• Toyota's new Urban Cruiser debuts in South Africa.
• The crossover is based on Suzuki's Vitara Brezza.
• Pricing for the Urban Cruiser starts at R247 900.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Ushering in the next instalment in Toyota's passenger car expansion strategy is the new Urban Cruiser. Built on the architecture that underpins the Suzuki Vitara Brezza, the Urban Cruiser aims to be a fun, affordable and compact crossover vehicle.
The Urban Cruiser is the second product of the Toyota-Suzuki alliance (following the Starlet).
Exterior and interior styling
The Urban Cruiser features rugged urban styling replete with a raised stance, textured side- and wheel-arch mouldings and bumper guards. The front features a large radiator grille with two horizontal slats and centrally-mounted Toyota insignia - flanked by chrome accent strips and LED projector headlamps (standard across the range).
The side profile continues the 'squared-off' look, with short overhangs that are accentuated by the black wheel mouldings flowing into the lower bumper sections. Toyota says that roof rails (where fitted) and a roof spoiler add to the 'urban aesthetics'.
Moving to the rear, large rectangular taillights are complemented by a large tailgate garnish embossed with "Urban Cruiser". Echoing the front, the lower apron is finished in textured black with a silver 'diffuser' section.
The cabin's upper fascia houses the large touchscreen infotainment system and ventilation outlets with a piano-black frame. The lower section incorporates the climate control switchgear, a storage compartment and power/USB outlets.
A three-spoke steering wheel (leather-sheathed for the Xr model) with metallic inserts and steering switches provides classic control.
The black fabric seats feature a honeycomb pattern, with the rest of the interior finished off in hard-wearing black, featuring a textured pattern. Large door pockets, glove compartment and additional oddment binnacles provide convenient storage spaces, says Toyota.
Dimensions and size
Toyota says its Urban Cruiser was designed around the 'compact on the outside, spacious on the inside' mantra. The vehicle makes use of a relatively short overall length of 3995mm. The large rear tailgate has been designed to accommodate a large aperture - to make loading items easier. In addition, the luggage capacity of 328 litres can further be expanded by the folding rear seats.
A class-leading towing capacity of 400kg unbraked and 1100kg braked ramps up the utility factor.
Engine and chassis
The Urban Cruiser is powered by a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine delivering 77kW and 138Nm. Fuel consumption is registered at a frugal 6.2-litres/100km, while CO2 emissions fall within the 145 to 147g/km range. The top speed is 170 km/h.
Buyers have the option of a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission (depending on the grade chosen) - all driving the front wheels.
A traditional McPherson strut front suspension layout has been adopted, with a Torsion Beam design in the rear aiding packaging and manufacturing costs. The vehicle is fitted with 16-inch wheels - steel versions on the entry model and alloy for the rest - which in turn are shod with either 205-60-R16 or 215-60-R16 tyres.
Grades and specification
A three-grade strategy has been adopted, using the now-familiar Toyota grade names Xi, Xs and Xr. The entry-level Xi model features keyless entry with push start, electric windows all round, air-conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering, power-adjustable mirrors, LED headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Rear Park Distance Control (PDC) offers drivers additional peace of mind.
The touchscreen infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing users seamless smartphone connectivity. With this functionality, occupants can access and display Google Maps, Waze and Apple Maps for navigational duty while also streaming their favourite music from apps such as Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud and JOOX.
Text and messaging-service messages can be read out to the user, with speech-to-text functionality ensuring safe communication while driving. Bluetooth, Aux and USB inputs are also catered for.
The mid-tier Xs model adds alloy wheels, roof rails, body-coloured door handles, power-retractable mirrors, and a rear window wiper with demister function. On the inside, the Xs offers auto air-conditioning (climate control) and a reverse camera, a secondary glove compartment, rear armrest and 60:40 split backrest.
Serving as the range's flagship, the Xr inherits LED fog lamps, automatic headlights, cruise control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, dual 12-volt power outlets, front armrest, leather steering wheel, and the inclusion of two tweeter speakers. The convenience factor is also amplified by glove box illumination, a cooled storage compartment, map reading and front footwell lights, as well as luggage compartment illumination.
Toyota Connect and MyToyota App
All Urban Cruiser models are also equipped with the Toyota Connect telematics system, including an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data. Once linked to their profile, customers can manage their vehicle via the MyToyota App. This app allows on-demand service bookings, vehicle information and history, tracking data, and Toyota Connect data recharge services and much more.
As communicated in November 2020, Toyota Connect now also provides access to the MyEntertainment suite of e-services. This includes Videoplay (Video streaming) and MyMuze (Music streaming) services, which offer Toyota customers an improved ownership experience with enhanced connectivity and added-value.
Model line-up and pricing
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xi MT - R247 900
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs MT - R267 800
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs AT - R289 000
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr MT - R294 500
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr AT - R315 700
All Urban Cruiser models are sold with a three-services or 45 000 km service plan. A three-year/100 000km warranty is also provided. Service intervals are pegged at 12 months or 15 000km. Customers can purchase an additional service plan and warranty options via Toyota South Africa's dealer network.