Juliet reviews…The Toyota Urban Cruiser

I know I have said this before, but it feels like all I do is reviews compact SUVs. But it cannot be helped. As I mentioned in the Peugeot 2008 review, compact SUVs make up 20% of all new passenger cars bought in South Africa. And with Suzuki having just launched the Vitara Brezza, it is no wonder that Toyota followed suit with its Urban Cruiser. They are, afterall, the same car. Much like the Toyota Starlet was to the Suzuki Baleno. This is all thanks to the collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki at the moment. But let’s take a closer look at the Urban Cruiser.

It is the third recent offering from Toyota, just after the budget-buy Agya and the Starlet I just mentioned. The Urban Cruiser is hailed as a fun, affordable and compact crossover vehicle that has been designed to play in the city during weekdays and take you on your next adventure on the weekend.

 

It is a rugged little thing with its raised stance, wheel arches, bumper guards and roof rails (on Xs and Xr)…although, it must be mentioned that those roof rails are purely for aesthetic reasons, they have no load carrying capacity. There are slight style difference between this and the Vitara Brezza, such as the huge garnish on the tailgate sporting an embossed “Urban Cruiser” badge. That should make it stand out somewhat.

 

The interior is spacious and is offered in a three-trim strategy, namely the Xi, Xs and range-topping Xr model. All three models boast a touchscreen infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as keyless entry and push start, electric windows all round, air-conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering, power-adjustable mirrors, LED headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lights, as well as Rear Park Distance Control. The Xs adds climate control and reverse camera, a secondary glove compartment, rear armrest and 60:40 split backrest.

The flagship Xr goes even further with 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 foot well lights, as well as luggage compartment illumination. It is not too dissimilar to the offering on the Vitara Brezza as you can tell. But the Urban Cruiser adds Toyota Connect which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data.

 

It is powered by the same 1.5-litre 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine as found in the Vitara Brezza which produces 77 kW and 138 Nm or torque. The Xi is only available with a manual greabox, but Xs and Xr are offered with an automatic transmission as well. All Urban Cruiser models are sold with a 3-services/45 000 km service plan and a 3-year/100 000 km warranty.

 

PRICING OF THE NEW TOYOTA URBAN CRUISER

 

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xi MT – R 247 900

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs MT – R 267 800

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs AT – R 289 000

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr MT – R 294 500

Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr AT – R 315 700

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