Toyota Urban Cruiser

The Urban Cruiser is just a practical utility disguised as a little urban SUV for those who are seeking how to escape from the conventional. The most positive thing is that it is relatively spacious and has elements that give functionality in the everyday life. The most negative thing is that it is expensive…

Just a few months ago Toyota launched this vehicle with the intention to break into a segment that until now had not entered into their plans. The Urban Cruiser belongs to a very specific niche market and low sales. It belongs to a market where models such as the Kia Soul, the C3 Picasso, a Lancia Musa or the premium side – a Mercedes Class A, have place. In fact, Toyota amounted the goals of sales of this small minivan for Spain in only 1 000 units per year. This is demonstrating that this vehicle is aimed at a very specific type of clients.


Toyota Urban Cruiser
By Alan from Crawley, United Kingdom (Toyota Urban Cruiser Concept) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Distinct Image

A customer is looking for an urban car but you want something out of the ordinary. And it is precisely in point of aesthetics, where the Urban Cruiser offers differentiator. A customer looking for a city car and valid for day to day, but you want something out of the ordinary. And it is precisely in point of aesthetics, where the Urban Cruiser offers the differentiator. Outwardly, what more flame the attention is its muscled body across the various coatings of durable plastic.

At first glance the height from the ground is more than that of many utilities which you can see on the roads. That gives it a more rugged and casual aspect, powered by its cube-shaped silhouette, a high waistline, the marker wheel arches and prominent front.


Toyota Urban Cruiser Interior and finishing

If its life stands out unique and compact, inside it is distinguished by its simplicity. The design of all elements and the distribution of the various knobs and buttons highlight the search for a touch of simplicity. Hard plastics abound but all look good and are not unpleasant to the touch.

Some peculiarities, as well as voluminous central console, surprise with the distribution of the dashboard. It is divided into three distinct plots. The central sphere combines both the tachometer and speedometer. Meanwhile, they also highlight the multitude of storage compartments spread around the cabin. This includes dual chilled glove box, highlighting the practical and functional nature to which we referred at the beginning.


Less comprehensive than it looks

Inside we find no exceptional breadth. Its silhouette is like that of a small SUV. It gives an impression that it is a vehicle with excellent livability. Therefore, we do not fail the truth when we ensure that the space is small when you consider the size of the car. However, it is more than enough for four people to travel normally. When you compare it to other conventional utilities, you can say it is relatively spacious and much more functional.

We guarantee this because the rear seats folds down well in the typical configuration 60/40. They can move longitudinally about 15 cm. This somehow allows us to find more solutions in adapting it to our needs for luggage in those places. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 314 liters with the seats reclined.

The driving position is satisfactory, although the seats leave something to be desired. At the back two adults can be placed without problems. The legroom is sufficient.


Mechanical and driving impressions

The Urban Cruiser is available with two engines:

– a 1.4 D4D diesel 90 hp which is the only one that can optionally be linked also to the AWD (All-Wheel Drive),

– and a 1.33 petrol VVTi 101, that of our test unit.

Both are associated with a 6-speed manual gearbox and only a fuel device incorporates an automatic Start/Stop engine. According to the figures accredited, our hero with this engine has a top speed of 175 Km/h, making the maneuver of 0-100 in 12.5 seconds and has an average fuel consumption of 5.5 liters. In our test the average was up 0.9 liters.

This mechanism is pleasant to be used. It is very quiet and the vehicle moves with ease with hardly noticeable vibrations. It gives the feeling of trust of what is expected from an engine with its power. At least the Urban Cruiser lacks strength in low and must take very high laps to notice a fairly intense feeling of acceleration.

For this reason, it is recommendable to opt for the diesel. Even it is being less powerful, it has better homologous performance. However, the petrol engine allows us to move with a complete ease for urban driving. It does well on motorways, as long as we do not want to advance quickly or have to face very steep slopes.

At the steering wheel, the Urban Cruiser is shown to be an easy one to drive and it gives a great sense of control on the road. It may demonstrate swaying or lateral displacements to occur. In this regard, it demonstrates a greater stability and balance with a comfortable suspension but practically it is very firm. In the city is also moves with ease and is easily to maneuver with it. Although, the visibility in some areas is not as good as it should be for these purposes. Meanwhile, both the direction and the brakes have left us with a very good impression.


Toyota Urban Cruiser
By Alan from Crawley, United Kingdom (Toyota Urban Cruiser Concept) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Brand and model:

 Toyota Urban Cruiser – Active equipment

Length / width / height (mm) 3,930 / 1,725 ​​/ 1,525

Wheelbase (mm) 2,460

Turning circle (m) 11

Weight (kg) 1,195

Boot capacity (l) 314

Tires 195/60 R16


Displacement (cc) 1,329

Power (hp) 101

Maximum torque (Nm / rpm) 132 / 3.800



Transmission – 6-speed Manual

Consumption of fuel:


Urban / Highway / Combined (l/100km) 6.6 / 4.9 / 5.5

CO2 emissions (g / km) 129

Consumption during test (l/100km) 6.4



Acceleration 0100 km / h (s) 12.5

Recovery 80,100 km / h (s) in 4


Tank capacity (l) 42

Maximum speed 175

Price (no extras) 18,200 Euros

Extra equipment:

Climate control (350), browser (950) Style pack (1,000) and metallic paint (350).

Price and equipment:

The basic version of this micro van is marketed from 16.200 euros. We must say that the most basic equipment is already very comprehensive. There are only to basic equipment – Live and Active. Among the other elements it includes as standard:

–          TRC (Traction Control),

–          VSC (Stability),

–          7 airbags (driver, passenger, side curtain)

–          Active head restrains

–          The Stop & Start System (available only in the petrol variant)

–          Onboard computer

–          Radio, CD, MP3 with 6 speakers and auxiliary input

–          Heated mirrors

–          Bumpers in the body color.

The only reprehensible thing is that it does not include air conditioning (950 euros).