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Toyota models, news & reviews
By Glen Waddington
15 April 2009 12:27
Don’t laugh too loudly at the name. With the Urban Cruiser, Toyota’s clearly cashing in on its brutish 4x4 Land Cruiser branding (there was once a Scooby Doo Mystery Machine-style Space Cruiser too) rather than deliberately evoking images of kerbcrawlers. It’s attached to a Kia Soul-style MPV-lite body, that’s really little more than a built-up supermini, complete with 1.3-litre) Yaris motive power. And it costs £14,500.
You’d be right. The cheapest Urban Cruiser (there are only two – the four-wheel drive 1.4 diesel costs £16,400) starts at a whole £4000 more than the cheapest Kia Soul, and the Soul is a 1.6 with 122bhp. And there’s nothing about the Urban Cruiser that’s cleverer than the Soul. Still just five seats (and you wouldn’t get three adults in the back), a pretty ordinary boot space and no clever storage solutions inside. The equipment level is decent – air-con, electric windows all-round, alloys, keyless go – but sat-nav is an extra and the hard plastic interior finish falls leagues short of a Golf’s. Yes, you can buy a Golf for this money.
You wish. Actually there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the Urban Cruiser, other than that it’s pitched to punch above its station. About four grand above its station actually, and we have to judge it at its asking price.
The Yaris’s 1.3-litre four-pot is quite smooth and willing and the six-speed gearbox means there’s usually a ratio to suit your needs. Until you get up to cruising speed and run out. Then the Urban Cruiser gets out of its depth and truly lives up to its name, struggling in sixth and forcing you to shift down to fourth if you’re baulked and need to build up speed again. There’s also quite a lot of wind noise making itself heard around the extremities of the Toyota’s boxy body, and crosswinds will have you scattering across the carriageway like autumn leaves. The seats are mean too, and will make you fidget after half an hour. Once you’re outside city limits, this car stops making sense.
Even the dashboard is annoying. Toyota has crammed the speedo and rev counter into a single circular dial to save space. And then liberated a black hole on either side of the binnacle with nothing to fill them other than some warning lights. Somebody didn’t think that through.>> Click 'Next' for more of CAR's Toyota Urban Cruiser first drive review
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Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.3 2WD (2009) CAR review
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RE: Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.3 2WD (2009) CAR review
I never did get this car - worked at a Toyota franchise for 6 years where we ran a 21k fully-optioned diesel version in the colour christened 'liver' by colleagues! The idea of a small, relatively efficient 4WD car is a good one and will always sell but the petrol 1.33 FWD version is just utterly pointless. Looks bad, feels bad, hopeless to drive - why would you spend 4k more than a Kia Soul or 3k more than a Nissan Juke to get in one??
29 November 2011 19:55
RE: Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.3 2WD CAR review
Unfortunately the only people walking into a Toyota dealership are generally 60+ so no matter how many youth orientated things the brand do, the toyota Urbancruiser still going to be bought by golden oldies, who will value its easy-to-get-in-and-out-of high roofline and glacially slow acceleration.
21 June 2010 16:51
A prime example of how the car innovation crucible has migrated away from Europe to California and Japan. The car is the North American Scion Xd-been on the market for at least a year.
08 May 2009 06:44
Urban Cruiser? Are they chasing the pink pound?
17 April 2009 20:12
Can somebody explain to me how Toyota got to be the world's biggest car manufacturer (until they're overtaken by VW, that is)?
17 April 2009 20:11
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