2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid First Impressions: Better Than Kicks e-Power?
Car Reviews Electrified Vehicles SUVs and Crossovers Top Stories

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid First Impressions: Better Than Kicks e-Power?

We take the 2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid for a spin to see how the automaker's newest hybrid offering is like compared to the Kicks e-Power.

The folks at Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) seem to be working 24/7 and powered by caffeine. From the first-ever Zenix to the next-generation Wigo, you know that the country’s biggest automaker isn’t resting on its laurels even if it already owns a massive chunk of the auto industry. It’s also the sales leader in hybrid electric vehicles in the Philippines. Together with Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus, the two brands pretty much own the market. Helping Toyota corner that market even further is the launch of the new 2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid, which is the Japanese automaker’s most affordable hybrid crossover to date.

But doesn’t Toyota already have an affordable hybrid crossover called the Corolla Cross Hybrid? Why yes, yes they do. But the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid is even more affordable. With a price tag of P1,598,000, it represents a P82,000 pricing advantage over the incrementally larger and posher Corolla Cross Hybrid.

Sportier, More Youthful Looks

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines

Design is always subjective, but from an aesthetics standpoint, the Yaris Cross looks sportier than the Corolla Cross. It’s also better proportioned to my eyes than the Nissan Kicks e-Power it’s set to compete with. This is the range-topping Yaris Cross Hybrid 1.5 S, which means it gets a nice set of two-tone 18-inch wheels, a black contrasting roof, and all the LED lighting you could think of (though all variants have full LED lighting). I even like this tester’s blue paint, even if in a lot of cases it is inching toward black.

There’s one thing I must mention, though. Unlike the European and Japanese Yaris Cross, which rides on the TNGA-B platform, the ASEAN Yaris Cross uses the Daihatsu-engineered DNGA platform. Yes, this effectively shares the same fundamentals as the Veloz and Raize, for better or worse. That’s felt the moment you step inside the 2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid. Material and build quality are mixed because while there are soft-touch materials on the doors and even a leatherette surface on the dash, the Yaris Cross Hybrid inherits the Veloz and Raize’s buttons and switches, which feel low rent next to the TNGA-based cars.

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines Interior

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines Interior

On the upside, from the visual standpoint, the Yaris Cross ends up as more stylish compared to the Kicks e-Power it’s set to compete with. For this 1.5 S Hybrid model, there’s a blue highlight running across the dash’s width, plus leatherette upholstery is used in the seats and doors. The 9-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay (though Android Auto is wired) will be familiar to those who’ve been in any of the DNGA-based cars as well. There’s even a power-adjustable driver’s seat, wireless charging, multi-color ambient LED lighting, two rear USB ports, and a panoramic sunroof (though the glass itself can’t be opened). Basically, this is the DNGA platform at its best foot forward.

Every Inch Counts

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines Interior

The ASEAN Yaris Cross is also marginally larger than the global model and thus, bigger than the Kicks e-Power as well. In the Nissan’s defense, the Kicks e-Power is still spacious despite its compact size, but the Yaris Cross offers even more space inside. That’s reflected in both passenger space volume and in the trunk, which offers 452 liters for the hybrid and six liters more for the non-hybrid–about 30 liters more than the Nissan. Oh, and did we mention the 1.5 S Hybrid and 1.5 V come with a powered tailgate?

How Does The Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Perform?

Because this is the hybrid model, this uses a 1.5-liter hybrid drivetrain, which when combined with the electric motor, delivers a total system output of 110 horsepower (but total torque has not been provided). The other engine is also a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, and it’s an engine that’s done duty in the Veloz and Vios, which means it produces 106 hp and 138 Nm of torque. Regardless of powertrain choice, a CVT (e-CVT for the hybrid) is your only transmission choice.

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines

Out on the open road, the new 2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid immediately sets itself apart from the Kicks with its taller driving position. In fact, the driving position in the Kicks feels more like a raised hatchback. The DNGA platform in the Yaris Cross has also been improved with better structural rigidity and more sound insulation. Thus, this is the most refined and most comfortable application of this platform to date. Ride quality is also pretty good, though there’s a degree of firmness to its ride that I did not expect. It’s probably due to the tires having pre-delivery high air pressure, so I’m curious to find out what it feels like when I take this for a full review.

Compared to the 1.8-liter hybrid system in the Corolla Cross Hybrid, the Yaris Cross Hybrid feels equally punchy and responsive, especially when coming from a stop or when overtaking. Where it differs is in terms of refinement. The engine is more vocal (but that’s down to less sound insulation in the engine bay) and there are more vibrations going through the gas pedal compared to the Corolla Cross. It’s these small nuances that create the price gap between the bigger, more refined Corolla Cross versus this more affordable Yaris Cross.

None of these, however, are enough to detract from the relaxed and responsive driving experience. The electric motors contribute to the car’s quietness, while the e-CVT feels like your traditional CVT. It drones the engine and holds the revs, but you won’t have to pin down the throttle hard all the time thanks to the electric motors making the engine feel a lot more responsive. Of course, things tone down significantly when you treat the car sensibly because by then, you’re using the electric motors only. There’s even an EV ratio monitor that told me I drove in electric mode for more than half my drive. Impressive!

Lastly, in terms of handling, it’s no sporty crossover, and I do think that the Kicks e-Power is more nimble and fun to drive. The Yaris Cross Hybrid isn’t too bad, though. Its handling focuses more on stability rather than outright agility. The electric power steering feels surprisingly weighty. There’s a good amount of grip, though again, the Kicks e-Power manages to be the more agile car. I can’t comment on fuel economy though due to the short stint behind the wheel, but I won’t be surprised if this will easily reach 20 km/l. Oh, it must be noted though that the Yaris Cross Hybrid has a smaller tank than the non-hybrid model at 36 liters.

Should You Get This Over The Kicks e-Power?

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines

Based on my first impressions, the 2024 Toyota Yaris Cross has its own merits to set itself apart from the Kicks e-Power. Priced at P1,598,000, it matches that of the Kicks e-Power VL. While I somewhat prefer the Kicks e-Power’s driving dynamics slightly, the Yaris Cross trumps that with a bigger body, more generous features, and the full Toyota Safety Sense suite of advanced driver-assistance systems. The Kicks e-Power only gets automatic emergency braking and a 360-degree camera system, but the Yaris Cross gets the following:

  • Pre-Collision System (PCS)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Automatic High Beams (AHB)
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA)

2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid Philippines Interior

This is on top of its 360-degree camera system, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert. That’s a lot of value and features that you don’t get in the Kicks e-Power, and it’s enough of a selling point for customers to splurge for the Toyota instead. We’re keen to take this out soon for a full review soon and objectively compare it to the Kicks e-Power on various metrics, but until that happens, here are the prices and the spec sheet of the new 2024 Toyota Yaris Cross.

  • 1.5 G: P1,199,000
  • 1.5 V: P1,306,000
  • 1.5 S Hybrid: P1,598,000

Spec Sheet

0 comments on “2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid First Impressions: Better Than Kicks e-Power?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: