New Urban Cruiser is Toyota’s entry into the fast-growing compact crossover segment. Picture: SUPPLIED
New Urban Cruiser is Toyota’s entry into the fast-growing compact crossover segment. Picture: SUPPLIED

Toyota has entered SA’s hotly contested B-SUV market with the launch of the new Urban Cruiser.

In a segment where affordability is key, the front-wheel drive compact crossover is available in three model grades and two transmissions, for a total of five derivatives priced between R247,900 and R315,700.

The Urban Cruiser is a rebadged and slightly restyled Suzuki Vitara Brezza, and the second product of the Toyota-Suzuki alliance following the Baleno-based Toyota Starlet launched recently.

It has a redesigned front end to give it a distinct identity, but the interior is almost identical to the Vitara Brezza.

With its raised ground clearance and SUV-like styling, the Urban Cruiser takes on contenders like the market-leading Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue, Haval H1 and VW T-Cross in SA’s fast-growing small SUV category. Toyota SA expects the Urban Cruiser to sell about 640 units a month, which would make it one of the segment’s top performers and one of Toyota’s top-selling passenger cars.

Along with its elevated ride, Toyota’s newcomer features side mouldings and skid plates to give it rugged urban styling, and LED projector headlamps are fitted across the range.

Standard fare, even in the budget-priced entry model, also includes aircon, park distance control, and a touchscreen infotainment system with all the requisite connectivity (USB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), along with the Toyota Connect telematics system, which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data. Toyota Connect accounts for the Urban Cruiser being priced slightly higher than the Vitara Brezza across the range.

Safety items comprise ABS brakes and dual front airbags, and while the Urban Cruiser hasn’t been crash tested by Global NCAP, the donor Suzuki achieved a respectable four-star safety rating.

Touchscreen infotainment and Toyota Connect with 15Gb data comes standard. Picture: SUPPLIED
Touchscreen infotainment and Toyota Connect with 15Gb data comes standard. Picture: SUPPLIED

The mid-tier Xs model adds alloy wheels, roof rails, body-coloured door handles, power-retractable mirrors and rear window wiper with demister function. On the inside, the Xs offers auto climate control, a reversing camera, and a secondary glove compartment. It also has a 60:40 split backrest to extend the luggage capacity of the 328l boot, which has a full-sized spare tyre.

The range-topping Xr derivative in addition has LED fog lamps, automatic headlights, cruise control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, dual 12-volt power outlets, front armrest, leather steering wheel, a cooled glovebox, and the inclusion of two tweeter speakers.

A 1.5four-cylinder petrol engine with outputs of 77kW and 138Nm is the sole engine available, for which Toyota quotes a 170km/h top speed and fuel consumption of 6.25l/100km. The baseline Urban Cruiser Xi comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the higher-specced Xs and Xr models have a choice of the manual or a four-speed automatic.

We will be testing the new Toyota Urban Cruiser later this week. Watch this space for our driving impressions.

Prices

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xi manual — R 247,900

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs manual — R 267,800

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs auto — R 289,000

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr manual — R 294,500

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr auto — R 315,700

Prices include a three-services/45,000 km service plan and a three-year/100,000 km warranty.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.