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In-depth reviews

Toyota Yaris Cross review - economical and reliable small SUV

"The Toyota Yaris Cross is a small SUV with a clever hybrid system, making it very cheap to run"

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Price
£25,505 - £35,185

Pros

  • Clever hybrid setup
  • Reliable
  • Easy to live with

Cons

  • Fairly small rear seats
  • Not as cheap as some rivals
  • Interior lacks style

​Verdict - is the Toyota Yaris Cross a good car?

The Toyota Yaris Cross is a small SUV that’s closely related to the Yaris supermini – a car that’s proven a huge hit with buyers and scooped the 2021 European Car of The Year Award. So far so good, but one area where the Yaris Cross doesn’t score quite so highly is for practicality. This is one of the smaller SUV crossovers in its class, and the battery pack sits under the rear seats, making rear legroom rather tight. Its 397-litre boot also struggles to match that of petrol models, and some other hybrids like the Hyundai Kona are compromised less in this area.

Toyota Yaris Cross models, specs and alternatives

The Yaris Cross is only available with a hybrid powertrain, so its direct rivals include the Hyundai Kona Hybrid and Renault Captur E-Tense. Other alternatives include the Skoda Kamiq, Citroen C3 Aircross, Ford Puma and Hyundai Kona, which is our Carbuyer Best Small Family Car for 2024.

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The Yaris Cross never needs to be plugged in as its small battery charges every time the car decelerates. Toyota has long been a pioneer of hybrid technology, and its system now works better than ever. The Yaris Cross will regularly drive in EV mode up to a speed of 30mph for short trips. In testing we found that even on mixed roads, the Yaris Cross could run on electric power for around half the time.

The best hybrid carsTop 10 best hybrid cars 2024

As a result, the Yaris Cross is very cheap to run in day-to-day driving conditions, and emissions levels are impressively low. We managed 66.5mpg with minimal effort, which is even better than Toyota’s official 62.2mpg figure and beats its Hyundai Kona Hybrid rival. CO2 emissions are around 100-117g/km (depending on the trim level), so the Yaris Cross is a good choice for company car drivers who want to save on their BiK (Benefit-in-Kind) costs.

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It’s possible to save money without sacrificing driving fun, too, because the Yaris Cross offers decent acceleration and the same neat handling as its smaller sibling. A powerful 79bhp electric motor complements its 1.5-litre petrol engine, with a combined 114bhp giving it decent acceleration from a standstill. The Yaris Cross also has responsive steering and resists body lean well, making it feel nippy and confidence-inspiring.

The interior doesn’t break the mould, but offers a logical layout of controls and sturdy materials. It’s not as upmarket as you’ll find in a Peugeot 2008, but the Yaris Cross’ interior feels built to last and there are conventional knobs and switches for the climate control that are easy to use while driving. A nine-inch central touchscreen and seven-inch digital dial cluster in the instrument binnacle provide plenty of information and come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to boost connectivity.

A GR Sport trim level was added to the range in 2022. Although the name hints at extra performance, it’s not a full-fat GR along the lines of the GR Supra, GR Yaris and GR86, rather a range-topping trim level. Highlights include 18-inch alloys, more aggressive styling, and suspension tuned for improved handling and reduced lean.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 Hybrid Icon 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £24,564

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 Hybrid Design 5dr CVT [Tech Pack]
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £26,089

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5 Hybrid 130 GR Sport 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £30,354

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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