Toyota squeezes an SUV out of little Yaris

2021-08-20 14:52:05

Three automobiles, all with the identical identify, constructed by the identical firm.

One in every of them is sporty and thrilling. One other is sensible. And one just isn’t precisely both of these issues.

The Toyota Yaris not too long ago added two offspring: the rally-bred, fabulously enjoyable Yaris GR 4 and its mild-mannered counterpart, the marginally awkward Yaris Cross.

The GR 4 is the best feel-good, cheap-thrills machine to enter the market in ages.

The Yaris Cross, however, additional proves the idea that each producer – massive or small – needs to supply an SUV in each potential market section.

In some industries, they name fashions like this “model extensions”. Take a product or model that individuals know, belief and like, then attempt to invent as many associated variations as potential bearing the identical identify.

Use Coca Cola for instance … there’s additionally Cherry Coke. And Vanilla Coke. And Coke Zero.

The Yaris has been round for twenty years, is in its fourth era and, in some ways, is extra up to date than it is ever been.

The Yaris is aware of its lane and stays proper in the midst of it. Till now.

There was a sure logic to the GR 4, conceived, because it was, by way of the corporate’s rally program. It allowed Toyota to showcase its tech wizardry by taking a tiny, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged engine and tweaking it into delivering an astonishing 200 kilowatts of nerve-jangling mayhem.

On the different finish of the spectrum is the Yaris Cross. A automotive that has as a lot in widespread with the GR as Simon does with Garfunkel as of late.

The Cross is constructed on roughly the identical platform because the Yaris (it is marginally longer and wider), and will probably be supplied in a broad vary of configurations: petrol or hybrid; front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive; and in trim ranges starting from GX to GXL and City.

The 2-wheel-drive hybrid model of the mid-range GXL which retails at $31,990 plus on-road prices, was examined right here. It is an attention-grabbing proposition.

Costs vary from $26,990 for the entry-level, GX 2WD petrol, as much as the flagship mannequin AWD hybrid, costing $37,990.

That is a considerable ask for a automotive that shares its heartbeat with a metropolis automotive costing roughly half as a lot, but there is not any doubt the Yaris Cross will win its share of consideration.

It isn’t the prettiest-looking SUV getting round – not as closely styled as Toyota’s barely bigger C-HR, as an illustration – nor does it fairly match the design ethic of larger Toyota SUVs.

It appears to be like a bit ungainly from some angles, one thing not helped by the unappealing pale beige of the take a look at car. Toyota referred to as the shade ‘latte’, however possibly ‘weak Milo’ could be extra apt.

First impressions apart, the little Yaris managed to notch up some wins.

It is a stout, sturdy little factor belying its barely feeble look (and feeble exhaust word). However there’s undoubtedly a spot out there for ugly automobiles. The Nissan Dice proved that. And keep in mind the Toyota Ruckus?

Toyota’s world-leading hybrid expertise is admirable however this isn’t the very best expression of it.

The marginally tough, ragged nature of the three-cylinder petrol engine is a tough match with its electrical ally on this occasion. There is a little bit of a rumble when the hybrid motors reduce out and in.

Nor does it really feel notably athletic when hills are involved. Complete output from the petrol and electrical drive-train is 85kW, which explains why.

However this is the payoff: It sips a really modest 4L/100km, sufficient to make its buy worth seem to be a fairly sound funding (the hybrid prices roughly $2000 extra).

Inside, the Yaris-inspired cockpit is practical if not notably fairly, however on the plus aspect there’s oodles of little storage nooks which will probably be welcomed by its youthful goal market.

It is thoughtfully put collectively and is decently roomy for a automotive that takes up so little house. It would examine favourably to rivals just like the Hyundai Venue.

Sure, it feels just like the runt of the litter, notably when lined up beside the GR 4. Maybe utilizing the identical Yaris identify does this little automotive few favours.

But it surely would not be any prettier, and no extra sensible, if it had been referred to as one thing else.

Typically model extensions make sense, generally they meet a market want, and generally they’re simply designed to make cash.

The Yaris Cross sits someplace between the final two classes.

TOYOTA YARIS CROSS GXL Hybrid

* HOW BIG? It is based mostly on Toyota’s smallest mannequin, the Yaris, however is usefully bigger.

* HOW FAST? Suffice to say the Yaris GR 4 is at the least twice as quick. And 3 times as a lot enjoyable.

* HOW THIRSTY: The hybrid model sips a modest 4L/100km – one of the vital frugal automobiles available on the market.

* HOW MUCH? Costs begin at $26,990. The GXL Hybrid examined prices $31,990, plus statutory and on-road prices.

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