New Toyota Yaris Cross Dynamic rugged hybrid SUV unveiled

The more off-road-focused version of the small hybrid SUV will go on sale later this year, alongside the other trim levels for the upcoming Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross Dynamic - Exterior

Toyota has unveiled the Yaris Cross Dynamic, a more rugged trim level for its upcoming Yaris Cross small hybrid SUV. The largest differences between the Dynamic and other Yaris Cross models concern the new bumpers and rear protection plate, which share more styling cues with the Toyota RAV4 than the Yaris hybrid supermini this car shares its platform and engine with.

Yaris Cross Dynamic cars will come with 18-inch black alloys and silver roof rails, and are available with Toyota's all-wheel-drive system (labelled AWD-i). The interior will include a leather steering wheel and gearlever, piano-black and warm gold interior trim and faux leather seats.  

However, the Premiere Edition of the Yaris Cross Dynamic will come with leather seats, exclusive 18-inch machined alloy wheels and a hands-free powered boot. As well as a head-up display and two-tone paint. The rest of the Yaris Cross Dynamic looks the same to the standard Yaris Cross which is also expected to go on sale this year, following its online debut last year.

Toyota's new 'B-segment' hybrid SUV is designed to sit beneath the company’s existing C-HR and RAV4 models. It's aimed squarely at rivals like the plug-in hybrid Renault Captur and electric Peugeot e-2008, as well as myriad petrol models such as the latest Nissan Juke. The Yaris Cross is the second model to sit on Toyota’s compact platform.

The Yaris Cross and Yaris Cross Dynamic will be powered by the same small electric motor and 114bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that sits under the bonnet of the Yaris. Toyota says front-wheel-drive models will emit less than 120g/km of CO2m while the all-wheel-drive Cross Dynamic will come under the 135g/km mark.

The regular Yaris Cross has a recognisable front end, albeit with a smaller, more upright grille than the conventional Yaris. Like the supermini, it gets a set of sharp vents ahead of the front wheelarches, as well as distinctive LED daytime running lights. Those arches are much boxier on the SUV, emphasised further by the ride height, which has been raised by 30mm.

Similar to the Yaris, the Cross and Cross Dynamic get darkened tail-lights complimented by full-width black trim featuring the familiar Toyota logo. Those slashes in the front bumper are mirrored at the rear. The number plate sits high on the tailgate – just like it does on the C-HR and RAV4 models.

At 4,180mm long, the Yaris Cross is 240mm longer than the Yaris. The wheelbase is the same, however, meaning internal packaging isn’t likely to be affected. However, with extra length over the front and rear axles, we expect the Yaris Cross to boast a slightly bigger boot.

Inside, the cabin looks to prioritise functionality over design flair. The large central touchscreen sits on top of the dashboard, with physical climate-control buttons and switches beneath. Interestingly, the initial images show the screen displaying Apple CarPlay rather than Toyota's in-house infotainment system – an oft-criticised element of Toyota interiors.

It appears as if the dials will be at least partly digital, with what looks like a large central speedometer flanked by a pair of supplementary readout. There overall theme is inside is quite dark, although blue ambient lighting does a good job of lifting the appearance.

Toyota says the Yaris Cross "blends Toyota’s extensive small-car experience with its strong SUV heritage." It'll get the company's latest hybrid powertrain technology, plus the intelligent all-wheel-drive system that's already available on the larger RAV4 SUV, as well as the Toyota Prius hybrid family hatchback.

That all-wheel-drive capability is unusual in this segment, as most models favour a more efficient front-wheel-drive setup. As such, the Toyota can also count cars like the Suzuki Jimny, Mazda CX-3 and Jeep Renegade among its rivals. The Yaris Cross AWD-i operates in front-wheel-drive mode in normal driving, using the rear axle in low-grip situations.

In addition, the Yaris Cross will feature a wealth of driver-assistance systems, including a suite of Toyota Safety Sense programs. While these haven’t been listed in full just yet, Toyota says the SUV will be able to take over with “automatic braking and steering intervention” when necessary.