Toyota has had a wild few months, the Japanese automaker has been consistently launching new models with the most recent launch a very significant one for the brand’s success. The Yaris Cross is the brand’s newest vehicle and it’s aimed squarely at the competitive compact crossover segment.
Toyota Yaris Cross 1.5 S HEV
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A few days after the launch we were invited by the brand to sample the all-new model, and not just any variant, We were given the keys to the Hybrid powered Yaris Cross for a day.
Looking at the Yaris Cross gives away its close relation to the Daihatsu brand, which is just as well because it is a product of the partnership between the two brands. The front fascia reminds me of the Veloz with the big gaping grille and the sharp LED headlights, and the rear actually takes more cues from the Rav4.
It’s a decently handsome but somewhat macho-looking vehicle, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Interior-wise, the Yaris Cross is a mix of soft touch and hard plastic panels. What I did appreciate was that the brand opted to equip the vehicle with synthetic leather seats with contrasting blue stitches running across some panels.
The instrument cluster is fully digital already and the infotainment screen is one of the largest in the segment. Of course, it has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it even has a quick wireless charging pad to boot. Other amenities include a big panoramic sunroof and joy of joys a Pioneer premium sound system that lifts any car karaoke session to another level.
I have to say that the interior is definitely a step up compared to the other Daihatsu-Toyota products.
Power and Safety
The Toyota Yaris Cross 1.5 S HEV is powered by a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine that’s paired with an electric motor, The total system output is 111 HP and 121 Nm of torque, and the transmission is a CVT type.
In terms of safety the Yaris Cross is loaded, it comes with the full suite of Toyota Safety Sense. Features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and many many more. This is a significant feature because most of its competitors don’t have the same safety features as standard.
Driving the Toyota Yaris Cross HEV is what I expected, it is very much leaning towards being efficient and comfortable. Not to mention that the brand has done a lot to make it very user-friendly, there are no confusing buttons or features that would throw any first-time hybrid owners off, and it’s as easy as getting into the car and driving off.
As mentioned the Yaris Cross favors efficient driving, so while it isn’t necessarily slow it also isn’t necessarily quick either. Overtakes must be made with caution and preparation, while spirited driving won’t give you the thrills you are hoping for. Again this vehicle is intended to be comfortable and efficient not quick, so if that’s what you want look elsewhere.
Fuel mileage is something we weren’t able to test properly, but based on the conditions we had and the limited route we were given the Yaris Cross returned some decent numbers. I was able to get it as high as 20 km/l in scorching Philippine heat and with a lot of idling time in between.
First Impressions Verdict
At PHP 1,598,000 the Toyota Yaris Cross 1.5 S HEV is pretty decent value for money in terms of what you get in return. So far I can say that there are no glaring issues with Toyota’s most affordable HEV. Stay tuned for our full review to find out just how good the Yaris Cross really is or if they missed the mark somewhat.