The crossover segment is growing by leaps and bounds with every automaker looking for that piece of the pie. Toyota has had success with their lineup of crossovers and sport utilities for decades. However, cars like the subcompact Yaris as a crossover was never an idea until now. As buyers shifted towards CUVs the Yaris has seen its sales decline. Toyota Taiwan, looked at the idea of adding a new Yaris variant to appeal to CUV buyers who want a smaller more affordable crossover for the urban life. Hence, The Yaris Crossover is born.
Styling and specs:
The Yaris Crossover may look like any other Yaris from 2018 facelift aside from the fender cladding, but you many not notice that it is also has 35mm (1.5 inches) of extra ground clearance over a regular Yaris. To give it a more rugged look with the extra off-roadish cladding is a front (fake) skid plate and LED daytime running lights integrated into the open mouth bumper. The back roof top style helps differentiate the regular Yaris plus an added rear spoiler.
The interior is the same as the regular Yaris subcompact. Aside from different seats with orange inserts, the dashboard and instrument cluster are all carried over from its regular Yaris model. The controls are all with the reach of the driver and easy to use without the overabundance of buttons. The Yaris comes with smart entry, which allows drivers to keep the key fob in their pocket to open doors and start the car. Technology is there with a USB plug along with a 6 inch touchscreen. No Android Auto is available, but this crossover does offer Apple CarPlay. The infotainment system is easy to use and switching between the radio stations and navigation is easy.
The seats are comfortable and even on long journeys won’t be hard on your back. Passengers may find that sitting in the rear seats to be spacious as they’ll have plenty of legroom.
Specs for the Toyota Yaris Crossover:
Length 4,150 mm (163.4 in)
Wheelbase 2,550 mm (100.4 in)
Width 1,730 mm (68.1 in)
Ride Height 1,730 mm (68.1 in)
The heart of the Yaris Crossover is a 2NR-FE 1.5L Dual VVT-i engine that puts out 109hp. As with all new Yaris models after the facelift there is no longer the ancient 4 speed automatic, instead all Yaris’ in Taiwan get the new “Super” CVT as they like to promote it.
This crossover may not be on Toyota’s TNGA architecture, but it does include the latest safety features to keep the driver and passengers safe. 7 airbags are now standard whereas before the Yaris and Vios only had 2 airbags. Also included are ESC. VSC, and a tire pressure monitoring gauge.
On the Road:
Driving this Yaris, is just like driving the non-crossover version of Yaris or even the Vios sedan, which basically is what it is. It isn’t overly exciting to drive, but it does provide a content ride. Toyota has improved the NVH with the facelifted Yaris, but the engine noise especially at highway speeds can intrude into the cabin. Similarly to the last Yaris I reviewed several years ago, turning the A/C on during a hot day will affect the car’s performance and make it sluggish. The turning radius is tight and the car maneuvers like a charm.
3 out of 5
The price of the Yaris Crossover is $NTD 649,000 ($21,000 USD) where as the regular Yaris subcompact starts at $NTD 585,000 ($18,850 USD). The car is designed mainly for the city, and its for those who wants something smaller, cheaper and different than say a Toyota CH-R or Honda HR-V.
The Yaris and the Yaris Crossover are definitely an improvement over the 2015 Yaris model and with this crossover added to the lineup it will help sales from stagnation.
Another Taiwan exclusive vehicle similar to the Toyota Yaris Crossover, the now discontinued Mitsubishi Colt Plus X Sports.
The Colt Plus nameplate still lives on, but without a crossover version.