Now, I’m not one to laugh at those less fortunate.But – if we’re being completely honest with each other – I found myself giggling, just a little bit, because petrol prices in Australia have been soaring.
Of course, I’m not mocking anyone in particular.No one really foresaw this, so it’s not something you can prepare for.Although if you’re still driving a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk that drinks like a shore-leave sailor, you probably don’t have anyone to blame but yourself.
My giggle was the fact that, by some small miracle, I found myself driving one of the most fuel-efficient ICE vehicles in countless years at the right time.
Look, mine is the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid, the Japanese giant’s small SUV that pairs a small gasoline engine with a small battery to keep fuel usage down.I’m not going to get bored with the way hybrids work here.They’ve been around long enough now.But I will say this – they work.
Our small 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine – good for 67kW and 120Nm – and two small electric motors (but only one big enough to provide drive) have a combined output of 85kW.It sends power through an occasionally loud CVT transmission that sends it to all four wheels.
In my first 4 weeks with the Yaris Cross, my fuel consumption was only 5.3L/100km.I don’t want to give up too much prematurely here, but the numbers have been dropping since then.
In my first 4 weeks with the Yaris Cross, my fuel consumption was only 5.3L/100km.(Image: Andrew Chesterton)
That’s still a bit higher than Toyota’s official claim, but to be fair to the Yaris Cross, the months we drove were almost entirely in the city — never for fuel.
Honestly, I’m very happy with the 5+ liters.But I’m happier with the small fuel tank fitted to the Yaris Cross Hybrid, and it happily accepts the cheapest 91RON fuel.
Our Yaris Cross Hybrid comes with a 36-liter fuel tank, which means that even with petrol prices at their peak (at least for now), a crisp $50 bill can usually take it from almost empty to full.
Based on the figure of 5 liters per hundred liters – and relying on my notorious math skills – I could travel over 700 kilometers with a $50 investment.its not bad, right?
That’s a good thing.bad?To take advantage of these Fuel Bowser savings, you’ll need to put your bank account through some upfront pain.
Our test car was the Yaris Cross Urban AWD, and it wasn’t cheap.It’s at the top of the model tree (above the GXL and GX, available with two- or four-wheel drive), and will set you back $37,990 before on-road costs.Drive away?It’s more like $42,000.
Yes, it’s the top of the tree, but the truth is that getting into any model in the Yaris Cross Hybrid range means you’ll have to find over $30,000 to put one on the road.Even the cheapest GX 2WD is $28,990 before on-road costs, then $31,999 for the GXL 2WD, $31,990 for the GX AWD, $34,990 for the Urban 2WD, $34,990 for the GXL AWD, and then our car.
Look, in this brave new world of car availability, the whole manufacturer stuff is expensive (check out Yaris Cross used prices on Autotrader if you really want to hold back), but for those of us old enough , remember when small cars were cheap, it was a bit of a price shock.
All models feature a 7.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.(Image: Andrew Chesterton)
To be fair, the entire Yaris Cross Hybrid range is well equipped.And, with an extra central airbag and a five-star ANCAP rating, it’s also very safe.
All models come with alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, leather-trimmed steering wheel, single-zone climate control, digital instrument cluster with 4.2-inch info display, 7.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto There is also a six-speaker sound system.
Spring on the GXL, you’ll find LED headlights and navigation, and our Urban builds on it all with 18-inch alloys, very nice heated front seats, an extra USB port for fast charging, a head-up display and Auto – Turns on bootstrap.
As a result, running costs are low, purchase costs are low, and the first month experience is very positive.But there are still some problems.It’s small, but is it too small?How does it handle long trips?And, crucially, what would puppy Bobby think?
Cheap to run, small to buy, and a very positive first month experience.(Image: Andrew Chesterton)
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Post time: Jul-20-2022