Same name, but different?
As early as 2021, we got hold of information that Toyota Motor Philippines was looking to introduce the Yaris Cross nameplate in the country. And at the time, there was only one Yaris Cross – it was a subcompact crossover based on the Toyota New Global Architecture-B platform (TNGA-B).
Fast forward to 2023 however, and Toyota comes up with another Yaris Cross. It's based on the all-new Vios and sits on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture-B (DNGA-B) platform. Furthermore, it's being reported as the one that's dedicated to the ASEAN market.
Basically, both share the same nameplate, and the same subcompact crossover classification, but these are two completely different vehicles. So how do they stack up against each other? Well, time to bring out the spec sheets for another spec check.
Tale of the tape
Like any kind of competitive matchup, let's begin things with the metrics. The DNGA Yaris Cross measures 4310 mm long, 1770 mm wide, and 1615 mm tall. Its wheelbase is 2620 mm long, and while Toyota is yet to release the official numbers of its minimum ground clearance, its rocker panel height, or the distance between the vehicle's floor and the ground is at 260 mm.
Meanwhile, the dimensions of the TNGA Yaris Cross are as follows: 4192 mm long, 1765 mm wide, and 1595 mm tall. Its wheelbase is 2560 mm long, and its minimum ground clearance is measured at 170 mm.
From these numbers alone, we could see that the DNGA Yaris Cross is overall a bigger crossover than the TNGA-based model. This may be due to the fact that the DNGA-B platform is also used for MPVs like the Avanza and Veloz, as well as the all-new Vios. On the other hand, the TNGA-B platform of the Yaris Cross is designed for the XP210 Yaris hatchback.
Pure combustion and electrified engines
Interestingly, Toyota is applying the strategy with the bigger Corolla Cross on the Yaris Cross. Both offer the DNGA and TNGA-based models with a non-hybrid and hybrid powerplant. That being the case, the DNGA and TNGA Yaris Cross have different engines under their hoods.
The non-hybrid DNGA Yaris Cross is powered by the familiar 2NR-VE, the 1.5-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that the Vios and Avanza/Veloz use. It produces 106 PS with 138 Nm of torque and is paired to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT.
The hybrid DNGA Yaris Cross has the new 2NR-VEX. Essentially, it's a 91 PS Atkinson cycle engine based on the 2NR-VE, and it is combined with an 80 PS single electric motor to produce a total output of 111 PS. The hybrid system is then paired with an e-CVT that transmits power to the front wheels.
On the other hand, the non-hybrid TNGA Yaris Cross also uses a 1.5-liter engine, but it's not the 2NR-VE. Instead, it gets the three-cylinder M15A-FKS. Despite having one piston less, it produces more power at 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque thanks to the D-4S direct injection system. Also, the non-hybrid TNGA Yaris Cross only comes with a CVT.
The hybrid TNGA Yaris Cross meanwhile has the M15-FXE engine under its bonnet. The three-banger alone produces 91 PS, while its electric motor produces 80 PS, giving a combined system output of 116 PS. Aside from the standard front-wheel drive, Toyota also offers the TNGA Yaris Cross with all-wheel-drive, adding another 5.3 PS motor at the back to power all four wheels via the e-CVT transmission.
On paper, both the hybrid and non-hybrid engines of the TNGA Yaris Cross have the advantage in terms of power compared to the DNGA model's powerplants.
Inside look and Toyota Safety Sense
Since both the DNGA and TNGA Yaris Cross are based on already existing vehicles, we can actually see that they do have a very familiar interior layout.
First off, the dashboard of the DNGA Yaris Cross looks pretty similar to what we see with the Raize, Avanza, and Veloz. While the sharp and angular shapes of the dashboard look a bit different, there's no denying the DNGA Yaris Cross gets its buttons, screens, steering wheel, and shifter from the Daihatsu parts bin.
On the other hand, the TNGA Yaris Cross has the dashboard of the GR Yaris, albeit without the Gazoo Racing bits on the steering wheel and the red stitching. In markets where the TNGA Yaris Cross is on sale, it has a standard touchscreen infotainment system complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, LED ambient lighting, and automatic climate control.
Despite having different interior layouts, Toyota gave both models generous safety features. Both the DNGA and TNGA Yaris Cross have an electronic parking brake (EPB) with auto brake hold, 6 airbags (8 for TNGA Yaris Cross), ABS+EBD+Brake Assist, a panoramic view monitor, parking sensors, hill start assist (HSA), vehicle stability control (VSC), rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA), and blind spot monitoring (BSM). Also, both the DNGA and TNGA Yaris Cross have Toyota Safety Sense, which means both get advanced driving assistance systems like intelligent adaptive cruise control and lane trace assist, among others.
So which is better?
On paper, the DNGA and TNGA Yaris Cross are pretty evenly matched. While the DNGA model is bigger, the TNGA Yaris Cross gets the more powerful engines. Interior fit and finish might be in the TNGA's favor, but the DNGA Yaris Cross does not fall behind in terms of its safety equipment.
However, the DNGA Yaris Cross has something that the TNGA Yaris Cross doesn't have, and that is the benefit of AFTA. The DNGA Yaris Cross is built in Indonesia, so it benefits from lower import duties and tariffs. This means that should Toyota Motor Philippines actually bring it here, the DNGA Yaris Cross will be more competitively priced than the TNGA Yaris Cross which will have to be sourced in Japan.
If you were in TMP's shoes, which one would you offer? The TNGA Yaris Cross or the DNGA Yaris Cross? Let us know in the comments.