Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Toyota Yaris Cross is available only as a hybrid with one engine option: a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol that works with an electric motor to improve performance and efficiency.
It's not the quickest small SUV out there. Indeed, the Yaris Cross’s 0-62mph time of 11.2sec (11.8sec with optional four-wheel drive) makes it slower than any Ford Puma or Skoda Kamiq. It's lively enough to accelerate up to motorway speeds without any bother, though.
The majority of models in the Yaris Cross range are front-wheel drive, but the higher trims (Dynamic and Premiere Edition) offer four-wheel drive. That’s rare in the small SUV category and makes the Yaris Cross more capable on muddy trails and slippery fields, although it's no Toyota Land Cruiser so don’t expect it to climb mountains.
What about the ride? Well, the Yaris Cross is firmer than the Kamiq and T-Roc, with a bit more fidget on motorways and a tendency to thump if you hit a pothole, but it’s never uncomfortable. The cars we’ve tried so far were fitted with 17in alloy wheels, and we would expect the entry-level Icon trim, which comes with 16in wheels, to ride more smoothly.
The advantage of stiffer suspension is tidy body control. Combined with decent grip and the sense of connection you get through its accurate steering, the Yaris Cross is quite fun to drive, although the Puma continues to set the standard in this area, while also offering a slightly more supple ride.