The Toyota Yaris Cross, positioned just below the “big brother” Corolla Cross, owns a new design and many modern features that will surely shake up the already cramped B-segment crossover segment with tough competitors like the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-30…

In the first 5 months of 2023, the “ace” of the Toyota brand, the Toyota Vios, frequently submerged in underwhelming sales results before the introduction of the new model. To regain its momentum, the Vios is expected to take a few more months. In the meantime, the Corolla Cross continues to demonstrate its staying power by consistently being in the top 5 best-selling cars in Vietnam since the beginning of the year.

Alongside the Corolla Cross, the Toyota Veloz has also gained some business advantage in the context of the declining performance of the Toyota Vios. Especially due to the impact of the economic situation, the car market in 2023 is facing many obstacles. In light of this situation, Toyota Vietnam is preparing to introduce a new “trump card” to turn the tables, and that is the Yaris Cross. So why is that? – First, let’s consider the success of the Corolla Cross.

The Toyota Corolla Cross was launched globally in Thailand in July 2020 and took just one month to reach Vietnam in August 2020. The B-segment crossover quickly attracted users and consistently appeared in the top-selling cars every month since its launch. Toyota Corolla Cross has made a breakthrough in design, modern and spacious equipment, safety, durability, and even hybrid green technology that helps save fuel and protect the environment. These factors have made the Corolla Cross a strong contender in the hearts of consumers and have secured a stable position, leading to its launch in the North American and Japanese markets – a backward sequence that proves its success!

The trend of customers shifting from sedans to crossovers has long been predicted in the automotive world, and this process is happening very strongly. Toyota quickly seized the opportunity to bring the Yaris Cross to Vietnam, applying the winning formula that made the Corolla Cross successful.

From the new design to the full list of features, including the hybrid version, Toyota has provided the same for the Yaris Cross as it did for the Corolla Cross. Moreover, the B-segment crossover is sure to have a more attractive price than its big brother, filling the gap of 600 – 700 million VND below the Corolla Cross – a segment that Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, and Mazda CX-3 / CX-30 are actively exploiting with great efficiency. So let’s find out what the “high-riding Vios” coming to Vietnam has to offer.

First of all, let’s take a look at the general evaluation of the “insiders” – Mr. Henry Tanoto, the President of Toyota Astra Indonesia, shared: “This small SUV offers more opportunity for customers to access an environmentally friendly vehicle at a more affordable price, with more comfortable and modern amenities, while still maintaining the basic driving ability and reliability of a daily urban high-riding vehicle.”

Being environmentally friendly is the factor that Mr. Henry puts first. That’s because the 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is equipped with a hybrid engine with the 2NR-VEX code, including a 1.5L I4 petrol engine combined with a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor. This hybrid configuration gives the Yaris Cross a power output of up to 110 horsepower and even an all-electric EV mode.

Meanwhile, the internal combustion engine version shares its configuration with the Avanza – Veloz duo, with a 1.5L 2NR-VE petrol engine providing 104.5 horsepower and 138 Nm of torque. This is sufficient to handle all asphalt roads in Vietnam with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Real-world experience shows that the 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is very driver-friendly: the electrically adjustable leather seats fit snugly and comfortably, the 4-way adjustable steering wheel easily accommodates various body types. When stepping on the accelerator, the electric motor takes precedence, resulting in a smooth and silent start.

Thanks to the hybrid powertrain, the car feels very responsive and has instant acceleration. On the top-notch GR variant, the driver is also equipped with paddle shifters on the steering wheel to actively seek more enjoyable driving experiences.

The sound insulation capability of the 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is quite good when operating at low and medium speeds. The supple suspension ensures a comfortable experience when passing over speed bumps or road humps. The feeling of continuous zig-zag steering at low speeds is also quite enjoyable.

Notably, the car has an impressive turning radius of only 4.2 meters, making it extremely maneuverable and convenient in densely populated, tight areas. This is an impressive feature compared to the HR-V or Creta.

According to Mr. Fumitaka Kawashima, Marketing Director of the Toyota Astra Indonesia Joint Venture, this urban SUV offers a fun driving experience while aiming to achieve the carbon neutrality target set by the global Toyota group: “The 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is very suitable for the diverse usage needs of Indonesian consumers. The value that this car brings compared to the price is extremely attractive and this is an important factor to consider.”

Safety is also highly regarded, as the 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is equipped with a range of attractive standard features: electronic parking brake with Auto Hold, 6 airbags, ABS-EBD-BA brakes, rear parking sensors, emergency brake lights, hill start assist, body control, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, and even a small fire extinguisher in the glove compartment beneath the dashboard.

The higher-end versions of the Yaris Cross are equipped with a complete TSS safety package, including: adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic collision avoidance braking, automatic high/low beam headlights, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, pedal misapplication warning, moving vehicle detection, and even parking assistance in restricted areas.

The notable convenience features of the 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross include: a 360-degree camera, panoramic electric sunroof, power-adjustable driver’s seat, wireless phone charging, and power tailgate with kick-sensor. These are all bright spots compared to competitors such as the Kia Seltos or Hyundai Creta, which have to sacrifice equipment to offer attractive prices.

The 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is built on the DNGA platform of Daihatsu, Toyota’s subsidiary for developing markets, different from the Yaris and Yaris Cross models sold in premium markets like Japan, North America, and Europe with the TNGA-B platform. Therefore, many details and equipment in the car are very familiar, especially the steering wheel, gear lever, dashboard… shared with Raize, Veloz, Avanza…

Similarly to the Toyota Raize, the Yaris Cross is equipped with a TFT screen behind the steering wheel with a size of 7 inches. Meanwhile, the center infotainment touchscreen is 10 inches; it comes with interior ambient lighting, and both front seats are power-adjustable. Furthermore, users can also install the T-Intouch app to remotely control the car through their smartphone.

2023 Toyota Yaris Cross has overall dimensions of WxDxH: 4,310 x 1,770 x 1,615 mm – smaller than the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Creta in the B-segment crossover segment. On the contrary, the car provides the most spacious interior in the segment – something that Toyota has done very well in the past.

Real-world experience shows that passengers with a height of about 1.7m can still comfortably sit and stretch their legs in the rear seats when the front seats are properly adjusted. The headroom clearance between the head and the rooftop is also very good. The Yaris Cross’s luggage space is also among the most spacious in the B-segment crossover segment, with a volume of 452 – 458L depending on the version and can be expanded up to 800L.

The car’s ground clearance promises a comfortable ride on asphalt roads and can handle light off-road terrain. Especially, the 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is being launched with 10 exterior color options, including 7 solid colors and 3 dual-tone combinations. Like the Raize, Toyota ensures that customers can confidently show off their personality with the desired paint color for the Yaris Cross.

Prior to its recent launch in Indonesia on June 13, 2023, the Toyota Yaris Cross was produced at the company’s factory in Karawang, West Java, and Toyota plans to export the Yaris Cross to 25 different markets worldwide, including Vietnam. The car’s battery pack is imported from Japan.

In Indonesia, the Toyota Yaris Cross is available in 6 versions (4 regular engine versions and 2 hybrid versions), with prices ranging from 351 – 711 million Vietnamese Dong – extremely attractive compared to competitors. Moreover, this price range does not yet include other appealing promotions such as an 8-year or 160,000 km battery warranty; free T-Care package for the first 7 maintenance intervals (including service costs and spare parts), 3-year or 60,000 km warranty extended by an additional year or 20,000 km if serviced regularly at authorized service centers….

Particularly in Indonesia, users can subscribe to a plan (6 million Indonesian Rupiah per month – equivalent to 1/60 of the car’s value; a minimum of 36 months and a maximum of 60 months) to be able to use the car without having to purchase it outright, through the attractive Kinto program. The Kinto car rental policy allows customers to directly use the car without worrying about taxes, registration fees, insurance, breakdown services, and even maintenance costs, including tire and battery replacement.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, dealers have started accepting deposits for the Toyota Yaris Cross since around May 2023. The car is expected to be launched in August 2023 with two high-end versions priced from 680 – 720 million Vietnamese Dong. The estimated delivery time will take place in September.

Anh Phan (Tuoitrethudo)