Toyota has added an additional Dynamic trim level to the Yaris Cross featuring “a more rugged exterior” look. The new Nissan Juke and Ford Puma rival, featuring a hybrid powertrain and four-wheel drive, goes on sale in May.
Toyota claims the Dynamic trim “emphasises the car’s suitability for life beyond urban streets”; it adds increased body protection front and rear, a set of silver roof rails and 18-inch wheels with a dark grey finish.
Inside, changes run to piano black trim, a black headlining and faux-leather seats. For the first 12 months of Yaris Cross sales, a Dynamic Premiere Edition will be available, featuring leather seats, different alloys and power tailgate. A head-up display and bi-tone paint finish will also be offered.
The Cross is built on the Japanese firm’s TNGA-B platform and shares a number of common parts with the similar-sized Yaris supermini, alongside which it will be built at Toyota’s factory in Onnaing, France. The firm intends to sell 150,000 Yaris Cross models next year, with the aiming of taking an 8% share of the European B-SUV segment. It estimates the Yaris range, which includes the supermini, SUV and forthcoming GR Yaris hot hatch, will eventually account for a third of all its European sales.
Toyota said it chose to use the Yaris Cross title rather than give the model an entirely new nameplate to ensure a strong link with the supermini, its most popular European model. It also reflects the shared underpinnings of the two machines, although the firm says the two models are aimed at different customer groups.
Toyota says the new Yaris Cross is intended to offer the “high-riding qualities of an SUV, but on a scale tailored to suit urban areas”. The styling was honed by Toyota’s design studios in Europe and Japan. Lance Scott, the firm’s Europe design boss, said the design was based on the key words “robust and minimalistic” because they “expressed both compactness and agility, as well as the robustness and strength of an SUV”.
Scott said the exterior has been sculpted to feature a diamond shape when viewed from the top, with a focus on ensuring a strong horizontal axis and enlarged, squared wheel arches to reflect its SUV credentials. He added: “We wanted to keep the DNA of Toyota’s SUV line-up but at the same time give Yaris Cross its own identity.”
The machine shares the same 2560mm wheelbase as the Yaris but has been extended by 240mm to a total length of 4180mm to offer greater interior space. The ground clearance is 30mm higher, and at 1765mm wide and 1560mm tall, it is 90mm higher and 20mm wider than the supermini. It sits on wheels up to 18in in size.
The Yaris Cross will be offered with the same 114bhp 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid Atkinson-cycle powertrain as the Yaris. Toyota claims the powertrain, its fourth-generation hybrid system, will feature CO2 emissions of less than 120g/km on front-wheel-drive models and 135g/km for all-wheel-drive variants.