Toyota Yaris Cross SUV review

"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

Price
£21,604 - £30,344

Pros

  • Clever hybrid setup
  • Reliable
  • Easy to live with

Cons

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

​The Toyota Yaris Cross is a small SUV that's only available with a hybrid powertrain. It's closely related to the Yaris supermini, a car that has proved a huge hit with buyers while scooping the 2021 European Car of The Year award. The Yaris Cross takes on rivals such as the Hyundai Kona Hybrid and Renault Captur E-Tense, along with petrol models including the Renault Captur, Skoda Kamiq and Ford Puma.

You'll never need to plug in the Yaris Cross, because its small battery charges each time the car decelerates, or by using the petrol engine as a small generator. Toyota has been a world-leader for hybrids, and the system now works better than ever. It's easy to drive in EV mode at speeds of up to 30mph for short distances, and we found that even on mixed roads, the Yaris Cross ran on electric power for around half the time. 

This makes it impressively clean and cheap to run in day-to-day driving conditions, and we were able to get up to 66.5mpg with minimal effort - a better figure than Toyota's claimed 62.2mpg, and beating the Hyundai Kona Hybrid. CO2 emissions of 100-117g/km (depending on the trim level) are also impressively low, making the Yaris Cross a good choice for company-car drivers looking to save on their Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) bill. 

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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 compliments its 1.5-litre petrol engine, with a combined 114bhp giving it decent acceleration away from a standstill. The Yaris Cross also has responsive steering and resists body lean well, making it feel nippy and confidence inspiring.

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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.

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 petrol models, but stacks up well against other hybrids like the Kona with 374 litres.

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 Hybrid Icon 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £21,604

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 Hybrid Design 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £23,209

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5 Hybrid Icon 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £21,604

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