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Toyota is growing its crossover lineup with the Yaris Cross, its smallest high-riding offering yet.
Meet the Yaris Cross. Originally meant to debut at the cancelled Geneva Motor Show last month, the Cross completes the sub-compact Yaris family.
When Toyota debuted the new-age Yaris last October, the little hatch had migrated to the B variant of the TNGA platform, which underpins nearly all modern Toyotas. The Yaris Cross sits on the same platform, which allows for the use of both all-wheel drive and hybrid drivetrains.
The Cross uses the same hybrid setup as the regular Yaris: a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine shacked up with a small electric motor. Combined power output is 114 hp, routed through a continuously-variable transmission. Front wheel drive is standard, with the option of electrically-controlled all-wheel drive, which sends power to the rear wheels when pulling away or accelerating.
A non-hybrid 1.5-liter engine will also be available, with either the CVT or a six-speed manual.
Despite sharing a name with the regular hatch, the Yaris Cross looks quite different from it. It perhaps looks most like its daintier sibling from the rear, with a similar taillight treatment that stretches across the whole rear. There’s quite a lot of RAV4 influence in the profile, thanks to the angular C-pillar and black wheel arch extensions. A bluff nose complete with protruding badge and smaller grille gives the Yaris Cross its requisite SUV attitude. 18-inch wheels complete the package, and surely must set some sort of record for largest wheels for smallest horsepower rating.
Inside, the Yaris Cross mirrors the hatch’s basic dash design, with the biggest change being a larger fairing over the instrument cluster. We like the geometric pattern on the seats, which is unique to the Cross.
Breaking out the tape measure, the Cross rides on the same 100.7-inch wheelbase as the Yaris hatch. It’s grown a full 9.4 inches outside of that though, bringing total length to 164.5 inches. The Yaris Cross is 61.4 inches tall and 69.5 inches wide, differences of 3.5 and 0.8 inches, respectively. Ground clearance is up just over an inch.
For reference, that puts the Yaris Cross just under the current small fry of the Toyota crossover lineup, the C-HR. The C-HR is half a foot longer, just over an inch wider, and a 0.2 inches taller.
The Yaris Cross will go on sale in Japan later this year, followed by Europe in early 2021. Don’t hold out hope for it in North America, however: we haven’t heard a solid yes or no from Toyota USA at the time of writing, but Toyota Canada confirmed it wouldn’t be getting the Yaris Cross.