Toyota Yaris Cross long-term test: report 3

The Toyota Yaris Cross is the most efficient car we've ever tested, but now our car reviewer is finding out if there's more to this small SUV than just thrifty motoring...

Toyota Yaris Cross long term at Mazda CX-60 launch

The car Toyota Yaris Cross Design Run by Max Adams, Reviewer

Why it’s here To provide ULEZ-busting travel, save money on running costs and find out if hybrid power is a viable option for someone who can't charge their car at home

Needs to Prove that it is as efficient as our True MPG test promises it to be, and be as trouble-free as Toyota’s reputation suggests

Mileage 3081 List price £26,530 Target price £25,187 Price as tested £25,431 Test economy 54.9mpg Official economy 62.7mpg

7 May 2023 – Scotch mist

One of the major selling points of a hybrid car such as my Toyota Yaris Cross is that you get some electric car benefits, but less chance of the range anxiety that can occur on long trips.

However, the tiny 36-litre fuel tank does make me a little apprehensive about tackling longer journeys, so the opportunity to drive to the outskirts of Edinburgh to test the new diesel-engined Mazda CX-60 seemed like the ideal excuse to find out if the Yaris Cross has what it takes as a motorway road trip companion.

I’d been given the option of either flying, driving or taking the train to Scotland. I’d ruled out flying on the grounds that domestic flights are really bad for the environment, plus it wouldn’t have saved all that much time once I’d factored in driving to London City airport, checking in and getting a transfer to the event.

Toyota Yaris Cross drive mode button

Taking the train was another option, but I’d dismissed that as well because it would have cost far more than the fuel my Yaris Cross would have used, on top of the price of a hotel room at the venue the night before the launch. All things considered, taking the car was the most sensible option.

I set myself the challenge of trying to get up there on one tank, which is no small order when you have more than 400 miles to cover and just shy of eight gallons of fuel to complete them with. To give myself the best possible chance of making it, I decided to use the car’s Eco mode.

I don’t usually use Eco mode because it takes away some of the accelerator pedal's crispness, but on this occasion, it did help to encourage more gentle acceleration and ensure the electric motor, rather than the 1.5-litre petrol engine, was driving the car as much as possible. At times, such gentle acceleration allowed the engine to shut off even when cruising at speed, helping to save even more fuel.

Toyota Yaris Cross long term fuel gauge empty

The aim was to achieve 60mpg, and I very nearly managed it when I calculated the consumption (using figures from the pump) to be 59.9mpg. I did ignore the car’s very conservative range estimate for about 30 miles before I finally filled up when I reached Edinburgh. I know that sounds like madness, but I'd already worked out that the low fuel warning tends to come on when there's still 50-60 miles of range left.

For the return journey, I drove normally in the standard driving mode – to see how far the consumption would drop, of course, rather than because I just really wanted to get home.

In the end, consumption rose to 50.6mpg, which isn’t horrendous given that it was all on motorways (where hybrid cars are often less efficient) and the rather bluff Yaris Cross isn't the most aerodynamic of shapes. I did have to refuel during the return journey, however, so it looks like I’ll be using Eco mode and taking things a little more slowly for the next long trip I make.

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