Toyota Yaris Cross hybrid performance, engine & drive

Performance isn’t awe-inspiring, but the Yaris Cross is powerful enough for day-to-day driving and does well around town

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Performance, engine & drive rating

3.0 out of 5

Model0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
Yaris Cross11.6s105mphFront114bhp
Yaris Cross AWD-i11.2s105mphFour114bhp

All versions of the Yaris Cross have the same hybrid powertrain, featuring a small electric motor and a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. This is identical to what's under the bonnet of the Yaris hatchback and makes a combined 114bhp. However, you do get a choice of either front or all-wheel drive, with the latter 'AWD-i' version getting an extra electric motor to power the rear wheels. The only transmission option for the Yaris Cross is Toyota's 'e-CVT' automatic gearbox.

Toyota Yaris Cross hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

The front-wheel-drive Yaris Cross can accelerate from 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds, while the all-wheel-drive version can do the same in 11.2 seconds. Both have the same top speed: 105mph. Not exactly jaw-dropping performance, then, but the Yaris Cross is certainly on par with rivals like the Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro and Renault Arkana and Captur hybrid SUVs, and doesn't make you feel like a hindrance on the road.

There aren’t too many driving modes: just a default setting, plus Eco, Power, EV and B – the latter increases the regenerative braking effect felt when you lift off the accelerator. In EV mode, the electric motor is sufficient for short stints around town until either the battery runs out or you do more than 30mph. Above this speed, the car runs in hybrid mode, deciding for itself when to use either petrol, electricity or a combination of the two.

While CVT gearboxes generally haven't impressed in cars we’ve tested in the past, the Yaris Cross' transmission is fairly well behaved; it’s very difficult to detect the changing from petrol to electric power with no sudden surges or roaring from the engine.

Handling

The Yaris Cross has pretty good body control in corners for a compact SUV and feels relatively composed on the road. Its steering is also good, but the ride may be too firm for some. It’s not the most scintillating compact SUV you can buy right now, but it feels solid. The new GR Sport trim promises better steering than other versions, although we can’t say for sure until we’ve tested it ourselves.

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