The Toyota Yaris Cross is an all-new model that brings together Toyota's rich experience and knowhow in small car and SUV design and engineering. It has been developed specifically with European customers in mind, right from the initial concept phase.
It carries forward the key qualities of the new generation Yaris hatchback, the 2021 Car of the Year in Europe: "Big-Small" packaging that maximises interior space and practicality, fourth generation hybrid electric power, the highest safety standards with second generation Toyota Safety Sense and a genuine fun-to-drive character.
These attributes are combined with authentic SUV features, founded on a Toyota heritage of innovation that includes originating the now core market segment for recreational SUVs with the first RAV4 27 years ago.
The introduction of Yaris Cross extends the Toyota Yaris family, joining the hatchback Yaris and GR Yaris thoroughbred performance car. It also gives Toyota the largest hybrid electric SUV model range on the market, alongside the compact C-HR, mid-size RAV4 and sevenseat Highlander, giving customers an exceptional choice of model size and capability to support their needs.
Yaris Cross Deputy Chief Engineer Hideaki Hayashi explains: "When we started planning for the new Yaris Cross, we considered the value of SUVs and what we feel the next generation of B-segment cars need. What came to mind was a car that allows owners to express their individuality and support their unique and active lifestyles."
The theme for the development team was "Always on the Move," expressing the priority of creating a car that's "Easy, Fast, Smart." That makes it perfectly suited to day-to-day use, but with an adventurous aspect that's fundamental to a successful SUV. The design presents a stylish, urban look for a car that owners can feel proud to be seen in, blending the robust qualities of an SUV with more advanced dynamic driving appeal.
Under the skin, Yaris Cross is constructed on the GA-B small car platform that's part of the Toyota New Global Architecture philosophy, giving it the basic strengths that have been so successfully delivered in the Yaris hatchback. This combines with a fourth generation Toyota hybrid electric powertrain to provide brisk performance, fuel efficiency, low emissions and urban-friendly manoeuvrability in an SUV package. The availability of Toyota's intelligent allwheel drive (AWD-i) reinforces the model's authentic SUV character.
Built in Europe for European customers
Yaris Cross is built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France's Valenciennes facility, where €400 million (approx. £340 million) has been invested to enable both Yaris and Yaris Cross to be manufactured simultaneously on the same production line. Its addition to Toyota's European production portfolio strengthens the company's localisation strategy and supports progress towards its goal of 1.5 million annual sales in the region by 2025.
It arrives as a strong contender in the growing European market for B-segment SUVs. Toyota expects growth to continue, driven predominantly by customers downsizing from larger C-segment models or seeking an alternative to B-segment hatches in vehicles that better suit modern lifestyles.
The design theme for Toyota Yaris Cross was "Easy, Fast, Smart," defined with the goal of creating car that is an ideal partner for day-to-day activities. The team at Toyota European Design and Development (ED2), Toyota's European design centre in the South of France, reimagined the urban SUV, producing a more robust and minimalist design that sets Yaris Cross apart from its competitors.
Its powerful styling expresses the robustness and agility that European customers favour in a body that's compact, giving the easy manoeuvrability that's suitable for urban life. At the same time, the design allows for an interior with plenty of comfort and generous load capacity, following the well-established Yaris "Big-Small" approach to packaging.
The lower body, with a high-set horizontal axis running from the nose to the rear lamps, adds to the sense of a raised, powerful SUV stance. Larger-diameter wheels and tyres - up to 18-inch rims - add visual emphasis and also contribute to the car's ability to tackle different driving conditions. The condensed look is heightened by the rear wings' pronounced tyre overhang.
The front end presents a strong and robust urban image with the upper and lower grilles forming two stacked trapezoid shapes - a signature design feature for Toyota SUVs. Slim, lozenge-shaped headlights use LED projector lamps (on higher grades), with separate, vertical daytime running lights and circular LED fog lights set at the bottom corners of the lower grille. The rear is defined by the wide tailgate and a square central section that expresses the car's functionality, framed by the wide rear haunches and C-shaped character lines cut into the lower corners. From Design grade, all the rear lights use LED technology and sequential turn indicators.
The body shape is optimised for aerodynamic efficiency, with aero stability fins at strategic points. There is also an almost entirely flat underfloor, with undercovers contributing to the car's stability and helping make long-distance journeys less tiring for the driver.
Compared to the hatchback, Toyota Yaris Cross is 95mm taller at 1,595mm, 20mm wider (1,765mm) and 240mm longer (4,180mm). The wheelbase is unchanged at 2,560mm, but an increase in ground clearance by 25mm to 170mm reflects its authentic SUV design, together with a high eye-point and excellent visibility for the driver. Urban agility is secured with a 5.3m turning radius/circle (tyre).
According to model grade, Yaris Cross runs on 16, 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels in a variety of designs and finishes. There are eight monotone paintwork choices, including new pearlescent and metallic colours, and five bi-tone finish options, available on the Dynamic and Premiere Edition models.
Yaris Cross's interior design presents the modern, quality appearance of the hatchback, while focusing on a "fast access" theme that prioritises day-to-day convenience.
There are new treatments for elements such as the front pillars, sills and centre console, and new trim finishes for the door panels and arm rests. The centre console gains prominence, reflecting the car's SUV status, forming a strong vertical feature which flows down from the multimedia display to the shift lever and incorporates the heating and ventilation controls. Driving function controls, including the Drive Mode Select and (where specified) all-wheel drive mode switches are grouped immediately in front of the shift lever.
The higher driving position gives the driver good visibility expected of an SUV, with seat and steering wheel design that delivers both comfort and a strong sense of connection with and command of the vehicle.
Toyota Smart Cargo
Practical, easy-to-use load space with plenty of room to accommodate leisure and travel kit as well as day-to-day cargo is an essential SUV quality, addressed by the Yaris Cross's smart interior packaging. With all seats in place, and including the area beneath the deckboard, there's 397 litres of cargo space available; drop the rear seats and the volume extends to a maximum of 1,097 litres.
Convenience is designed-in, with 60:40 or, on higher grades, 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats. The ingenious Toyota Smart Cargo system, featured on higher grade models, has a two-level, 60:40 split deckboard which permits part or all of the floor section to be lowered so larger and taller items can be carried. The adaptability means there's room enough for two large suitcases or golf bags, skis, a bike or other leisure equipment. Smaller items can be held securely in place with ease using a new Flex Belt accessory option.
Accessing the boot is made simple with the availability of a power tailgate with a kick-sensor for hands-free opening.
Yaris Cross is powered by Toyota's fourth generation hybrid electric technology, a system which made its debut on the new Yaris hatchback. At its heart is a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre hybrid engine that has the same basic structure and operation as the larger two-litre unit featured in the Toyota Corolla and C-HR. A long stroke, high-speed combustion, high 14:1 compression ratio and temperature and pressure control help the Atkinson cycle unit achieve high, 40 per cent thermal efficiency, so more energy is used to power the car from every drop of fuel.
The engine is quieter during acceleration and its maximum power and torque are achieved at lower engine speeds - 90bhp/68kW at 5,500rpm and 120Nm between 3,600 and 4,800 rpm.
Maximum output for the total system (engine and electric motors) is 114bhp/85kW. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions (WLTP combined) are 54.6-64.2mpg fuel economy and 100- 117g/km g/km (class-leading 55.2-55.4mpg and 115-116g/km with AWD-i).
Electric motor and power control unit
The compact hybrid transaxle includes an electric motor/generator giving more power and better response than the previous generation Toyota system. The 580V motor produces 59 kW and 141Nm of torque.
The power control unit has a more compact design and a higher power density. It can control more than 100A of current and boosts the 177.6V of the lithium-ion hybrid battery to 580V. Its vertically arranged transistors and efficient cooling system allow for transistor switching up to 10,000 times a second.
Lithium-ion hybrid battery
Toyota Yaris Cross uses a lithium-ion hybrid battery, with efficiency and power enhanced by reducing the resistance within the cells. The 177.6V unit can produce double the amount of energy under braking and supply 50 per cent more power when accelerating, compared to the nickel-metal hydride battery featured in the previous generation Yaris Hybrid. As well as being more powerful, it is lighter too, the complete assembly weighing 27kg, which further contributes to the car's all-round efficiency.
The increased contribution from the battery helps enable a higher percentage of EV driving on urban journeys, with zero emissions and zero fuel consumption. The new Yaris Cross can comfortably cover a high proportion of around-town trips and commutes for European customers. Zero emissions driving is possible at speeds at up to 81mph.
Toyota targeted a "Confident and Natural" driving experience for Yaris Cross - the confident quality reflected in stable handling in all driving scenarios that gives the driver peace of mind, and "natural" describing how the car will respond exactly as the driver expects so they always feel connected with and in full control of the car.
New GA-B platform
Key to achieving the dynamic goal is Toyota's GA-B small car platform, which has already proved its quality underpinning the new Yaris hatchback. It enables a low centre of gravity and a good front/rear weight balance, with heavy components positioned low and closer to the to the middle of the car. This reduces body roll and gives precise chassis response to the driver's inputs.
Body rigidity and weight reduction
The highly rigid body helps produce stable handling, safety and a comfortable ride. Here the GA-B platform again contributes to the vehicle's quality. Rigidity hasn't been gained at the cost of weight penalty; instead, Toyota has applied advanced construction techniques and used strong but lightweight high-tensile materials at strategic points around the car to reduce mass.
For example, in the upper body the members are strengthened by ring structures and additional spot welding; a new resin material has been used for the radiator support; and the body panels have been made thinner. The attention to detail includes optimising the crosssection shape of the front bumper reinforcement and reducing its mass by around 20 per cent. Further benefits have been gained by increasing the overlap between frame parts, improving bonding and twisting rigidity.
Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
Yaris Cross is the only compact hybrid SUV to offer an intelligent all-wheel drive system (AWD-i). Toyota's well-proven technology is a hybrid system that deploys an additional, independent electric motor on the rear axle to provide extra grip and stability when pulling away and cornering, and extra safety when driving on slippery surfaces. The balance of front and rear drive torque is automatically and precisely adjusted between 100:0 and 40:60 according to the driving conditions and driver inputs. The design is compact and lightweight compared to mechanical AWD systems, so there is only modest impact on the vehicle's fuel and emissions efficiency - in fact, performance is class-leading for a B-segment SUV with AWD.
When pulling away, drive force is determined according to front and rear load distribution, with additional rear-wheel drive provided on slippery surfaces to help avoid wheelspin, even when on a slope. In constant-speed driving, the vehicle runs in front-wheel drive for better fuel economy and braking performance.
Reflecting Yaris Cross's authentic SUV quality, the system has selectable modes for normal driving, "Trail" and "Snow". The mode selected is shown on the multi-information display, together with the proportion of front and rear wheel drive moment-by-moment.
Trail mode can be used to help negotiate tricky situations where one or more of the wheels cannot grip the road surface, for example on very uneven ground. The AWD-i system will automatically brake any spinning wheels, directing drive force to those with grip.
Snow mode tempers throttle response to help pull away securely from stationary or accelerate to maintain controllability when driving on snow or ice.
A new MacPherson strut front suspension has been adopted for Toyota Yaris Cross giving high rigidity yet light weight and adding to the car's agility and fun-to drive character. At the rear there's a torsion beam system for the front-wheel drive version, and a specific double wishbone arrangement for the all-wheel drive models to accommodate the additional electric motor on the rear axle, providing a high level of ride comfort, stability and controllability.
In tuning the suspension, there was a focus on crisp cornering performance and enhanced line-tracing, whether driving around town or on the open road, with optimised inertia specifications and a reduced roll ratio that also contributes to overall ride comfort.
Braking and steering
The Yaris Cross uses ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear discs, with additional braking systems for added safety and vehicle control. These include Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control (S-VSC) which provides co-operative control of the car's ABS, VSC and TRC functions and the electric power steering system for improved driving and safety performance; on AWD models the system's co-operation also includes Active Torque Control.
Other braking systems include Active Cornering Assist (ACA), Secondary Collision Brake (SCB) and Brake Hold (BH). All-wheel drive models are additionally equipped with Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and Trail Mode (see AWD-i section above). An electronic parking brake is fitted as standard to all model versions.
DUAL PROFILE AND EQUIPMENT FEATURES
Toyota Yaris Cross delivers everything B-segment SUV customers expect from a car and much more, breaking new ground in equipment specifications to provide more sophisticated and effective features for connectivity, convenience and comfort. The new model is launched in the UK in four core grades and a special Premiere Edition version with an enriched specification.
The Icon grade features 16-inch, 10-spoke silver alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, shark fin antenna and smart entry with push-button start. Inside there are front and rear power windows, automatic air conditioning, electronic parking brake, rear-view camera, eight-inch Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with DAB and six-speaker audio and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota Safety Sense is also provided as standard.
Design grade introduces 17-inch wheels with a contrasting dark grey/bright machined finish. LED technology is used for the projector headlights, the daytime running lights, front fog lights and rear sequential indicators and combination lights - the latter two using light guides to create a distinctive illumination signature. There's extra convenience with 40:20:40 splitfolding rear seats and aluminium roof rails. Other features include a seven-inch multiinformation display in the driver's instrument binnacle, rear privacy glass, light blue ambient cabin lighting.
The high grade models are Excel and Dynamic, specified to suit different aspects of Yaris Cross's character as a firmly on-trend car for urban life and an SUV that's an ideal companion for people who like to get away in their leisure time to enjoy an active lifestyle and the great outdoors. Both versions feature as standard a piano black finish and dark chrome detailing on the upper front grille and auto-retracting door mirrors. In the cabin there are heated front seats, dual-zone air conditioning and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and power lumbar adjustment on the driver's seat. The multimedia system is the new High Definition Toyota Smart Connect with nine-inch display.
Elements exclusive to the Excel model include 18-inch 15-spoke bright machined alloy wheels and an "Urban" interior theme, with seats upholstered in a combination taupe fabric with quilted shoulder sections and leather-like bolsters. A Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with auto brake are provided, together with Intelligent Clearance Sonars with auto braking and a power tailgate with kick-sensor.
The Dynamic specification emphasises the car's SUV credentials with a dark grey finish for the 18-inch wheels, roof rails and front and rear under-runs. The interior theme includes black fabric seat upholstery with contrasting vertical stripes down the centre of the seatback and supple synthetic leather bolsters.
For Toyota Yaris Cross's initial launch period, the Premiere Edition model extends the Dynamic specification with a bi-tone exterior paint design, exclusive-design 18-inch bright machined alloys. The seats are upholstered in black leather and the driver's information sources include a head-up display. An eight-speaker JBL premium sound system is also provided.
Toyota Smart Connect
Yaris Cross introduces Toyota's latest multimedia platform with more powerful computing power, faster response, more intuitive operation and new functions.
It is operated using a nine-inch, High Definition touchscreen display for easier visibility in different lighting conditions and has an embedded SIM card that provides constant connection.
Navigation takes advantage of connected cloud services to ensure "always on" navigation that provides moment-by-moment information on traffic events via the community feedbackbased Live Road Events feature to make journeys as time-efficient and trouble-free as possible.
The new system has a clean, clear and simple HMI and can receive over-the-air software and service updates to ensure Toyota Smart Connect is always up-to-date. These are included in the data package provided as part of the new-car specification.
With Smart Connect, Yaris Cross provides wireless smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
In addition, via the connected services smartphone application, owners can remotely control a number of features such as locking and unlocking the car, on-board climate controls and hazard lights, which helps when searching for the car in crowded car parks.
Owners can also use MyT to access useful services and information about their car. MyT logs driving data, so information about mileage, speed and acceleration can be retrieved whenever needed. It can also provide reminders when the car's service is due.
As Toyota Smart Connect continuously evolves, new services and features will be added to the system automatically via over-the-air updates. A Share to Car feature is already planned for an upcoming systems update: this will enable owners to plan journeys and share to their Yaris Cross before getting into the car.
Advanced Parking Assist
The City and City and Advanced Safety option packs include Advanced Parking Assist, a semi-autonomous parking system that uses a Panoramic View Monitor and Intelligent Clearance Sonars in combination to gain all-round recognition of the surroundings, including white line markings on the ground. Operation is faster than rival systems, even on premium models, many of which only use a rear camera and cannot identify line markings, and it can be used at night as well as in daylight.
Manoeuvres are smooth and natural-feeling, with the system controlling the car's steering, braking and throttle for reverse and parallel parking manoeuvres and also exiting tight parallel parking spots. A memory function means the system can store and recognise frequently used parking spots - regardless of the direction of travel.
Toyota Yaris Cross maintains the Yaris family's historic record of providing class-leading levels of safety - it was the first small car in its class to achieve the highest five-star Euro NCAP rating. Under the philosophy of "safety is not an option" - latest generation Toyota Safety Sense active safety and driver assistance systems are provided as standard on all versions, while protection is built-in in the form of the highly rigid body structure.
Following the precedent set by its hatchback sibling, it adopts a series of new and improved measures that can detect a wider range of common accident risks, warn the driver and initiate measures to prevent an impact, or lessen the consequences if a collision is unavoidable.
The package includes:
The addition of Intersection Turn Assistance increases the scope of the PCS by being able to detect and warn of a high collision risk with oncoming traffic when turning left or right at an intersection, and when pedestrians are crossing the road into the which turn is being made. Emergency Steering Assistance helps keep the vehicle within its lane when the driver has to swerve suddenly to avoid an obstacle. Lane Departure Alert and Lane Trace Assist operate to keep the vehicle centred in its traffic lane, providing appropriate steering assistance if the driver begins to deviate from the correct course. As well as recognising white or yellow road markings, the latest version of the system can also monitor kerbs and road margins.
On Excel, Dynamic and Premiere Edition grades, there are added safeguards from Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) systems, the latter warning the driver when there's a risk of reversing into the path of unseen approaching vehicles from either side when exiting a parking space and applying automatic braking if there's a collision risk. Parking is also made easier and safer with Intelligent Clearance Sonars (an option on high grade models), again with auto-braking, and an optional Panoramic View Monitor, giving a real-time 360-degree display of the vehicle's surroundings.
Comprehensive passive safety features include additional centre airbags between the driver and front passenger. In the event of a collision in which airbags deploy, the car's eCall system will automatically alert the emergency services and provide the vehicle's location.