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Toyota Yaris Cross interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

Life in the Yaris Cross is generally quite comfortable. There's lots of adjustment so you can get into a nice driving position and power lumbar adjustment is standard from Design trim up. The driving position is quite tall and upright like a traditional SUV, which gives you a great view of the road ahead, making it easy to place the Yaris Cross with confidence.

As a result, all-round visibility is great, although your over-the-shoulder view is impeded a little by the thick C-pillars – although this is the same on all rivals. Parking sensors only come with higher end Excel trim or as an option on GR Sport models, but all Yaris Cross cars get a reversing camera as standard.

Standard equipment

Standard kit is generous. Icon trim includes 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and starting, a reversing camera, climate control, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking. You also get a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Design gets larger 17-inch alloys, roof rails and LED lights. Inside, there's interior ambient lighting and powered lumbar support for the driver.

Range-topping Excel adds even larger wheels, a powered boot lid, all-round parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, part-faux-leather upholstery, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The infotainment system also gains a larger nine-inch screen.

GR Sport gets a slightly sharper suit. Outside, there's sporty 18-inch alloys, a contrast-colour roof and sports suspension. It includes all of Design trim's features along with faux-suede upholstery, heated front sports seats, the larger infotainment screen, and some GR Sport-specific cabin details.

Infotainment and audio

All Yaris Cross trim levels include a touchscreen infotainment system. Icon and Design models get an eight-inch screen, with a slightly sharper nine-inch version in Excel and GR Sport cars that also includes built-in navigation.

More importantly, all versions include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can use your own navigation and entertainment apps through the car's screen. The larger screen also features wireless CarPlay connectivity, so you don't even have to plug your phone in to use it.

Realistically, most owners will want to use the screen with their phone, because Toyota's baked-in software feels a bit rusty. Responses to prods and swipes have a perceptible delay, and the graphics on the eight-inch screen in particular look like they're already a decade old.

There are some important plus points, however. The basic eight-inch system includes proper knobs and buttons for volume and track selection, as well as hopping between different infotainment functions, which is easier to use than certain rivals that are now totally screen-based. There are fewer physical controls for the larger nine-inch screen but it still includes volume and home-screen shortcut buttons.

Rear seat space

While the Yaris Cross might miss out on a few millimetres of rear-seat room here or there compared to a Skoda Kamiq or Renault Captur, it generally makes a strong showing for itself.

There's enough space for six footers to sit in the back with similarly tall occupants sat up front. Only when the front seats are pushed as far back as they'll go will adult rear passengers find their knees brushing the seats and, even then, it's still a little more spacious than the regular Yaris hatch.

The only small fly in the ointment is the physical shape of the rear doors. They have a distinct downward slope towards the rear of the car, which taller passengers might have to duck to avoid a bonk to the bonce. This also makes it a fraction harder to wrestle a bulky child seat into place, but the wide-opening doors and relatively tall ride height overall make the Yaris Cross a good choice for small families.

Boot space

Cargo room in the Yaris Cross measures in at 397 litres for front-wheel-drive models, with i-AWD versions losing a little under-floor space. The space itself is reasonably square, with enough height, width and depth that awkwardly shaped items will fit without too much hassle.

It's also easier to load than the Yaris hatch thanks to a wide boot opening that's less impacted by the shape of the brake lights and rear bumper. There aren't quite as many handy hooks and tie-downs as you'll find in the Kamiq's boot, however, and the side mouldings above the wheels are a little bulkier than some rivals.

Expect to get at least two large suitcases in the Yaris Cross if you're heading on holiday, or a large pushchair if you're taking your offspring along for the drive. Dog owners might want to consider the Yaris Cross if their four-legged friend is small-to-medium sized.

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