New Yaris Cross borrows some SUV styling from its Rav4 cousin but in scaled-down dimensions. Picture: SUPPLIED
New Yaris Cross borrows some SUV styling from its Rav4 cousin but in scaled-down dimensions. Picture: SUPPLIED

Following the 2019 debut of the fourth generation Toyota Yaris, the range has been bolstered with a new urban-type compact SUV variant — the Yaris Cross.

Positioned below the Toyota C-HR, the car is built on the company’s new lightweight and strengthened TNGA platform which has brought enhancements to handling, fuel efficiency, comfort and space.

At 4,180mm long, 1,765mm wide and 1,560mm high, the Yaris Cross towers above its freshly revealed new hatch cousin. But it too benefits from the clever interior packaging and both cars are significantly roomier than the outgoing Yaris. 

Toyota says the Yaris Cross achieves an easy-to-handle body size while providing an SUV-like interior, with the cabin said to give it a "feeling of higher quality and comfort".

Powering the Yaris Cross is a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 1.5l three-cylinder engine with an 118kW output linked to an electric motor and battery system. There is a choice of front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models. 

The new Yaris Cross will be manufactured at Toyota’s Motor East Japan plant for the domestic market while Europe will source its models from Toyota Motor Manufacturing France.

In case you were wondering, this new urban romper is not the vehicle Toyota SA will produce here in SA at its Prospecton plant in Durban from 2021, according to Riaan Esterhuysen, manager of product communications and marketing fleet at Toyota SA.

“There are no current plans to bring the Yaris Cross to this market,” says Esterhuysen, adding that Toyota also didn't have imminent plans to bring in the hatchback version.

Local sales of the existing Asia-sourced Yaris will continue until feasibility studies have been concluded.