Toyota Urban Cruiser: driven

  • Boxy, chunky and roomy
  • Costs from £14,500
  • Aimed at those with 'active lifestyles'
Price: from £14,500
On sale: May
You'll like: Well equipped; roomy; decent handling
You won't: Far too expensive; drab interior

Urban Cruiser might sound like the kind of person who engages in dubious night-time activities, but Toyota would rather you view it as something much more appealing. What, exactly? Well, think of it as a supermini-plus and you're along the right lines.

Toyota reckons the Urban Cruiser will appeal to buyers that want the low running costs and compact size of conventional superminis, but due to their 'active lifestyles' or a simple desire to be different, demand more. The kind of people that might choose a Mini, Kia Soul, Citroën C3 Picasso or even small four-wheel drive-cars such as the Suzuki SX4.

What's it like
Inside the boxy, chunky body, there's plenty of cabin space. Everything feels solid, too, but the design and plastics aren't as imaginative as Toyota's bold marketing claims for the car.

The driving experience is more engaging, thanks to tidy handling and responsive steering, although the downside is a firm, rather fidgety ride.

There are two versions to choose from – a front-wheel-drive 1.3 petrol with an engine stop/start system or a 1.4 diesel with four-wheel drive and slightly higher ground clearance. Both engines provide decent punch, but the diesel is far more flexible.

The single trim level provides plenty of kit, including climate control, alloy wheels, seven airbags, stability control and Bluetooth. You'd expect nothing less for the money, however – the petrol costs a whopping £14,500, while the diesel will set you back £16,400. When you consider what else that could buy, the Urban Cruiser doesn't seem so appealing after all.

Our verdict:
Hard to see the appeal at this price

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