Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

There are just two engines providing Toyota Urban Cruiser performance.

Petrol engine

The first is a 1.3-litre petrol VVT-i with 101bhp. This is the most popular choice and is smooth, even when pushed hard. It's nippy enough around town and economical too, averaging 51mpg. This is aided by Stop & Start technology which turns off the engine when the car comes to a halt in traffic and automatically restarts it when needed. However, the engine lacks pulling power and gets noisy at high revs. As a result it's not ideal for longer motorway trips and struggles to accelerate in-gear.

Diesel engine

The other choice is a 1.4-litre D-4D diesel with 90bhp. It has an identical 0-62mph time as the petrol - 12.5 seconds - but comes with four-wheel drive as standard (there's no two-wheel drive version available). It's far more relaxed to drive and makes overtaking easier thanks to better low down grunt, while the engine itself is quiet and refined. Both versions come with a positive-shifting six-speed manual gearbox as standard but there's no automatic available.

As its name suggests, the Urban Cruiser is designed for town and city streets. Here it excels thanks to easy steering, a light clutch and a slick gear change. The electric power steering is designed to vary the 'weight' of the steering according to the speed, giving you more feel at higher speeds. It's responsive enough but lacks feedback on twisting roads and always feels artificial.

On the plus side, the Toyota corners well with plenty of grip and well controlled body roll while the ride is very forgiving over rough roads. It's good for nipping in and out of traffic plus the diesel engine comes with all-wheel drive and an active torque control system. This basically delivers the best power distribution between the front and rear wheels, depending on the road conditions or style of driving.

It means traction is excellent, for instance when accelerating from roundabouts. The system is automatic but can be locked (up to 25mph) for tackling mud or snow.