Toyota sure kept us on our toes this past couple of weeks. Even with the pandemic, they've been revealing some really interesting vehicles like the new generation Harrier. And now, they have another.
After its supposed launch was canceled back in March, the automaker's B-crossover has finally been revealed: this is the all-new 2021 Yaris Cross. It's nothing like the Yaris Cross models of the past, as the new model now has its own unique styling whereas the previous generations were, literally, the standard Yaris hatch with extra ground clearance.
The front end is much more upright than the hatchback's, giving it a bit more presence despite its size. Headlights are mounted much higher and the shape of the clusters themselves adapts a four-sided design. Its grill, on the other hand, takes some cues from its bigger stablemate, the RAV4, with its upside-down trapezoidal shape.
To give it even more flair, the wheel arches are squared-off and so too are the fender flares. The side profile, on the other hand, is much like the teaser sketches Toyota showed from a few weeks back. It's relatively rakish and the blacked-out roof gives the impression of a floating design.
Typical in all crossovers are unpainted plastic cladding, and the Yaris cross is no different. The entire lower section of the subcompact crossover is covered in it. But it's at the rear where more RAV4 cues are evident. From the steeply raked rear windshield to the high-set tail lights, the Yaris Cross has mostly shed its 'standard Yaris on stilts' look.
As for the interior, there are subtle differences between the Yaris Cross and the hatchback. For instance, it loses the glovebox shelf on the dash, and the center stack has a more squared-off design. Even the instrument cluster is different, having a more hooded shroud. Toyota even made the effort of making different interiors for the Japanese and European versions of the crossover.
What about similarities with the hatchback? It has a floating center screen just like the Corolla. The form of the dashboard is also the same as the hatch's, so it gets that same funky theme going on in there too. Along with that are a digital instrument cluster (possibly reserved for the top-spec models) and a sizable multi-information display.
On to engines and it's two three-cylinder mills under the hood. The base powerplant is a 1.5-liter engine that puts 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque and it's paired to a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The other is a hybridized version of the 1.5-liter and that one has a total combined output of 116 PS. The Yaris Cross Hybrid is available with e-Four all-wheel drive and it shifts via a CVT only.
This Yaris Cross will be offered in Europe and Japan. We're not quite sure yet if South East Asia will get a version of it, but we expect Toyota to be increasing its crossover offerings in our region soon.