Toyota hosted the media launch of the Yaris Cross in Australia recently, allowing journalists to experience their latest model first hand.
Slotting into the range under the C-HR, it is based on the Yaris hatchback, hence the name, yet it has a bigger footprint, but not that big, as it would otherwise step on its larger sibling’s toes.
In terms of styling, it is much more conventional than the C-HR and appears to have been partly inspired by the RAV4. It has black plastic cladding on the lower parts of the body, distinctive front and rear ends and wide fenders.
The ties to the regular Yaris are more evident inside, as it has pretty much the same design and layout. There’s also a generous amount of equipment, from an infotainment system with smartphone integration, to smarty entry and start, automatic climate control, panoramic cameras, power tailgate, heated front seats and safety gear such as automatic collision notification and blind spot monitor.
The base versions are powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine making 118 HP (120 PS / 88 kW) and 107 lb-ft (145 Nm) of torque, mated to a CVT and FWD. There is also a hybrid powertrain with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine and two electric motors, in the front-wheel drive variant, producing a combined 114 HP (116 PS / 85 kW), and a a third electric motor in the AWD models splitting the torque between the front and the rear wheels.