Toyota’s second product in their partnership with Suzuki has arrived in South Africa, the Urban Cruiser compact-SUV.
You’re forgiven for thinking you’ve seen this grille around town, you have. This is another product from the Toyota-Suzuki partnership, the first being the Toyota Starlet that is a rebranded Baleno, and now the Vitara Brezza that is an Urban Cruiser.
Toyota is aware that it’s been tough financially for everyone lately, the Urban Cruiser is the third product to launch in their smaller, more affordable range. The focus is on getting bang for your buck under the Toyota banner.
The Urban Cruiser is a re-dressed Brezza, let’s not beat around the bush. However, the Urban Cruiser benefits from Toyota’s expansive dealer network, customer service, and reliable parts supply network.
The body panels are all the same, the engine is the same 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol that produces 77kW and 138Nm. There’s no slight up-tune here. And it’s either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto to choose from. Wheel size is standard at 16-inches with 205/60 R16 or 215/60 R16 tyres, steelies on the entry-level, and alloys for the rest. Suspension is the tried, trusted, and cost-effective combination of McPherson strut at the front and torsion beam at the rear.
The de rigueur touchscreen information system is present with all the usual connectivity features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, aux, and USB port functionality.
The safety and security specs include ABS and EBD, side protection beams, driver and passenger airbags, and ISOFIX child seat anchorage points. An alarm and immobiliser system is also included on all models.
Unlike Suzuki who was reluctant to answer any questions relating to projected sales for the Brezza, Toyota is happy to share that they’re expecting to shift 640 units p/month on Urban Cruiser.
So, now that it’s been covered what is the same in the Urban Cruiser, let’s cover what’s different and will set the Urban Cruiser apart from its ‘identical’ twin.
The grille. There’s less chrome detailing on the grille, which is a good thing. The Urban Cruiser has a darker grille that appears in line with the styling cues on Toyota’s bigger SUVs.
Toyota is offering the Urban Cruiser in three spec-lines, the entry-level Xi, mid-range Xs, and range-topping Xr.
The Xi is only available with the 5-speed manual transmission because auto boxes add to the price, and Toyota wants to keep the entry-level Xi affordable.
The entry-level Xi model features keyless-entry with a push-to-start button, electric windows all round, air-conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering, power-adjustable mirrors, LED headlamps, and LED Daytime Running Lights. Rear Park Distance Control (PDC) offers drivers additional peace of mind.
The mid-range Xs model adds alloy wheels, roof rails, body-coloured door handles, power-retractable mirrors, and rear window wiper with demister function. On the inside, the Xs offers auto climate control, reverse camera, a secondary glove compartment, rear armrest, and a 60:40 split backrest.
Serving as the flagship of the range, the Xr gets LED fog lamps, automatic headlights, cruise control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, dual 12-volt power outlets, front armrest, leather steering wheel, and the inclusion of two tweeter speakers. The nice-to-have features include glove box illumination, a cooled storage compartment, map reading and front foot-well lights, as well as luggage compartment lights.
All Urban Cruiser models are also equipped with the Toyota Connect system that includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data. Once the app has been downloaded and linked to their profile, customers can manage their vehicle via the MyToyota App. This app allows on-demand service bookings, vehicle information and history, tracking data as well as Toyota Connect data recharge services, and much more.
Since November 2020, Toyota Connect provides access to the MyEntertainment suite of e-services. This includes Videoplay (Video streaming) and MyMuze (Music streaming) services, which offer Toyota customers an improved ownership experience with enhanced connectivity and added value.
TOYOTA URBAN CRUISER PRICING
If you know no different and are looking to buy a compact-SUV my guess is you’re going to settle for Toyota’s Urban Cruiser. It looks less chintzy than it’s twin, offers more technology, and has the aforementioned expansive dealer network. Let the battle commence.
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xi MT – R 247 900
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs MT – R 267 800
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs AT – R 289 000
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr MT – R 294 500
Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr AT – R 315 700
Warranty & Maintenance
All Urban Cruiser models are sold with a 3-services/45 000 km service plan. A 3-year/100 000 km warranty is also provided. Service intervals are pegged at 12 months/15 000 km. Customers can purchase an additional service plan and warranty options via the extensive dealer network of 220.
Images: Toyota South Africa/Motorpress