Toyota Yaris Cross reviews: the first media drives

Yaris Cross

The national motoring press was recently invited to test-drive our highly anticipated new Toyota Yaris Cross compact SUV. The professional road testers were able to get to grips with the car on the varied roads of West Sussex.

Yaris Cross

What did they think of this tough new urban explorer? Below is a selection of excerpts from their online reviews, which include a numerical rating where applicable. To read the full online reports, click on the emboldened links.

Toyota Yaris Cross reviews

Auto Express: 4/5

“The new Yaris Cross effectively packages what we’ve come to like about the latest Yaris into a compact SUV body with no needless surprises or alterations. The hybrid drivetrain takes little getting used to and is easy to extract fantastic efficiency from.

Yaris Cross

“With little effort, you’ll cover a lot of ground on electric power. On our test route, more than half the journey was completed on electricity; 66.5mpg was the end result with no effort on our part, and that’s a figure that outstrips the official claims. Put a bit of effort in and rely on Eco mode’s softer power map, and you might even hit 80mpg.

With little effort, you’ll cover a lot of ground on electric power

“It could be a great company car option too, thanks to CO2 emissions from as low as 102g/km.”

Car Buyer: 4.1/5

“Toyota has been a world-leader for hybrids, and the system now works better than ever. It’s easy to drive in EV mode at speeds of up to 30mph for short distances, and we found that even on mixed roads, the Yaris Cross ran on electric power for around half the time.

Yaris Cross

“It’s possible to save money without sacrificing driving fun, too, because the Yaris Cross offers decent acceleration and the same neat handling as its smaller sibling. [It] also has responsive steering and resists body lean well, making it feel nippy and confidence-inspiring.

It’s possible to save money without sacrificing driving fun

“The interior feels built to last and there are conventional knobs and switches for the climate control that are easy to use while driving. A nine-inch central touchscreen and seven-inch digital dial cluster in the instrument binnacle provide plenty of information and come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to boost connectivity.”

Heycar: 8/10

“Sharing so many parts with the latest Toyota Yaris hatchback, there’s no way the Yaris Cross could have been anything less than excellent. It’s fun to drive, has a solid interior and comes fully-loaded for the money.

“The most impressive thing about the Yaris Cross is its efficiency – with its petrol-electric hybrid engine set-up meaning it’ll be as cheap as chips to run.

[It’s] an ideal choice for a trendy urbanite

“It’s surprisingly fun to drive, responding eagerly to steering inputs and not wallowing about too much for a small SUV. The Yaris Cross is an ideal choice for a trendy urbanite who wants a car that looks great but won’t cost a fortune to run.”

Pocket Lint: 4/5

“There’s no shortage of competition in this market, but the Yaris Cross’s secret weapon is a hybrid engine setup, making for marathon-like efficiency, plus a suite of technology as standard on all its trim levels.

Yaris Cross

“Despite being physically longer and taller than a typical Yaris, the Cross is still built on the very same TNGA platform. It’s just that it looks a bit like a baby RAV4, with hench body panels making it look like a Yaris that’s been pumping iron at the gym. More than that, however, the Yaris Cross is kitted out with tech that ensures that whatever level you buy you’re getting a lot of comfort and value.

A suite of tech that’s spot-on for the everyday driver

“The market is bustling with options. But we think the Yaris Cross is well worth it for what you get – a comfortable, assured ride, and a suite of tech that’s spot-on for the everyday driver.”

The Telegraph: 4/5

“You can immediately feel the distance between this and the Yaris hatchback. There’s more room and it feels larger and better appointed. The fascia is clearly derived from that of the Yaris but it has better storage space, with a full touchscreen and separate digital heating and ventilation controls.

Yaris Cross

“The three-cylinder engine… is a gutsy unit which, along with the stored energy in the battery, provides a peppy getaway where the climbing engine revs bear a close relationship to the rising road speed.

Mark my words, [Toyota is] going to shift a lot of these

“The suspension feels firm but not harsh, with a decent progression over bump. There’s a lot of anti-roll behaviour in the chassis, which… also makes it quite playful if you lift-off mid-corner.”

What Car?: 4/5

“The Yaris Cross is a mix of two things that [Toyota] does well: small hybrid cars and SUVs. The electric motor gives it plenty of shove off the line, and the Yaris Cross will run solely on electric power around town if you’re gentle with the accelerator. This makes it quieter than its petrol-only rivals, and indeed easier on fuel.

Yaris Cross

“The majority of models… are front-wheel drive but the higher trims offer four-wheel drive. That’s rare in the small SUV class and makes the Yaris Cross more capable on muddy trails and slippery fields.

Higher trims offer four-wheel drive. That’s rare in the small SUV class

“The Yaris Cross makes a strong case for itself against the crowd of small SUVs, especially if you value low running costs and Toyota’s impressive reliability record.”

Autocar: 3/5

“The Yaris Cross… [is] predicted to be the maker’s second-biggest seller after the Yaris. On the road, the Cross is pleasingly reverent to its Yaris roots, delivering respectable body control for a compact SUV and direct steering. That makes it surprisingly fun on faster roads but also well suited to urban scenarios, where this car is most likely to make its living.

Yaris Cross

“Inside, the Cross is smart and functional and has good-quality materials, while the infotainment system is considerably improved… with an intuitive set-up controlled through a bright, 9.0-inch touchscreen.

On the road, the Cross is pleasingly reverent to its Yaris roots

“Bold looks, strong efficiency, a good-quality interior and moderately fun drive make it a welcome addition.”

Express & Star

“Behind the wheel… you sit high, which makes visibility great, with the steering nicely weighted, which makes slow moving traffic and country roads equally relaxing to drive. It’s comfortable too, with the soft suspension not translating to too much lean when cornering.

Yaris Cross

“The most impressive aspect of the Yaris Cross’s cabin is how spacious it feels. The car feels very narrow when threading through gaps in traffic, but it feels impressively roomy from the driver’s seat, while rear passengers have an acceptable amount of legroom. The overall ambience is one of solid build quality.

Safe to say, Toyota has a winner on its hands here

“It looks great, has decent practicality, is comfortable to drive and has excellent equipment. And if our testing is anything to go by, running costs should be incredibly low. Safe to say Toyota has a winner on its hands here.”

Yes Auto

“Toyota’s hybrid system is one of the best on the market. It’ll default to electric readily at low speeds but will actually hold onto EV mode all the way to 80mph if you’re careful.

Yaris Cross

“Essentially this means town driving is a breeze. There’s punchy acceleration off the line but also quiet progress, plus the Yaris Cross has light steering and modest dimensions for darting through urban areas. Standard rear parking sensors and rear camera help here too.

The Yaris Cross has rocked up and instantly proven itself to be one of the best small SUVs you can buy

“The Yaris Cross has rocked up and instantly proven itself to be one of the best small SUVs you can buy. It’s good to drive, genuinely very frugal in the real world and comes stacked with equipment for the price.”

Click here to configure and buy your new Toyota Yaris Cross


  1. Do you have any data on how the AWD version performs on snow with the standard UK tyres? I have a Dynamic AWD on order but I’m a bit concerned about how the low profile standard tyres will perform when the roads are snowy

    1. Hi Richard,

      Regardless of whether a car has AWD or not, its performance in snow will be limited by its tyres. We’d always recommend winter tyres for the colder months.


      1. Hi,
        I ordered an Excel in February and want to know what tyres the car will arrive with. I’m guessing from the above that it will be delivered with Summer tyres and that thereafter I should consider a set of Winter tyres for those months when we could have icy or snowy driving conditions.

        Do I have the option of having All Season Tyres to be fitted on delivery as these would suit me for all the likely weather conditions in the south of England and indeed for most of the UK?

      2. Hi Michael, thanks for your comment.

        Your Yaris Cross will be fitted with Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2 which are summer tyres. This is the only factory option for tyres and if you would prefer an all season tyre, you will need to request this from your local Toyota Centre.


        Toyota UK

  2. What is the starting method key or keyless?
    Does it have a Catalytic Converter?

    Boot size will it take the average family sized suitcase?

    1. Hi Christine,
      Thank you for your interest in the Yaris Cross.
      Firstly, the starting method is keyless.
      Secondly, all petrol cars (including the Yaris Cross) in the UK from 1992 have a catalytic converter fitted as standard in order to comply with emissions regulations.
      Finally, the boot size up to the parcel shelf is 397 litres, meaning it should be able to take a suitcase.
      You can configure a Yaris Cross here –
      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  3. I see the lady above has ordered 5th Sept and is expecting/hopeful of getting her vehicle this week. How so, we pre-ordered on 5th May and following our visit to physically see the Cross following arrival of the showroom model we were then given a delivery date of 29th September. We subsequently took a test drive on 28th August (first date available for said test drives according to our dealership) where we were informed our delivery date has now been delayed until end of October? I understood that pre-orders were supposed to receive priority?!

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your order. Although that comment was posted on 5th September, there’s nothing to suggest that the order was actually placed on the 5th September. As her vehicle is due to be delivered this week, we expect she was one of the first to pre-order.

      We are sorry that your estimated delivery time has been pushed back. There are a number of reasons why this can happen, and your Toyota centre is best placed to advise you further.

      Thanks again for your your order, and for committing to buy the Yaris Cross so early, and apologies for the delay.


      1. Thanks for your reply- I realised after posting my question that I had possibly misunderstood the order date – apologies!

  4. Hello, can you advise on the city pack for the excel model. It seems this changes the infotainment system to a smaller screen and Toyota Touch 2 system which appear to be more inferior? Is there a reason for this and what is the actual benefit of upgrading to the city pack?

    1. Hi Matt,
      Thanks for your comment and thank you for your interest in the Yaris Cross.
      The benefits of the City Pack include features such as Advanced Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, Dynamic Guide Lines on the reversing camera.
      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

    1. Hi Ross,
      We do not have any information on this at the moment.
      Please keep an eye on our blog posts and social channels for the latest updates.

  5. I looked at Yaris cross and it is an interesting car. I have a question that Toyota dealer didn’t know. If I order advanced pack I will have 9” screen and wireless apple CarPlay. But will I lose wireless Apple CarPlay if add city and advanced pack as it reduces the screen size to 8”? (I know I can connect via cable tho)

    1. Hi Fred,
      Thanks for your interest in the Yaris Cross.
      The Advanced Safety Pack includes the 9″ HD Screen with Wireless Apple CarPlay.
      The City & Advanced Safety Pack includes the 8″ Screen with Wired Apple CarPlay only.
      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      1. Very helpful. Thanks for the quick reply. So it means if I choose 9inches screen I won’t have voice recognition, 360 camera and auto parking tho. And with 8” screen I won’t have wireless apple car play. I am going to order premier edition today and it seems a bit confusing/difficult 🙂

      2. Hi Fred,
        That is right yes.
        If you require any other assistance in ordering your Yaris Cross, we would be happy to help.

  6. Currently have a 2019 Corolla hatch, which is a bit tight for space for rear seat passengers, so finally got to check out the Yaris Cross at my local dealer. Sadly, rear seats still too tight. So, had a test drive in Rav4 which is cavernous! But ridiculously, the front passenger seat has no adjustment for height, making it difficult for my wife getting in and out. So that was no go as well. Salesman agreed it was bad. So, I’ll stick with my Corolla in the hope we can get the Cross version soon. I’m hoping that’s the one for me. So please Toyota, get the Corolla Cross to UK ASAP!

    1. Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your comment.
      We would recommend keeping an eye on our blog and social channels for the latest information on our vehicle offerings.

      1. I have just taken delivery of the Yaris Cross Premiere. Nice car. Shame there’s no wireless charging though. Weird for a brand new machine that prides itself with Apple CarPlay. Any way, quick question, I seem to only have one reverse light. Is that intentional? If so, what does the other light do on the other side?

      2. Hi David,
        Congratulations on your new Yaris Cross.
        Our product team have advised that there should be one reversing light and one fog light.
        We hope this helps.

  7. I have a question regarding wireless charging availability in Yaris Cross premier edition. Is phones wireless charging available in premier edition?

      1. Thanks, that’s a shame as it is costing about £30,000 and it has wireless Appel CarPlay but no wireless charging. so you have to plug it in to charge the phone because you are using the phone for map and other things. Don’t see the point of having wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay then.

    1. I completely agree with your comments – a sticky point ref the wireless charging. Which numpty decided UK can’t have it. Xx

      1. Totally agree, I have the Premiere edition and no wireless charging. I also think the ride is hard and noisy compared to my previous CH-R. I will be changing back to the CH-R in two years. Lots of ‘extras’ missing from the Premiere, that I thought would be included, as it supposed to be limited edition ‘Top of the Range’. Damn you Toyota.

  8. I test drove a Yaris Cross last week and intend ordering one tomorrow, a Dynamic AWD, but have been told by the dealer the expected delivery date would be March 2022, this seems at odds with some of the other comments. Could you confirm if this is the earliest date possible?

    1. Hi Geoffrey,
      Thank you for your interest in the Yaris Cross.
      Your Toyota Centre are best placed to advised on delivery dates for vehicles.
      The comments you are referring to may be customers who pre-ordered the Yaris Cross in May 2021.
      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      1. I have just ordered it and delivery is March 22. Anyway you don’t want it in December or January as you better get it in March with 22 plate number.

  9. I’ve had my Yaris cross icon for four weeks now. I am enjoying driving and am getting fuel economy of about 70mpg it but do have a couple of questions –

    The car is taking a while to ‘warm up’ meaning I am having to travel about 4 miles before the EV kicks in. Is this usual??

    Is there anyway to decrease the sensitivity of the Lane departure system so that it only activates on speeds of 50mph for example?

    Why does the brightness of the dash and screen alter so much? Is there any way to change this do that it stays a consistent brightness?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Thanks for your comment, we are glad to hear that your new Yaris Cross is serving you well.
      Firstly, the warm up phase is normal, the system operates the engine at operating temperature for fuel economy reasons.
      Secondly, the Lane Trace Assist function operates at speeds above 32mph for safety reasons.
      Finally, display / instrument panel lighting can be adjusted, it requires the side light to be in operation. External day/night conditions can also have an effect on the illumination.
      Full details of all systems are shown in the Online Owners manual at:
      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

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