2 February 2021

Toyota Yaris Cross 2021 Car Review

Definitely one for having a hand in all of the pies, Toyota has released another new Yaris, and right out of the gate it can be described as one of the biggest small cars to arrive in 2020.

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Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid 2021
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Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid 2021
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Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid 2021
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Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid 2021
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Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid 2021
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Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid 2021

Not only has the popular Yaris hatch grown up, it now has both Hybrid and Cross compact SUV models added in for good measure.

When it comes to driving, this is probably where motorists appreciate the robust, high-riding qualities of an SUV most, but on a scale tailored to suit urban streets and with a genuine emphasis on environmental performance. This is exactly what the all-new Yaris Cross does, and it does so in style.

Being a Yaris (new model launched in August 2020), it’s built upon the new TNGA-B compact car platform and is a package that gives it ‘big small car’ status with a roomy interior and compact exterior dimensions. Also, after many years of perfecting the hybrid powertrain on the Prius, Toyota has now unleashed the latest 1.5-litre hybrid synergy drive powertrain into both the Yaris Hatch and Yaris Cross, just like it has with the 2.0 and 2.5-litre engines used in the Corolla, CH-R, Camry and RAV4.

Yaris Expanded

When compared to the standard Yaris Hatch, the Cross is 240mm longer, 90mm taller, 20mm wider and has 60mm more ground clearance. All of this makes getting in and out of the car a lot easier, and this is just one of the many reasons why the SUV class is currently so popular.

This car is both practical and versatile. For instance, it has a power tailgate for those moments where you’re caught with your hands full, and an adjustable deck in the boot that makes the floor loading space level with the lip when it’s in, and gives you more space if it’s removed.

The engine of the Yaris Cross has three cylinders and is quite peppy, making it a rather fun-to-drive experience. The three-cylinder engine is fast becoming the standard of choice for small, fuel efficient vehicles, with most manufacturers using them in at least one vehicle in their range.

Hybrid Love

Hybrids made by Toyota are exceptional, but until recently they’ve only really been perfected over a handful of product generations and tested in various Prius and more luxurious models.

The Yaris Cross is the first to get the new 1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid powertrain which contributes to impressive fuel efficiency figures. Surprisingly the Yaris Cross has approximately 1km of electric driving range (in optimum conditions) before the engine fires to life in order to recharge the battery.

The Best Safety Just Makes Sense

Along with the body rigidity that these new platforms give, Toyota also has an outstanding level of safety features as standard. They’re included in the Toyota Safety Sense package, which comprises of Active Safety Systems and Advanced Driver Assistance functions, which both help to avoid a wide range of common risks through driver information, early warnings and, when necessary, automatic braking and steering intervention.

The Yaris Cross is presented as fun to drive, agile and has a bit of a ‘go-anywhere robustness’ that you’d expect from a bigger SUV, and feels surprisingly similar to the smaller and cheaper Suzuki Ignis Micro SUV.

At a glance


Yaris Cross GX / Yaris Cross Limited


1.5-litre three-cylinder


GX from $29,990 (TDP), Hybrid from $33,990 (TDP) 

ANCAP safety rating

Not rated


88kW (GX), 85kW (Hybrid)


Direct Shift-CVT (GX), E-CVT (Hybrid)

Fuel economy

5.4L/100km (GX), 3.8L/100km (Hybrid)

Towing capacity

1,250kg braked / 550kg unbraked (GX), 400kg (Hybrid) 


2WD (Front)

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

390 litres (all seats up)

Safety systems

  • Active Cornering Assist
  • Eight airbags
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Stability Control with Crosswind Assist
  • Brake Assist and Override Control
  • Traction Control
  • Trailer Sway Control (Non-Hybrid models only)
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution 

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