The compact Toyota Yaris Cross crossover range will soon gain an additional hybrid engine option and some on-board tech upgrades – in line with the smaller Yaris hatchback’s refresh in June.
This being the first modification to the crossover range since the introduction of the sportier ‘GR Sport’ trim in August last year, Toyota says that this round of enhancements “focuses on the top purchase considerations for customers”, keeping the car competitive with rivals like the popular Ford Puma and Nissan Juke.
Toyota says that the most important change is the expansion of its engine choices. The update adds an extra petrol-electric hybrid option – a more powerful 130hp 1.5-litre unit that is half a second quicker to 62mph than the single powertrain option currently on sale – 10.7 seconds in total.
This engine will be available with top-spec ‘GR Sport’ and new ‘Premiere Edition’ versions. This new trim is said to “enhance” the car’s “visual appeal” by introducing a new paint colour, ‘Urban Khaki’, which is shown above. Like the ‘GR Sport’, ‘Premiere Edition’ models have a two-tone exterior with black elements and 18-inch alloy wheels. Other than that, the car’s exterior looks remain the same. Inside, this trim spec matches the interior stitching with the green body colour.
Toyota adds that a new ‘Juniper Blue’ exterior colour has been added to the full range of trims, and that seat upholstery has also been refreshed with a new pattern and a soft-material lower instrument panel covering has been introduced. The manufacturer has also attempted to reduce engine and wind noise in the cabin, using thicker windscreen and side window glass and engine dampers.
Now onto the tech. Like the Yaris, the Yaris Cross will be getting the brand’s ‘digital key’ software, which allows the driver to lock, unlock and start the car from their smartphone.
The entry-level models come with a nine-inch central screen (formerly of higher trims), while higher trims will feature a larger 11-inch infotainment console, as opposed to the eight- and nine-inch systems currently available. Toyota says the infotainment software is more ‘intuitive and reactive’ after the update, and that it is wirelessly compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The four-inch LCD driving information screen behind the steering wheel has also been replaced by either a seven- or 12-inch digital instrument cluster, depending on the trim you choose. The car’s safety tech has been tweaked too – the camera and radar system can reportedly scan further and wider than before when detecting potential hazards on the move.
The safety tech is also said to be improved thanks to the introduction of an upgraded camera and radar system which can scan further and wider than before, increasing scope for the detection of accident risks. There is also a new ’emergency driving stop system’ which stops the car, turns on the hazard lights and unlocks the doors if it detects no input from the driver after an extended period of time and after a warning sound.
Finally, Toyota says that the car’s adaptive cruise control has been revised to respond more quickly and “operate with a more natural feel”.
UK pricing and arrival date are yet to be announced, but we do know that these revised Yaris Cross details will arrive in December. The lead-in price for the range currently sits at under £25k before the update’s arrival.
As the key criticisms of the Yaris Cross relate to its modest performance and slow infotainment, this minor facelift could potentially impact the car’s current Expert Rating of 69%.