Cars keep getting smarter and Toyota’s Yaris Cross now recognises motorcycles and on-coming vehicles in addition to cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles ahead.

It’s part of an upgrade for the latest model that sees a new look and raft of technological changes, updates 

The new Yaris Cross is offered in four two-wheel drive variants, GX , GXL, Urban and GR Sport.

GX, GXL and Urban are also offered as all-wheel drive.

Headlining the changes is the latest generation multimedia system that offers a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, with cloud-based and embedded satellite navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB+ digital radio and a USB-C audio jack.

The USB charging ports have also been upgraded to USB-C, with two outlets across the range.

All models now also feature a full 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster that offers a choice of nine display patterns across three themes — Casual, Smart and Sporty.

The autonomous emergency braking system now recognises motorcycles and oncoming vehicles in addition to cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles ahead, and offers enhanced intersection collision avoidance (daylight only) and emergency steering assist (daylight only).

There’s also been further improvements to its active cruise control and lane trace assist functionality, and new cameras and sensors that operate over a wider area.

GXL and above also gain a new parking support brake with front and rear parking sensors and safe exit assist functionality for the blind spot monitor.

Styling changes have been kept to a minimum with a new design upper grille and seat trim pattern for all models except GR Sport, a large rear side spoiler for all variants, and new colour 18-inch alloy wheels for the Urban grade.

There have also been some changes in colour availability with a choice of seven single colours including Frosted White, Stunning Silver, Ink, Atomic Rush, Latte, Mineral Blue and Massive Grey.

Urban grades are also offered with a choice of four two-tone colourways that combine Frosted White, Atomic Rush, Latte or Massive Grey with a black roof.

All two-wheel drive versions are powered by a 1.5-litre hybrid system that combines a 67kW/120Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 59kW/141Nm motor generator and 4.3Ahr lithium-ion battery to offer a combined maximum output of 85kW.

All-wheel drive models gain an additional 3.9kW/52Nm rear motor generator mounted on the rear axle to provide additional traction in slippery conditions.

The AWD system operates automatically to split drive torque between the front and rear wheels, with up to 60 per cent transmitted to the rear when needed.

All-wheel drive variants also feature a Trail Mode to further improve off-tarmac capability, with the system automatically braking a slipping or freely rotating wheel to ensure drive torque is directed to the wheels with the most traction at all times.

A multi-link rear suspension also provides more agile handling and greater ride comfort on rough surfaces with all models using a tried and true MacPherson front suspension.

Prices start from $30,990 for the two-wheel drive GXL.



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About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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