Even the traditionally smallest of cars are getting into the act – as is evidenced here, from the Toyota Yaris Cross, which features a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine developing 101kW. There is no lack of competitors in this particular sector and on both fringes, but the Yaris Cross’ secret weapon is a two-litre turbocharged diesel engine, which makes for some marathon-style efficiency, coupled with a suite of modern technologies as standard. If you were to look into its performance statistics, you would be surprised to see that this small vehicle manages to score five hundred points more than the average car in the same class. It also has the most aerodynamic body configuration of any car currently on sale.
In terms of driving dynamics, the all-electric Yaris Cross retains much of its predecessor’s qualities. The car starts off with electric motor torque, propelling the car onto its second gear before getting it up to speed with the help of a manual shift. A tachometer appears on the dashboard for the first time, while the gearlever continues to guide the all-wheel drive system. As the tachometer shows five digits, the auto is also the first car to feature full-on self-driving and all-wheel drive functionality.
However, the Yaris Cross does have one clear advantage over the older version, and that is the presence of a clever all-wheel drive system, one that Toyota has named the Yaris XE. The new system is built around Toyota’s new Active Valve System, or AVCS, which is fitted to the exhaust and wet sump fuel systems. By varying the amount of air that is expelled, this new system allows the Yaris Cross to maintain a higher tire pressure even when the engine is running at low revs. In short, it offers superior handling performance, with better traction and quieter exhaust noise.
Like the yaris hatchback, the all-wheel drive system of the new Yaris hatchback is placed behind the driver’s seat. This means that when you are driving, you can detach the CVT, which powers the petrol engine, and simply attach the electric motor to the transmission. You therefore do not need to be concerned with a stuck rear axle and, unlike the previous model, there is no danger of over-braking when driving at higher speeds.
The all-wheel drive system also offers intelligent Electronic Stability Control, or EFC, which allows the car to slow down when driving on a hard surface or when the front wheels pick up too much drag. On the whole, the new Yaris hatchback offers great handling, with ride quality that rivals some of the best production cars. It is very refined, with a taut ride that does not feel like it is lurching forward, and the handling is balanced on all the parts of the vehicle. Handling is sensitive, but not wimpy, and the car puts out enough power to cope with all the road surfaces.
Despite its compact size, the new Yaris Cross offers plenty of cargo space. The all-wheel drive system and the strong torque make sure that the amount of cargo space offered by the vehicle is sufficient. In fact, the boot space is larger than many competing small vehicles, including the Honda Odyssey and Nissan Armada. Cargo space is further enhanced by the excellent and roomy interior, which is comfortable and well furnished. High-end trim levels offer leather seats upholstery and standard alloy wheels in a range of colors.
Another highlight of the all-weather car is its strong braking system. The Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) system offers the drivers a hands free means to stop, thanks to the Electronic Brake-force Distribution system, or EBD. The system is activated by an invisible warning light, which the driver can see from the driver’s seat, and uses pedal energy only when the accelerator is pressed. This feature is available in both manual and automatic Yaris Crosses. Automatic trim levels also offer stronger, quicker brake effects and greater stopping power.
One of the highlights of the Yaris Cross is its all-weather structure. As mentioned above, it offers powerful performance on wet and dry roads thanks to its advanced engineering, and the all-weather bodywork is specifically designed to work in any weather condition. All-weather cars are very popular on UK’s public roads, such as motorways, and this is why the all-weather Yaris Cross is so popular with car shoppers. Despite its high popularity, it is the SUV that is best suited for those who live in the country and who wish to carry cargo. SUVs are good on wet and muddy conditions, but do not have the all-weather functionality of the Cross. Overall, the SUV is one of the most popular types of car in the UK and is likely to remain so for some time to come.