- New entry-level Toyota SUV due later this year
- 1.5-litre three-cylinder with hybrid on offer
- Likely to kick off at around $27,000
Toyota has taken the wraps off the Yaris Cross SUV, which is on its way to Australia to slot underneath the best-selling mid-sized RAV4 and the four-year-old small CH-R, in the process becoming Toyota’s cheapest SUV.
Based on the underpinnings of the new Yaris hatchback, the five-seat, five-door Yaris Cross is the shortest of the three SUVs at 4180mm long, which is 180mm shorter than the CH-R and 420mm shorter than the RAV4.
At 1765mm wide it’s just 30mm narrower than the CH-R and 90mm skinnier than the RAV4, but sits between the two for overall height at 1560mm.
Compared to the Yaris, the Yaris Cross is 90mm taller, 20mm wider with 30mm more ground clearance.
The Yaris Cross, which was revealed online after the cancellation of its original launch at the abandoned Geneva Motor Show, will be offered with Toyota’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in both front- and all-wheel-drive options.
A hybridised version of the three-pot engine will make a claimed 85kW, and will also be made available with the electronically-assisted, front-biased AWD system, according to Toyota.
A brace of improved active safety aids will also come with the Yaris Cross, likely including AEB, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
The Yaris Cross’s exterior includes elements of the angular RAV4 with plastic overfenders and pronounced sills, while the exaggerated c-pillar sweep brings to mind the CH-R’s sharper styling.
However, softer lines through the front fascia and bonnet, and a more pronounced and rounded rear, sets the Yaris Cross apart from its stablemates.
The interior marries elements of the Yaris and the Corolla hatch, with a large centrally-mounted multimedia screen and a softly angular dash and centre console treatment.
Locally, Toyota’s vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, said that the Yaris Cross will meet the changing tastes of consumers towards SUVs - a movement that Toyota has taken full advantage of, selling more than 80,000 last year alone.
"Yaris Cross is a stylish and flexible vehicle for people with active lifestyles who appreciate the strength, space and high-riding qualities of an SUV at a scale that suits their daily need to negotiate city streets and laneways," Mr Hanley said in a statement.
Pricing isn't finalised yet, but with the first auto-equipped CX-3 starting at less than $27,000, expect to see the Yaris Cross in close proximity.