It may be small but the Yaris Cross isn’t cheap. The range kicks off at about $30,000 drive-away for the base GX two-wheel drive petrol model we are testing here, which is about $3000 more than its donor car, the Yaris hatch.
Moving up to the GXL grade costs $3000 and same again to Urban.
Shoppers can add hybrid power to each version for $2500 and all-wheel drive for about $3000. The Yaris Cross Urban Hybrid AWD – the most expensive version – costs about $42,000.
The Mazda CX-3 is its best selling rival. It has a starting point of $24,990 drive-away and rises to about $40,000 but it isn’t available as a hybrid.
The GX has plenty of standard kit for the price but there are some cheap elements, including halogen instead of LED lights, cloth seats and small 16-inch wheels.
One USB and a 12V charging point for front passengers is underwhelming.
Connectivity is taken care of via a seven-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Satnav is available on higher grades.
Toyota guarantees its vehicle for an industry standard five years and unlimited kilometres. Toyota’s servicing costs are unbeatable at just $840 over five years.
The cabin of the GX feels like the cheapest model in the range. There are plenty of hard plastic surfaces and the centre console has plenty of plastic inserts in place of the buttons found on higher grades.
There are some nice touches, though, including a faux leather wrapped steering wheel, single-zone climate control airconditioning and keyless ignition.
The cloth seats are manually adjustable but provide great support. The added ride height makes for easier access for older drivers and provides better vision of the road ahead compared to similar sized hatchbacks.
The rear seats are tight, which is to be expected for a vehicle of this size. Back seat passengers do without any aircon vents or charging points.
Boot space is outstanding for this segment – and as generous as bigger, more expensive rivals – at 390 litres.
Well sorted suspension soaks up most bumps and corrugations making for a smooth, comfortable ride.
The GX grade ticks all the necessary boxes, but misses out on some key hi-tech features.
It’ll brake automatically if it detects a potential collision with a car, pedestrian or cyclist. Lane keep assist will let you know when you are drifting out of your lane and steer you back to safety.
If you want rear cross-traffic alert or blind-spot monitoring you’ll need to jump up to the GXL grade.
This Yaris Cross is a small, urban-focused SUV so don’t expect to win any traffic light Grand Prix.
Its small 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine makes a modest 88kW and 145Nm and is paired to a CVT auto that does a good job finding the engine’s sweet spot. The hybrid version is punchier.
The Yaris Cross is zippy in traffic but can feel out of breath accelerating up steep hills.
Steering is light and direct, while it feels balanced through corners and stable at highway speeds.
Compact dimensions make parking and negotiating tight inner city streets a breeze.
Fuel use is a claimed 5.4L/100km but we experienced a little bit more than that. It wins points for only needing cheaper regular unleaded petrol, though. Hybrid versions drink just 3.8L/100km and can often beat that figure in city driving.
A competent little SUV but the cheapest version might not be the best value. Buyers should consider the hybrid.
Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport, from $27,990 drive-away
Cheaper, with more standard safety equipment, but very small inside and starting to show its age.
Volkswagen T-Cross 85TSI Life, from $29,990 drive-away
Stylish with a punchy little turbo engine. Needs optional extras to elevate interior.
Kia Stonic GT-Line, from $30,490 drive-away
Fully loaded with gear and comes with a seven-year warranty, but the engine is below par.
TOYOTA YARIS CROSS GX 2WD VITALS
Price: About $30,500 drive-away
Engine: 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol, 88kW/145Nm
Warranty/servicing: Five-year/unlimited km, $840 over five years
Safety: 8 airbags, auto emergency braking, lane-keep assist, radar cruise control
This content was originally published here.