We live in the age of the crossover, and car manufacturers are starting to turn more and more of their standard passenger cars into quasi-SUVs. Toyota, the pioneer of the crossover trend with the RAV4 back in the 90s, is one such automaker that is jumping fully into this second wave.
They just surprised all of us (well, not all) with the release of the Toyota Corolla Cross, but a few months prior they actually launched something interesting too: the Yaris Cross. Yes, a smaller B-SUV based on the Yaris.
Now Toyota says the Yaris Cross is available for customers in their home market of Japan, and they've just released more images of this new model, as well as more details.
We've been examining the photos of the Yaris Cross and found the look to be interesting. Toyota was clearly quite forward with the design of the Yaris Cross, focusing on an urbanized design aesthetic with the vehicle given the young target market. Some of the more interesting details include the larger air intakes and exaggerated bezels on the front, the black cladding that lines the wheel arches, the raised ride height, the black roof, and overall squared up appearance.
The interior is very modern and very youthful. Toyota certainly took liberties with some of the major design elements such as the dashboard, the two-tiered panel for the inner door handles, and window controls.
Cargo space is a big thing for the Yaris Cross, and Toyota focused on generating a big cargo space. Toyota says the Yaris Cross has class-leading cargo space and is able to take on about 390 liters with the deck board lowered. The Yaris Cross is the first Toyota crossover that has a 40/20/40 rear seat split.
There are two distinct power unit options for the Yaris Cross. The first is a naturally aspirated M15A-FKS 1.5-liter, while the other is a hybrid version of the same engine. Unusually, the 116 PS hybrid unit isn't as powerful as the naturally aspirated unit which has 120 PS. The power units are connected to a CVT and can be opted for in 2WD or 4WD. The 4WD system also has different mode settings depending on terrain.
The Yaris Cross has a long list of standard connectivity features, but the highlight of the whole list is Toyota Safety Sense, as the Yaris has things like pre-collision safety, low-speed acceleration control, emergency steering assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive high beam, so on and so forth. It's also the first Toyota SUV to have automated parking assist.
Toyota also released the fuel consumption of the Yaris Cross: they say the front-wheel-drive hybrid version is able to achieve up to 30.8 kilometers per liter of fuel.
The Yaris Cross is now available in Japan, but there are rumors in the industry that the model could be released in Thailand. If Toyota does decide to produce the Yaris Cross in Thailand, that could open it to export to other ASEAN markets such as ours.
Would this be an interesting model to have in the Philippine market as a B-SUV below the newly-launched Corolla Cross?