Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport debuts as sportier crossover
The GR Yaris has been racking up praise since its launch. Toyota has been capitalizing on this success of the GR brand, with the recent launch of the GR Corolla. Now, they have turned their attention towards the Yaris’ high-riding sibling, the Yaris Cross. The Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport is not a road-going rally machine like its hatchback twin but the changes are not just skin-deep.
To make the Yaris Cross sportier, Toyota’s boffins have worked a bit on its suspension and body. Yes, the Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport is not as hardcore as the GR Yaris but the advancements are not that insignificant. The underbody and rear of the GR Sport get additional bracing to improve the body stiffness and reduce body roll. This should make it slightly sportier to drive.
The Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport gets a lowered ride height on the suspension front. It is now closer to the ground by 10 mm. The suspension springs, shocks as well as power steering are all tweaked for a better handling experience. It also gets 18-inch wheels and Falken FK510 tyres. In the powertrain department, there are no mechanical upgrades. It still soldiers on with the duo of 1.5-litre engines, one with 118 hp and the other, a hybrid unit, with 90 hp. But, the powertrain controller has been fiddled with to produce a sprightlier accelerator response. But even though the regular models get an all-wheel-drive option, the Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport comes exclusively in front-wheel-drive.
Of course, the show is more important than the go in these kind of crossovers. To make the Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport look sportier, there are mesh grills up front, and red paint on the calipers. The 10-spoke wheels improve this appeal. Inside, it gets unique upholstery in the form of synthetic leather and Air Nubuck. The three-spoke steering wheel gets a GR logo on it and there are aluminium covers on the pedals.
The Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport is in no way a crossover equivalent to the brilliant GR Yaris. Instead, it is just another trim for those who want their family crossover to have a bit more spice in it. With the presence of the Toyota Raize already in the market, the possibility of the Yaris Cross coming to the UAE, Saudi Arabia or other GCC countries remain slim.