While the 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid might be the brand’s smallest hybrid SUV, it leaves a big impression everywhere it goes.

What we love
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Roomy interior space
  • Not too heavy, not too light spec balance

What we don’t
  • Small infotainment screen
  • Narrow rear doors
  • Powertrain lacks punch




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Is the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid a good car?

In this 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid GXL review, we’ll endeavour to find out what Toyota’s smallest hybrid SUV brings to the table.

Toyota has played a clever hand leveraging its well-known Yaris nameplate and adding a ‘Cross’ suffix so that the new model hits the ground running. Sales figures agree, with Yaris sales in decline, but the Yaris Cross more than picking up where the little hatch left off.

Squaring off against long-running and well-known models like the Mazda CX-3, more premium-skewed cars like the Ford Puma, and sharply priced volume sellers like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic, Toyota’s compact crossover has its work cut out for it.



At first glance, the Yaris Cross range is fairly simple with just three trim levels, GC, GXL and range-topping Urban. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll need to decide if you want a petrol-only front-wheel-drive model or a hybrid with either front- or all-wheel drive.

The middle-of-the-pack option we have here is a Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid GXL 2WD, with Toyota’s fuel-sipping petrol-electric hybrid tech on board. GXL spec also adds in features like LED headlights, satellite navigation, and safety tech like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Pricing for the range kicks off at $26,990 plus on-road costs for the petrol Yaris Cross GX, and for the better-equipped GXL pricing steps up to $29,990 plus on-road costs. Opting for a hybrid adds $2000 on top, making the car tested here a $31,990 starter before options and on-road costs.



Key details 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid GXL
Price (MSRP) $31,990 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Lunar Blue
Options Metallic paint – $575
Price as tested $32,565 plus on-road costs
$36,798 drive-away (Melbourne)
Rivals Mazda CX-3 | Volkswagen T-Cross | Ford Puma

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What is the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid like inside?

Because the Yaris Cross is a slightly larger car overall than the Yaris it borrows its name (and quite a bit of its mechanical package) from, there’s more room to move inside.

Overall, the Yaris Cross is 24cm longer and 8.5cm taller, and the result is more useful rear seat space and head room. It’s also 7cm wider, too, though the external upsize doesn’t immediately relate to the same amount of growth inside.

The decor is a mix of fun, fresh ideas and traditional Toyota thinking. The black-on-black colour scheme isn’t too daring, but some of the design elements, like the chunky door pulls and window switches that shroud the doorhandles, show Toyota wanted to have a little fun.



It all works coherently, and is designed in such a way as to provide lots of storage nooks in the dash and doors.

Oddly, Toyota has opted not to fit a traditional centre armrest and console bin, leaving things exposed. A little covered storage feels like a missed trick.

Cloth-trimmed seats, single-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel contribute a few nice-to-have features, but the Yaris Cross GXL is still more utilitarian than premium.

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With a slightly higher seat position, the Yaris Cross is nice and easy to slide in and out of. No need to drop in or clamber out. Even with the added size, the rear doors do feel a touch narrow, so aren’t the easiest to access – especially for trying to load in a squirming little one.

The boot offers 390L of storage space, and the seats can be folded with a 40:20:40 split seat back allowing a long-item pass-through, or fully folding depending on what you’d like to carry.

The boot floor has a 60:40 split, too, and can be set in a high or low position, either to increase overall carrying depth or line up with the folded seat backs. The boot walls carry shallow bag hooks (not ideal for bulky green shopping bags), and there’s a space-saver spare tyre included.

2022 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid GXL
Seats Five
Boot volume 390L seats up
Length 4180mm
Width 1765mm
Height 1590mm
Wheelbase 2560mm

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How big is the screen in the Toyota Yaris Cross?

Ahead of the driver is a quaint alarm-clock-style instrument cluster. Not quite the digital instrument display seen on rivals, but simple and easy to decipher at a glance.

All models in the Yaris Cross range are fitted with the same 7.0-inch touchscreen display, but the GXL adds in satellite navigation alongside Bluetooth, digital radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via a wired connection.

Toyota’s stock system is relatively basic, but also quick and easy to learn and get used to. Shortcut buttons to functions at the sides of the screen help here too.



In the face of bigger, more powerful systems from rivals, Toyota’s effort is fine but doesn’t push boundaries in any way.

A six-speaker sound system delivers passable audio if you’re just trying to catch up on the cricket scores, but if you’re a bit of an audiophile you won’t find concert hall quality here.

The infotainment system itself is not ‘live’ or connected to the internet, but it is possible to connect via the myToyota app for services like vehicle location, fuel level, or if windows are closed and the car is locked.

Stolen vehicle tracking, automatic collision notifications and emergency call functions are also available.

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Is the Toyota Yaris Cross a safe car?

The Yaris Cross range has been awarded a five-star safety score based on 2021 crash dates. The Yaris Cross scored 86 per cent in adult and child occupant protection, 78 per cent for vulnerable road user (pedestrian and cyclist) protection, and 82 per cent for safety assist systems.

Active safety features – under the Toyota Safety Sense banner – include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, lane-trace assist, emergency steering assist, lane-departure alert, daytime intersection turn assist, road sign assist, and adaptive radar cruise control.



The GXL also adds in blind-spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert.

On test, the lane-trace system, which is designed to read lane markings and hold the car between them, didn’t always feel as smooth and fluent as I’d have liked. For the most part, though, the Yaris Cross assist features avoided false alerts and alarms, and worked well with the driver.

2022 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid GXL
ANCAP rating Five stars (tested 2021)
Safety report Link to ANCAP report

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How much is the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid in Australia?

While the Yaris, years ago, used to fall into the cheap and cheerful light car category, the Yaris Cross has its hand out for more. With a $31,990 entry ticket before options and on-road costs, it is more expensive than even the cheapest version of the larger Corolla Hybrid.

The Yaris Cross is not alone here, of course. Fellow segment competitors like the Nissan Juke and Ford Puma are positioned similarly for mid-spec models. Both do tend to have the Yaris Cross beaten on interior presentation and plushness, but right now, the Toyota is the only fuel-saving hybrid option in its class, giving it a unique point of difference.

Toyota’s warranty period covers five years with no kilometre limit for private buyers. By keeping your car within the Toyota service network, an extra two years of engine and driveline warranty, and up to a decade of hybrid battery warranty, are also added by Toyota.

At a glance 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid GXL
Warranty Five years / unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $645 (3 years), $1075 (5 years)

A capped-price program over the first five years sees each service priced at just $215 per visit, but from there the cost of individual services rises.



During our time with the Yaris Cross Hybrid, it certainly lived up to its fuel-saving goal. With a manufacturer’s claim of just 3.8 litres per 100km, the Yaris Cross is one of the most frugal light SUVs you can buy.

On test it stuck close to its claim returning 4.0L/100km during my week of shuffling to and from work, and keeping it mostly contained within town.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 3.8L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 4.0L/100km
Fuel type 91-octane regular unleaded
Fuel tank size 36L

What is the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid like to drive?

At times, the Yaris Cross’s hybrid system (and that of the closely related Yaris hatch) feels like one of Toyota’s most ‘complete’ powertrains.

A combination of light weight and decent battery capacity, for a system of this kind, means the Yaris Cross makes solid use of the electric side of its hybrid system. More so than a Corolla or RAV4 hybrid might.

While the mature hybrid system and its surprising ability to run around town while minimising use of the petrol engine is impressive, the low power and torque outputs tend to leave the compact crossover feeling a touch breathless as you pick up the pace.

Add in the noticeable din from the petrol engine when it springs to life, and it paints the Yaris Cross Hybrid as a car that’s better not being rushed. Performance is not this hybrid’s strong suit.



As a short-hop town shuttle, though, the Yaris Cross stacks up brilliantly.

The CVT automatic works seamlessly dividing power between the petrol engine and electric motor. It’s rarely caught napping, and is swift to adapt to driver inputs for more speed – albeit at the car’s own leisurely pace.

The extra suspension travel means you’ll make it out of driveways without scraping, but the added travel doesn’t result in a cushy ride. While it tries to ride out bumps and dips, the little Yaris Cross often can’t keep up with repeated suspension hits and starts to bounce through, rather than over, high-frequency surfaces.

It’s never unsettled or nervous, just a bit more active than you might expect. Again, Toyota’s smallest SUV feels much more in its element on city streets than it does on rural highways, though it’s hardly out of its depth away from the city.

The steering is light and parking is a breeze, with the compact Yaris Cross being no problem at all to roll down narrow lanes or into pinched car park spaces.

Key details 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid GXL
Engine 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol hybrid
Power 67kW @ 5500rpm petrol
59kW electric
85kW combined
Torque 120Nm @ 3800–4800rpm petrol
141Nm electric
Drive type Front-wheel drive
Transmission Continuously variable automatic
Power to weight ratio 69kW/t
Weight (kerb) 1235kg
Tow rating 400kg braked, 400kg unbraked
Turning circle 10.6m

Should I buy a Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid?

While it may not be a glowing top-of-the-class effort, the 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross gets so much right. It is well equipped without being overstuffed, frugal in the real world, and compact and easy to live with in the confines of the city.



As the biggest seller of hybrid cars in Australia, Toyota keeps finding new market segments into which it can introduce the fuel-saving tech, and that is to be applauded.

While the hybrid system comes with a surcharge, the close-to-claimed fuel consumption and Toyota’s low-priced servicing mean out-of-pocket expenses during the ownership experience should be largely surprise-free.

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Ratings Breakdown

2022 Toyota Yaris Cross GXL Wagon

7.8/ 10

Performance

Handling & Dynamics

Driver Technology

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Infotainment & Connectivity

Fuel Efficiency

Value for Money

Fit for Purpose

Budget Direct

Insurance from

$853/yr

Estimate details

Kez Casey

Kez Casey migrated from behind spare parts counters to writing about cars over ten years ago. Raised by a family of automotive workers, Kez grew up in workshops and panel shops before making the switch to reviews and road tests for The Motor Report, Drive and CarAdvice.

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