The new Toyota Yaris Cross on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Toyota Yaris Cross on test for Changing Lanes!

Read Caroline’s Toyota Yaris Cross review for everything you need to know about Toyota’s new small SUV in Ireland.

Toyota is a brand that has been slowly and steadily taking over the Irish new car market. The brand’s punt on hybrid technology has really paid off, with new models like the RAV4, C-HR, Yaris and mighty Corolla featuring consistently in the top bestselling cars in Ireland.

Now the brand looks set to expand their reach into the small SUV segment with the launch of the new Toyota Yaris Cross.

What’s so special about the Toyota Yaris Cross?

Based on the Yaris supermini, the new Toyota Yaris Cross is the brand’s first B-SUV and exclusively hybrid-engined.

It goes on sale priced from €29,700, which is in the region of the popular Corolla. It’s a bit more expensive to buy than a Yaris Hybrid (from €26,600). But it is a more substantial car and it’s the trendy crossover type that customers are happy to pay more for.

In Ireland the Yaris Cross is sold in four grades: Luna, Luna Sport, Sol and GR Sport.

In the metal, the Yaris Cross has a good stance. It is easily distinguishable from the Yaris it is based upon, carrying the body of a small SUV quite convincingly. The Yaris Cross has grown in all directions, being longer, wider and taller than a Yaris supermini.

In fact the rugged design makes it more of a junior RAV4 from many angles, which is sure to please buyers in the market for a compact car like this.

Plastic cladding and squared off wheel arches reinforce the SUV look. Wheel sizes up to 18″ are available.

The Yaris Cross uses a hybrid engine
The Yaris Cross uses a fuel-sipping hybrid engine

Inside the Yaris Cross

Inside, the Yaris Cross is also unique enough to distinguish itself in the Toyota range. You sit a little bit higher than in a Yaris and the dashboard design feels a little more mature.

It’s not the most youthful or trendy design Toyota has ever come up with – the C-HR would be a more fashionable choice – but it is solidly made and good quality with a mix of different materials and colours.

Sol (from €35,850) and above get a new 9″ infotainment system with much more modern graphics. Other models get the older 8″ touchscreen, though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mean you can bypass the system most of the time.

Standard equipment includes 16″ alloys, electric windows, climate control, push button start, and reversing camera.

Going up the trim levels adds more gear, larger alloy wheels, some cosmetic updates and opens up the option of a trendy bi-colour roof. The Yaris Cross GR Sport is the sportiest of them all, taking inspiration from Toyota’s high performance ‘GR’ models.

But no matter which version you go for, there’s a suite of standard safety equipment including road sign assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure alert and a new centre airbag. This makes it one of the safest small SUVs on the road.

Is it practical?

Yaris Cross has the same 2,560 mm wheelbase as the new Yaris hatchback, but is 240 mm longer overall, with 60 mm added to the front overhang and 180 mm to the rear for more interior space. The ground clearance is 30 mm higher. The vehicle is taller by 90 mm and wider by 20 mm.

So inside it feels bigger than the Yaris and is spacious enough for a compact vehicle in the front. But in the rear the Yaris Cross still fails to impress when it comes to legroom, with some rivals doing it better.

Yet a 397 litre boot is generous and adds a more practical touch to this car. An adjustable deck height gives the flexibility of either a secure underfloor compartment or increased boot space for larger loads.

The interior of the Toyota Yaris Cross
The interior of the Toyota Yaris Cross

Driving the Yaris Cross Hybrid

The new Toyota Yaris Cross is the latest model to be built on Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Designed and engineered in Europe, the Yaris Cross is manufactured in France.

Toyota’s new small SUV uses the brand’s latest 1.5-litre petrol electric hybrid system, the same as in the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid. It works exceptionally well with a smooth and refined drive from a three-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, engineered to reduce friction and mechanical losses and optimise combustion speed.

There is 116 hp available, which feels about right for a small SUV. The bias is towards efficiency and rightly so. There the Yaris Cross performs like a true hybrid star. My average fuel consumption over a week of driving finished at 4.7 litres per 100 km.

In a market now flooded with small turbo petrol engines, this stands out for its genuine efficiency while feeling lively enough behind the wheel too.

Elsewhere the Yaris Cross performs with few tricks other than a pleasant and predictable drive that’s comfortable for its size.

The Yaris Cross goes on sale in Ireland priced from €27,260
The Yaris Cross goes on sale in Ireland priced from €27,260

Did you like it?

The new Toyota Yaris Cross became one of Ireland’s bestselling cars soon after launch and it’s still a very appealing prospect if you’re in the market for a stylish small SUV that’s well-built and efficient.

The Yaris Cross offers a smooth hybrid drive that is truly efficient and refined, making this the latest sophisticated hybrid machine to wear the Toyota badge.

It can get quite expensive as you up the trim levels for what is quite a compact car, but it certainly offers more space inside and a better image than the Yaris supermini.

Inside, the Yaris Cross has a mature and solid feel that will go the distance though some rivals feel a little more stylish. The Yaris Cross offers a good-sized boot, but some rivals feel more spacious in the back. Toyota’s own Corolla Touring Sports or new Corolla Cross would be a little more spacious.

But everyone loves crossovers right now. The Yaris Cross has all the trendy design cues and compact dimensions that are bound to cement Toyota’s name in the market for small SUVs.

Model tested: Toyota Yaris Cross Sol
Engine: 1.5-litre petrol electric hybrid
116 hp
Torque:  120 Nm
11.2 seconds
Top speed:  170 km/h
CO2 emissions:  
113 g/km
Motor tax: 
€190 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Yaris Cross is an efficient and capable small SUV
The Yaris Cross is an efficient and capable small SUV