybrid system has a maximum output of 116DINhp. It also claims special attention has been given to power delivery, making the system responsive to drive. In terms of emissions efficiency, it says provisionally, the front-wheel drive model starts from below 90 g/km CO2 and the AWD-i version from below 100g/km.
With the Yaris Cross, Toyota says it has produced an authentic SUV on a smaller scale, giving customers the higher driving position, practicality and interior spaciousness they desire in a car with compact dimensions that make it well-suited to urban driving.
The design evokes the classic qualities of SUVs, with a higher body and larger wheels/tyres communicating strength and purpose. The Yaris Cross has the same wheelbase as the new Yaris hatchback, but is 240mm longer overall, with 60mm added to the front overhang and 180mm to the rear, securing some more interior space. The ground clearance is 30mm higher and the vehicle is taller and wider overall – by 90 and 20mm respectively.
Toyota says that being a true SUV, special attention has been given to practicality and versatility. It adds that there is a power back door for when hands are full, and an adjustable deck height to give the flexibility of either a secure underfloor compartment or increased trunk space for larger loads. In addition, the deck board can be split in two, giving customers both increased space and an underfloor storage area. The trunk can also be equipped with a new flex belt system to secure items and stop them shifting during driving.
According to Toyota, the new Yaris Cross is just as spacious as it is practical. With all seats up and tonneau cover in place, it delivers a rear storage space volume of up to 390 litres depending on the version. However, if more load capacity is needed, then there is a 40:20:40 foldable rear seat system to balance rear passenger space with cargo needs.
More on the new Yaris Cross closer to its arrival here in Ireland next year.