Distinctive looks, superb build quality, practical interior, sliding rear seats
Small boot, limited engine range, sluggish performance, only a three-star Euro NCAP crash rating
The Toyota Urban Cruiser isn't an easy car to pigeonhole. Toyota describes it as a combination between a compact hatchback and a rugged, all-road vehicle. In reality it's like a small estate with added versatility - similar to the likes of the Kia Soul and Citroen C3 Picasso. It certainly stands out with its distinctive styling and chunky profile while inside it's very useful thanks to a spacious cabin, sliding rear seats and plenty of cabin storage. The small boot is a bit of a let down, while it's not hugely exciting to drive - hampered by some lacklustre engines, but it's economical and easy to manoeuvre in town. There’s just one trim level available and a pair of engines - One petrol and one diesel - the latter coming with four-wheel drive as standard plus a more rugged look.
Easy to drive, low running costs
On the road the Urban Cruiser is most at home on city streets. Its light clutch, easy steering and slick gear changes lend themselves to town driving, while the dimensions make nipping in and out of traffic a simple task.
Running costs are fairly low. The pair of engines are both fairly efficient and even the four-wheel-drive diesel model is able to return fuel economy of 57.6mpg on the combined cycle. Crucially, CO2 emissions are also very low. The highest is 130g/km for the aforementioned diesel, while the petrol model is more likely to appeal to company car drivers thanks to its 129g/km CO2 and the lack of the 3% levy on company car tax.
Lots of options, excellent build quality
There’s a wide range of accessories to choose from in order to customise your Urban Cruiser including option packs, practicality solutions for the boot, child seats, bike racks and roof boxes.
As with all Toyotas it's also superbly built and should prove supremely reliable. However, it only gained a three out of five star rating for crash safety, which is disappointing to say the least.
So this is a car which aims to appeal to a wide range of car buyers, but can it carve out a niche in the rapidly expanding crossover market? Read on for our full Toyota Urban Cruiser review to find out.