The latter area is the latest area filled by the compact Toyota clan, thanks to the arrival of the new Yaris Cross. And much like the GR Yaris we referenced in the last paragraph, it doesn’t share much with the standard Yaris supermini other than a name.
It sits on the same GA-B architecture and has an identical wheelbase, but the bodywork is all new. Plus, in terms of styling, the car’s boxy, angular aesthetic puts it closer to the bigger Rav-4 than the Yaris. It’s 240mm longer than the platform-mate, has a 30mm higher ground clearance and is 90mm taller overall.
Powertrain-wise, the Cross will get the same 1.5-litre inline-three hybrid unit as the Yaris hatch, good for 115bhp. Toyota has previously claimed that in the Yaris, the setup can cover the average urban journey solely on electric power for 80 per cent of the time. The standard version is front-wheel drive, although there will be an optional all-wheel drive system.
Along with the inevitable increase in interior space, Toyota has fiddled with other areas to ensure the Cross trumps the standard Yaris in terms of practicality. There’s a 40/20/40 split-folding rear bench, a “flex belt” system to keep luggage in place (just in case there are any Yaris Cross drivers out there who want to hoon), and a foldable boot floor.
The latter device can be left up to provide under-floor storage, dropped entirely for loading bulkier items, or - since it’s split in the middle - set both ways at the same time.
The B-segment crossover is set to be a big seller for Toyota when it becomes available early next year. For 2021 the Japanese company is expecting to shift 150,000 of the things, helping the Yaris range as a whole to make up a huge chunk of Toyota’s overall sales.