android, yaris cross the next toyota to get the gr sport treatment
Toyota’s Yaris Cross GR Sport will arrive in local showrooms later this year, but don’t expect any changes to the powertrain.

Toyota Australia will introduce a new and sportier variant to its Yaris Cross light SUV line-up, but those hoping for a full-fat GR version to match the rally-bred, top-dog Yaris hatchback might be a bit disappointed.

And that’s because the new Yaris Cross will be a GR Sport variant, which bundles together a sporty look and tweaked suspension without any powertrain upgrades.

Scheduled to land locally in December, the Yaris Cross GR Sport differentiates itself with unique-looking 18-inch wheels, a blacked-out mesh front grille and a rear diffuser.

Inside, the Yaris Cross GR Sport scores sports seats finished in a suede-like material, while grey contrast stitching finds its way onto the pews and steering wheel.

Aluminium pedals and gunmetal silver accents can also be found throughout, as can a smattering of GR logos on the headrests, steering wheel and keys.

Finally, a sportier suspension tune will also be applied to the Yaris Cross GR Sport, which will “sharpen steering feel and response, and reduce body roll” for “a more rewarding driving experience”, according to Toyota.

However, Toyota has left the powertrain of the Yaris Cross GR Sport untouched, which will be offered exclusively with a hybrid set-up, combining a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with dual electric motors for a combined output of 85kW.

android, yaris cross the next toyota to get the gr sport treatment

Drive will be sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and if the GR Sport mirrors its hybrid Yaris Cross siblings, will return a fuel economy rating of 3.8 litres per 100km.

Carryover equipment includes a 7.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control and heated front seats, but it remains to be seen if the GR Sport will also feature the powered tailgate as seen on higher grades of the existing Yaris Cross.

Standard safety will also be long for the Yaris Cross GR Sport, with Toyota expected to throw in autonomous emergency braking, a reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert at no extra cost.

android, yaris cross the next toyota to get the gr sport treatment

And if the Yaris Cross GR Sport sounds familiar, it’s because Toyota has pulled the same trick with the larger C-HR, bundling sports seats, reworked suspension and a more aggressive look without any engine changes.

Pricing is yet to be made available for the Yaris Cross GR sport, but if it follows the same structure as the C-HR GR Sport (which is priced identically to Koba Hybrid at $37,665 before on-road costs), the new light SUV could be positioned around $35,000.

The Toyota Yaris Cross competes against popular light SUVs like the Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Venue and Kia Stonic, and is currently the third best-selling model in the segment with 4942 sales to the end of July this year.

It trails the Mazda CX-3 (6138) and Kia Stonic (5342), but is ahead of the Hyundai Venue (4457), Ford Puma (1380) and Nissan Juke (930).

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