The all-new Toyota Urban Cruiser hyryder:
Toyota’s all-new Toyota Urban Cruiser hyryder car latest premium mid-size hybrid SUV has been unveiled for India. While the prices are to be revealed, let’s take a look at the specifications, variants, and features in detail.
The all-new Toyota urban cruiser hyryder would measure more than 4 meters and would be going against the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks, MG Astor, Skoda Kushaq, and Volkswagen Taigun. It would also be competing against the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara which is Maruti’s version of the same SUV.
The Grand Vitara and the Toyota Urban cruiser Hyryder will be powered by two 1.5-liter, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder engines. The lower variants would get a mild-hybrid technology just like we have seen on the current Maruti vehicles. It will produce 103 Ps of max power. It will be offered with 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder: Engine
The all-new Toyota Urban Cruiser hyryder will be offered in four trims – E, S, G, and V with a choice of two engine options. The first is a naturally aspirated petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology producing 100 bhp of power and 135 Nm of torque. This engine is offered with a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 5-speed manual gearbox. This engine is also available with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration.
The second is a 1.5-liter TNGA Atkinson Cycle petrol engine equipped with strong hybrid technology, producing a combined power of 115 bhp. The choice to opt for this engine is available only with the higher S, G and V trims. This engine has a two-wheel-drive configuration and is coupled with an e-drive transmission.
Toyota’s design language hasn’t been very consistent across models, though individual models have had some familiar lines. The new Hyryder, however, is a clean slate, and since it was co-developed with Suzuki from the start, there is enough to distinguish it from the others. The front fascia is the most distinctive, with the side profile and some of the shared features at the rear giving the platform siblings similarities. The Hyryder gets a tapered nose and a large grille that runs down to the edge of the front fender. The bow-shaped faux underbody protector and the main headlamps on either side of the fender, located lower than the traditional position, give the Urban Cruiser Hyryder a sporty and aggressive front design. The Twin-LED DRLs are split by a chrome band that runs across a 3-dimensional faux carbon-fiber style panel that sits where the grille is usually located.
Squared-off wheel arches with contrast black cladding and simple, straight waist and shoulder lines make the side profile uncomplicated. The top-trim ‘V’ variant that I was driving featured a chrome highlight for the window line. The side profile is where the impact of the Hyryder’s length is most felt. The 4.35-meter-long SUV gets a wheelbase of 2.6 meters, making it one of the longer compact SUVs on the market. The all-new Toyota harder car shares Suzuki’s new TECT platform, which is said to be safer and more dynamic compared to its predecessors. The hybrid’s battery pack is located under the floor and just behind the rear passenger area; this does lead to a small reduction in luggage space in the boot for the Hybrid version. The Hybrid powertrain is offered in three trim variants and the ‘Neo drive’ versions (Maruti engine and gearboxes) are offered in four trim variants, with the base variant only being offered with the 5-speed manual transmission and the rest also getting the option of a 6-speed automatic.
After getting into the all-new Toyota Hyryder car cabin, one of the first points that strike me is the amount of space (both knee room and headroom) that is available both for front passenger and rear occupants. Once past that point, the other highlight of the cabin is the chocolate-brown and black color theme that’s offered in the hybrid variants. The Neo drive variants, which essentially feature the Maruti engine and powertrain, get an all-black treatment for the cabin. The interior also feels pretty well finished, with a decent mix of trim elements that are being used to highlight the cabin’s quality, including elements like the stitched, soft-touch IP on the dashboard. The center stack itself is sort of like a waterfall theme construction. It is topped by a 9-inch smart play cast (as Toyota calls it) infotainment system and automatic climate control. Of course, all these features were in my top trim V variant; lower trim variants would have a few missing from this. In addition to the touch-screen infotainment system, the V variant also has a 7-inch multi-information display in place of the instrument cluster; there are no analog dials. The information display also includes a dynamic display of whether the engine or the battery is currently in use for powering the car. There is also a clear display of the combined driving range of the car at all points in time.
The other cabin feature that was a welcome addition for me was the perforated leatherette seats with ventilation. Overall, it is a very clean-finished dashboard, with shiny faux-aluminum trim elements highlighting the center stack. What I was driving was the hybrid with its automatic transmission, so the gear stick itself was a clean unit with the standard parking/reverse/neutral/drive and low gear positions highlighted. The other feature in the cabin you tend to immediately observe when you get in is the panoramic sunroof, which brings a lot of light into the cabin. My only complaint about the panoramic sunroof is the rather thin mesh-type roof liner, which may lead to a considerable amount of heat radiating into the cabin.
Some of the other features in the hybrid V trim variant that I was driving included wireless phone charging, a head-up display, rear aircon vents, and a reclining rear seat backrest that should help rear occupants to get a little more comfortable. There is also a 60-40 split for the rear seat to enable more storage in the boot if that is needed. It also gets a footwell lamp and a 360-degree camera view generated through cameras installed at the rear and under the door mirrors. Space in the boot was a bit compromised by the location of the battery pack under the rear seat.
Depending on the variant, the all-new Toyota Urban Cruiser hyryder also gets 55 different connected car features. Some of these can be controlled using your smartphone or smartwatch. Quite a few of these will be useful on an everyday basis and include stuff like locking and unlocking the car, remote aircon control, stolen vehicle tracking, and distance to empty monitoring. One of the points that stayed with me after driving the Hybrid variant of the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder is the fact that it is very similar to the cabin of the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara.
The only powertrain variant that I was offered for the day-long test drive was the Hybrid top-spec ‘V’ variant. This engine’s nomenclature is TNGA, short for Toyota New Generation Architecture. It is supplemented by a strong hybrid system that Toyota has developed specifically for the new vehicle.
This 1,490cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine is assisted by a strong, self-charging hybrid system that features an AC Synchronous motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike plug-in hybrid systems with larger battery packs and more powerful motors, the one in the Hyryder is a 180-volt system with a relatively small 0.76kW battery pack. The electric motor generates a peak power output of 80.2PS and delivers a peak torque of 141Nm. Together with the 3-cylinder engine’s output of 92.4PS and a peak torque of 122Nm, the total system-generated peak output is 115.56PS. The Atkinson cycle engine is paired with an e-CVT gearbox, which I expected to become a powertrain that is over-focused on efficiency, what with the claim of a near 28kmpl rated mileage.
So, my expectation was for it to be a relatively laid-back driving style. During gradual acceleration and city driving conditions, the powertrain doesn’t feel strained or underpowered. Under hard acceleration, though, the engine’s relatively restrained performance becomes evident. But it is surprisingly quiet and refined even for a 3-cylinder. I would go far as to say that it is adequately peppy, though it doesn’t feel sporty. The hybrid system can offer an EV-battery-only mode driving range. But Toyota officials say that the distance can’t be accurately predicted because the system adjusts the parallel or series assistance offered by the electric motor based on multiple factors, including battery state of charge and vehicle speed. Braking performance is adequate, with regen braking also contributing to a quicker slowing down of the vehicle.
The other engine on offer for the all-new Toyota Urban Cruiser hyryder (not offered for the test drive) is the Maruti Suzuki K15C petrol engine. This 1,462cc, 4-cylinder unit delivers a peak power of 103.06PS and 136.8Nm of torque. It is paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. This is a workhorse that we have also seen in a few other Maruti vehicles. The top-trim of the Hyryder’s Neo Drive variants that feature this powertrain can also be had with all-wheel drive. The ride quality is good, with the body roll well-contained and the suspension setup just right for even snuffing out much of the kind of jarring feedback that comes from going over cobbled stones. With a ground clearance of 210 mm, going over bad roads, stagnant water, and big speed breakers shouldn’t be a problem.