2021 Toyota Yaris Cross debuts – new B-segment SUV with 1.5 litre hybrid powertrain, Toyota Safety Sense

After a delayed debut and a few teasers, Toyota has officially unveiled the new Yaris Cross, a B-segment SUV utilising the company’s TNGA-B platform that is positioned below the C-HR in the company’s line-up.

Essentially a high-riding version of the regular Yaris hatchback, the Yaris Cross shares the same 2,560 mm wheelbase with its close sibling but measures 4,180 mm long, 1,765 mm wide and 1,560 mm tall. That makes the Yaris Cross 240 mm longer, 20 mm wider and 90 mm higher than the hatchback – its ride height is also 30 mm more. For the sake of further comparison, the larger, TNGA-C-based C-HR measures 4,360 mm long, 1,795 mm wide, 1,565 mm tall and has a wheelbase spanning 2,640 mm.

Design-wise, the Yaris Cross sports several SUV-like cues to distinguish it from the hatchback, including black cladding that runs along the bottom of the vehicle’s body, with squared-off sections around the wheel arches. However, that’s not the only point of differentiation, as most of the sheet metal you see here is unique to the Yaris Cross. The carmaker says it “wanted to keep the strong DNA of Toyota’s SUV line-up but at the same time give the Yaris Cross an identity of its own.”

At the front, the SUV gets its own bonnet design with recessed creases blend in neatly with the sleek headlamps, which have LED daytime running lights near the top of each cluster. The nose is also more upright than on the hatchback, with a square mesh pattern for the grille and the Toyota logo as a leading point. Meanwhile, the lower apron has a wider second intake with integrated fog lamps and the faux side intakes are slimmer.

2021 Toyota Yaris Cross debuts – new B-segment SUV with 1.5 litre hybrid powertrain, Toyota Safety Sense

Viewed from the side, the Yaris Cross’ roofline differs from the hatchback due to its length and appears to promote better interior space. Like the normal Yaris, a two-tone paint scheme is available for the SUV and seen here is a Brass Gold primary finish with a black roof; this example rides on the largest available wheels for the model measuring 18 inches in diameter with 215/50 series tyres.

If you are still not convinced, a peek at the Yaris Cross’ rear should make you a believer. With inspiration from the Lexus UX and fourth-generation Harrier that was announced several days ago, the small SUV’s LED taillights mimic its larger brother in terms of looks but with a flatter rump.

While the exterior is distinctive on its own, the interior of the Yaris Cross is nearly identical to a standard Yaris. The same layout is carried over here, with a touchscreen infotainment system dominating the dashboard, just above the central air vents. Other things like the steering wheel and switchgear are all similar to the Yaris as well.

2021 Toyota Yaris Cross debuts – new B-segment SUV with 1.5 litre hybrid powertrain, Toyota Safety Sense

As practicality is a major selling point for SUVs, Toyota has fitted the SUV with a powered tailgate and a two-tier cargo area and a flex belt system to prevent items from shifting during driving. The exact trunk volume is not mentioned, but the car comes with a 40:20:40 split-folding rear bench for storage flexibility.

The similarities extend to the powertrain, as the SUV will be offered with the same Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) setup as the Yaris Hybrid. This pairs an M15A Dynamic Force 1.5 litre engine with an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission.

Toyota has yet to release detailed information but says the hybrid system has a maximum output of 116 PS and can be had in front-wheel-drive or E-Four (electric four-wheel-drive) configurations.

2021 Toyota Yaris Cross debuts – new B-segment SUV with 1.5 litre hybrid powertrain, Toyota Safety Sense

The company also touts strong fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, but only provided figures for the latter – below 90 g/km for the FWD version and below 100 g/km for the AWD-i version. There’s also a non-hybrid option for other markets that also uses a three-potter, which is mated to either a Direct Shift-CVT or six-speed manual, with drive going exclusively to the front wheels.

On the technology front, the car will be equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety and driver assistance systems, including automatic braking and steering intervention.

Toyota notes that the Yaris Cross will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) alongside the new generation Yaris hatchback, from 2021, while in Japan, production will be handled by Toyota Motor East Japan. Fancy one?

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