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Toyota Yaris Cross: For the first time behind the wheel of a practical handsome

Toyota's all-new compact crossover has taken the proven foundation of a city car and transformed it into a taller, more practical, and overall more attractive car. For the first time, we got behind the wheel on the roads around Brussels, Belgium, to see if the Yaris Cross was driving as well as it looked.

Arriving late for a party is annoying. The miniburgers are eaten and only the disgusting vegetarian sticks remain, instead of Diplomatica bottles, it's just a local and everyone is having a good time, just without you. This is exactly how Yaris Cross must feel when he arrives at a city crossover party that is already in full swing (some cars are already in their second generation) and the market pie from which one can still bite seems quite small and properly crusty. Was it still worth walking at all?

Definitely yes! Cars of this type are still on sale, and Toyota at least used its delay to knock out its favorite down to the last detail. The Yaris Cross as its name suggests stands on the same modern TNGA-B platform as the successful Yaris city squirrel, which has earned not only the European Car of 2021 award.

Space and practicality come first

But Yaris Cross is no squirt because it is as big as the first-generation RAV4! Compared to the default Yaris, the Cross version is longer (240 mm), but the wheelbase is exactly the same, the space for the crew is not too different - only overhead you have more space thanks to the greater height of the crossover (95 mm, but some of it due to the increase in ground clearance), which is especially noticeable in the rear seats, where the adult will also be comfortable.


Yaris Cross



3,940 mm

4,180 mm

+240 mm


1,745 mm

1,765 mm

+20 mm


1,500 mm

1,560 mm

+60 mm


2,560 mm

2,560 mm


light height

145 mm

170 mm

+25 mm

Luggage space volume

286 l

397/320 l

+111 l

Of the larger dimensions, the luggage benefits the most, which inflated by more than a third from 286 to 397 liters (in the case of the version with all-wheel drive, it is only 320 liters). Practicality is the strong point of the Yaris Cross the backrests of the rear seats are divided and foldable in a ratio of 40:20:40, the trunk has a regular shape and a double floor (additionally divided in half), plus eyelets for securing the load Flexi straps, the plate is fabric and easy to store right in the car. On request, you can have the trunk lid electrically operated and complemented by a touchless control car tends to be up to a class higher.

Unexpectedly wide range of equipment

The range of comfort equipment is also quite above standard - you will find in it such delicacies as a transparent display complementing the digital instrument panel, moody ambient lighting, or premium JBL audio with 8 speakers. The interior is completely taken from Yaris, so it retains its practicality, sophisticated ergonomics, and solid workmanship (and sometimes cheaper materials).

Unlike the Yaris, however, its enhanced version comes with a brand new Toyota Smart Connect infotainment with a wide range of mobile (wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, induction charging) and online connectivity (cloud navigation, over-the-air update, remote access via the mobile application, etc.), all on a 9 ”high-resolution touch screen. Compared to the previous system (Toyota Touch 2), it represents an intergalactic leap forward and is one of the best you can find in any Japanese car today.

What is good cloud navigation for?

Most integrated navigation in cars has map data uploaded to the system, the update usually takes place twice a year. This means that they can easily be out of date. However, in the case of Toyota's new cloud navigation, they are uploaded to the central system and accessed via a 4G online connection. The advantage is more frequent updating of map data and always the latest navigation data (as with, Google Maps, or Waze), including traffic restrictions, radars, and information on the flow of traffic. The disadvantage may be the dependence on the online connection, but the system loads part of the data into memory in case of signal failure (for example in tunnels).

The safety equipment for a small car is also unusually extensive seven airbags (new is the central airbag between driver and passenger), an emergency braking system with recognition of pedestrians and cyclists, warning of oncoming cars when turning left, adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping, automatic switching high beams, reading traffic signs or monitoring driver fatigue are already standard, higher versions add blind-spot monitoring and traffic alerts behind the car when parking or an automatic parking assistant (with 360 ° camera view) that manages to park and park longitudinally and transversely even in the dark.

In fact, we are not surprised that the first more than 400 Czech customers (so many orders for Toyota met in 4 months of pre-sale) ordered the car without driving it at all. But we already know that when they get behind the wheel for the first time, they will not be disappointed…

You will not disappoint behind the wheel

Already at Yaris, Toyota's developers boasted of working in a position behind the wheel and driving characteristics. This is no less true of the Yaris Cross - you sit higher here (for easier getting on and off and a better overview of the road) and you can adjust your position widely, but you still feel inside the car, not like a perch, so you drive more naturally. Yaris Cross is generally easy to drive, can be guided precisely, and is not afraid of turns, while it is quite comfortable even for longer journeys. But it doesn't smell much like transverse unevenness 18 wheels are beautiful to look at, but maybe we would recommend staying with the smaller 17.

Which engine to choose?

The Yaris Cross's engine builds on the 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine either in its pure form (with a manual or automatic CVT transmission) or as an economical hybrid with an automatic transmission. You can also have a hybrid with an all-wheel drive.



Hybrid AWD-i


atmospheric three-cylinder 1.5 l

atmospheric three-cylinder 1.5 l

atmospheric three-cylinder 1.5 l

Electric motor



front and back


front wheels

front wheels

all four rounds


manual or automatic CVT

automatic e-CVT

automatic e-CVT


125 horses

116 horses

116 horses

Acceleration 0-100 km / h

10.8 s

11.2 s

11.6 s

Maximal speed

180 km / h

170 km / h

170 km / h

Consumption (combination)

5.8 l / 100 km

4.3 l / 100 km

4.6 l / 100 km

CO2 emissions

132 g / km

98 g / km

105 g / km

During the first rides, we could only try the hybrid version, which combines a 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and an automatic transmission with a continuously variable transmission. This connection already works brilliantly in Yaris and has also proved its worth here - the cooperation of both drives is smooth, you have enough power at your disposal and the operation is pleasantly quiet. In addition, extremely efficient, it is not a problem to drive around 4 l / 100 km in normal operation.

Another specialty of the Toyota Yaris Cross is the four-wheel drive available for the hybrid version. In this case, another electric motor will appear on the rear axle (you will lose the double floor in the trunk and the space under it) spinning the rear wheels, which will help you get out of difficult situations - when driving on water or snow when driving uphill, or on the contrary, descending a steep slope (there is an assistant for such situations). The torque distribution between the front and rear axles can vary from 100: 0 to 40:60. A clear height of 170 mm is sufficient, but it will not be on any rough terrain. However, you may register a new multi-link suspension on the road, the standard version only has a torsion bar with trailing arms.

Toyota may have come to the party late, but it can still be one of the biggest stars of the evening! The range in this class is incredibly wide, but the Yaris Cross can be distinguished by its pleasing appearance, exemplary practicality, a wide range of equipment, and also a pleasant driving experience supported by an efficient hybrid drive with all-wheel drive. So, would you like to steam with it?


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