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Toyota to launch new small hybrid SUV based on the Yaris

Car Buyer logo Car Buyer 14/01/2020 Ben Hodges
a red and black truck sitting on top of a car: Toyota to launch new small hybrid SUV based on the Yaris © Carbuyer Toyota to launch new small hybrid SUV based on the Yaris

Toyota has confirmed that it plans to launch a new small hybrid SUV based on its recently updated Yaris hatchback. The new model will rival bestsellers such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, as well as newer models including the Ford Puma and Skoda Kamiq.

The brand has released an official teaser image of the new car and at the same time revealed that it will be built on the firm’s new GA-B platform, which also underpins the latest Yaris.

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The new SUV will be built in France alongside the Yaris and could be revealed later in 2020, according to Toyota’s European executive vice-president Matt Harrison, who stated: “You won’t have to wait too long to see the final design,” adding that it will also be different to the Yaris hatchback. “This is not just a Yaris with body cladding and raised suspension but an entirely new and distinctive B-SUV model with a compact, dynamic design and personality of its own.”

Our images preview what the new car could look like, showing a model with a slightly longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) than the Yaris and a higher roofline for increased interior and luggage space. These dimensions would be about right for a model that’s due to sit below the C-HR hybrid SUV in Toyota’s range.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Car Buyer Using Toyota’s new GA-B platform, which is shared with the fourth-generation Yaris, the new small SUV model could feature the same 115bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor setup as the current Yaris. This powertrain boasts a new lithium-ion battery pack giving enough range for owners to complete up to 80% of journeys using electric power.

A conventional non-hybrid 1.5-litre petrol engine could also be offered if Toyota forecasts sufficient demand from buyers, along with a choice of a manual gearbox or a CVT automatic gearbox. Despite getting a high-riding design, Toyota’s small SUV will only be available to UK buyers in front-wheel drive, with all-wheel-drive models reserved for the Japanese market only.

The interior styling and layout will likely be similar to the new Yaris as well, with a large dashboard-mounted infotainment touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. You can also expect to see the 10-inch head-up display unit carried over as well.

a close up of a light © Provided by Car Buyer What it means for car buyers

The popularity of small SUVs continues to grow in the UK but despite the introduction of a number of excellent conventional petrol models, such as the Skoda Kamiq, Ford Puma and Renault Captur, consumers currently don’t have a great deal of choice when it comes to low-emission hybrid versions. As buyer demand for greener cars increases, and with hybrid versions of the Captur, Puma and Panda going on sale in 2020 as a result, the arrival of a smaller hybrid Toyota SUV would represent an entry-level option in Toyota’s SUV range, attracting those buyers who have previously been put off by the near-£30k starting price of the Toyota C-HR.

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