It's impossible to buy a new hybrid SUV for under $30,000 without a Toyota badge attached.
Priced from $28,990 before on-road costs, the Yaris Cross GX 2WD Hybrid as tested here costs just $2000 more than the petrol-only version. The GXL and Urban flagship add another $3000 apiece, as does all-wheel drive on each grade. The latter brings a second electric motor fitted to the rear axle to provide pure-electric AWD assistance.
The cheapest non-Yaris hybrid alternative is the $35,490 Subaru XV 2.0 Hybrid L AWD, followed by the larger Toyota RAV4 GX 2WD Hybrid from $37,070, and then $40,000-plus for the popular Subaru Forester and other RAV4 hybrid variants. Likewise, the cheapest diesel – SsangYong’s Tivoli ELX – starts from $1K more than the cheapest Yaris Cross Hybrid.
There isn’t much choice for high-economy minded crossover consumers right now.
Interestingly, since the related Yaris supermini hybrid does not yet come in a base (Ascent Sport) grade, the Yaris Cross Hybrid actually costs $30 less on the mid-spec Yaris SX Hybrid, further underlining the hybrid baby SUV’s startling value for money.
The GX is also very reasonably equipped.
On the safety front you’ll find eight airbags including front centre airbags to help stop the front passenger and driver colliding into one another in a lateral impact. There's also Toyota’s ‘Pre-collision safety system’ with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), pedestrian (day/night) and cyclist (day) detection, daytime intersection assistance, emergency steering assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, speed-sign recognition, auto high beam, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, traction control, stability control, active cornering assist, cross-wind assist, four-wheel disc brakes, reverse camera, SOS emergency call, stolen vehicle tracker and ISOFIX child restraint anchors.
For a Rear Cross Traffic Alert, parking support braking, blind-spot monitor, panoramic surround-view monitor and front and rear parking sensors you’ll need the GXL for another $3000 – and that also adds satellite navigation.
The cheapest Yaris Cross also ushers in a 7.0-inch touchscreen, digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, six-speaker audio, voice-recognition technology, digital instrument cluster, trip computer, climate control, keyless entry/start, power windows, electric park brake, tilt/telescopic steering wheel adjustment, 40/20/40-split folding rear seat backs, auto-folding exterior mirrors, a dual-level cargo floor, 16-inch alloys and a temporary spare. Note there are only single-USB and 12-volt power sockets.
Adding premium paint costs $500 and two-tone paint is $450.
Toyota is obviously very serious about the hybrid-powered Yaris Cross making an impact. There’s a lot of kit in the GX for the money, even as a base model.