Toyota has officially unveiled its smallest SUV ever, the Yaris Cross, ahead of an Australian launch later in 2020.
Originally scheduled to debut at the cancelled Geneva motor show in March, the new model slots below the C-HR in the Japanese brand’s crossover line-up, measuring in at 4180mm long, 1765mm wide and 1560mm high, with a 2560mm wheelbase.
For context, that’s 240mm longer, 20mm wider and 90mm taller than the Yaris hatch with which the Yaris Cross shares its 'GA-B' platform, with 30mm of the aforementioned height increase down to a jacked-up ride height. Locally, it’s expected to appear on the sales charts as part of the newly-formed light SUV class.
On the styling front, the Yaris Cross tends closer to the chunky and rugged styling direction of the much larger RAV4 than the funky design of the small C-HR.
Up front, high-mounted headlights sit above an upright fascia, while further back design highlights include muscular, flared wheel arches, off-road-look grey side skirts, slim LED tail-lights and alloy wheels up to 18 inches in diameter.
The pint-sized SUV’s cabin closely resembles that of the new Yaris, with a large, Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto-equipped infotainment touchscreen mounted high on the dashboard. Nestled in front of the driver is a semi-digital instrument cluster seemingly borrowed from high-spec versions of the larger Corolla hatch, while lower down in the interior there’s multi-zone climate control and an electric parking brake.
Aiding the Yaris Cross’s practicality credentials is a slew of features including a 40:20:40 split folding rear bench, a height-adjustable and foldable boot floor, an electric tailgate, and a ‘flex belt system’ to prevent items in the boot moving around while on the move.
Australian customers will have the choice of petrol-only and hybrid powertrains, both making use of the 2020 Yaris’s 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder engine.
Performance and economy figures have only been confirmed for the hybrid system, which produces 85kW of power and emits less than 120 grams per kilometre of CO2 on the European WLTP cycle.
An optional ‘e’ all-wheel-drive system is available on hybrid models, which drives only the front wheels in day-to-day driving, engaging an electric motor mounted on the rear axle when accelerating hard or in low-grip conditions. However, optioning the system increases CO2 output to a still-frugal 135g/km.
Toyota’s full suite of active safety systems – branded under the ‘Toyota Safety Sense’ label – is set to be offered on the crossover, likely including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assist.
Yaris Cross production is set to commence later this year alongside the Yaris hatch at Toyota’s facility in Valenciennes, France, where over 150,000 units are forecasted to be built per annum.
When will the Toyota Yaris Cross go on sale in Australia?
Toyota Australia has confirmed the Yaris Cross is due to arrive in Australian showrooms in late 2020, expanding the brand’s local SUV range to a total of seven.