It sits slightly above the current S$100k sweet spot for what many consider as mainstream family cars in Singapore, but it’s also very liberally packed with safety gear and technology. The very clean A2 VES rating already gives it a S$15,000 rebate factored into the price tag. In other words, this could have been a much more expensive car, but in 2021 VES means the Year of the Ox is also the Year of the Hybrid.
There are only two variants to speak of in the form of the Active and Excite, with a S$5,000 price difference between them. They are demarcated by trim and accessory add-ons rather than engine or safety equipment levels so if you are conscious of price you can simply opt for the cheaper version and you really don’t lose out on much.
Its very big brother would be the newly-launched Toyota Harrier, though a car in a similar price bracket would be the Hyundai Avante. But the Avante is a sedan and if you’re looking for SUV styling the Hyundai Kona Hybrid would be closer in spirit, but also slightly larger and more expensive.
The Kia Stonic is also a very affordable and sound competitor though it’s smaller and without hybrid tech. However you could perhaps argue that whatever extra you spend on the Yaris Cross you will gain back from the car’s awesome fuel economy.
To sum up, Toyota’s first offering of the year is a not large and in charge, but small and stands tall. The Yaris Cross isn’t just another small crossover, it packs hybrid tech, lots of safety, practicality, and decent driving dynamics into a fashionable and desirable package. Like the Corolla Altis did last year, it raises the bar on what to expect at the all-important S$100k mark for mainstream cars.
Okay, we admit it: When we made that prediction at the start of the story, we already had some insider info: The Yaris Cross is already a hot seller here. If you’re entertaining thoughts of getting a new one quickly, it’s best to get in the line quickly and temper your expectations at the same time because Borneo Motors’ first shipment sold out fast, and next deliveries only start at the end of April 2021.
|Engine||1,490cc, inline 3|
|Power||91hp at 5500rpm|
|Torque||120Nm at 3600-4800rpm|
|Battery||Lithium ion, unknown capacity|
|Total System Power||110hp|
|Price||S$107,888 with COE|
|Verdict||Safe, easy to drive, stylish and economical, this is going to be the next big mainstream hit|