Driven: Toyota Urban Cruiser Xs

Toyota launched its Urban Cruiser compact SUV in South Africa a couple of months ago. And while we previously tested the top-of-the-range XR version, we now have managed to find ourselves behind the wheel of the mid-range Xs. Well, Kelly has, “and while I still believe that the Suzuki Brezza offers slightly better value, I don’t think that Urban Cruiser buyers will be disappointed with their purchase. “

What is it?
Well, it’s a Suzuki Vitara Brezza. And while I know no one at Toyota wants to read that, it is what it is. But having a Toyota badge in SA will get you further than a Suzuki badge. Not because the latter isn’t great (it is), but because Toyota has built up a stellar reputation in South Africa over the years. Along with the vehicle it borrows, well, everything from, this compact SUV is a looker. The Urban Cruiser has a revised grille and other restyled exterior details to set it apart.

What’s under the bonnet? 
The Urban Cruiser has a naturally aspirated 1.5l petrol engine with 77kW and 138Nm. The model we had on test is a five-speed manual iteration. While I did sometimes find myself looking for the 6th gear, the driving experience was decent overall. I am always one to choose an auto first, and at the time of testing this vehicle, we did also have an auto vehicle on our driveway. But I often found myself in the Urban Cruiser because it was such a hassle-free driving experience. Gear changes are smooth, the engine is refined and it’s a comfortable experience on the open roads.

So, what does it offer? 
The main differences between the Xs and the Xr that we had on test earlier this year are that the Xr comes with the addition of cruise control, an adjustable front armrest, six speakers instead of four, an additional 12V power socket in the boot, rain-sensing wipers, indicators on the side mirrors, auto-on lights, electro-chromatic rearview mirror, a cool box, and some other minor exterior styling features. Now, this list might seem long to you, but I can say without a doubt that you don’t miss any of these things in the Xs version. Perhaps on the long road, I’d miss the cruise control, but other than that, the Xs has everything one could want in a compact SUV.

Standard features on this mid-range Xs include the Toyota Display audio system with USB connectivity and Android Auto and Apple CarPLay compatibility, a reverse camera, electric windows all around, and audio and phone controls on the steering wheel. There is also the Toyota Connect telematics system as standard. This means the vehicle is Wi-Fi enabled and can do various other e-services.

Should you get it? 
It’s definitely worth considering. If your choice is between the Xs and Xr, I’d say save some cash and get the Xs version. You won’t miss any of the features you get in the top-of-the-range model. It’s a pleasant vehicle and lovely to drive.

Quick facts: 
Price: R273 200
Engine: 1.5-litre petrol
Top speed: 170 km/h
Fuel consumption: 6.2 litres/100 km
CO2: 147 g/km
Maintenance/service plan: 3-year/45 000km service plan
Warranty: 3 years / 100,000km

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