Toyota Bringing Yaris-based Crossover to Geneva Auto Show

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Toyota has expressed interest in delivering a compact crossover sized smaller than the existing C-HR before, going so far as to offer a few teasers to whet the collective appetite. Another bait image was posted this week, accompanying promises that the automaker will debut the model at the 2020 Geneva Auto Show next month.

While the model could go head-to-head with a handful of rides here in North America, it’s a product aimed primarily at the European market. Based on the TNGA-B platform, the mystery Toyota is supposed to undercut the C-HR in scale and price. Here, that would make it a likely rival for the Nissan Kicks or Ford EcoSport. Both models have seen modest sales growth through their first full year on sale, but there’s not a lot of heat in the segment as a whole.

Toyota will only ship the new crossover as far West as it thinks is profitable.

Despite several European outlets pegging the prospective model as targeting regional compacts that prioritize style over space, possibly due to the assumption that it’ll be a smaller C-HR, teasers actually show the back end looking very boxy. Tail lights are rectangular, matching the general shape we’ve seen on the current-generation RAV4, with a the rear glass angling inward toward a spoiler.

Badging indicates some form of hybridization and Toyota’s electric AWD, the latter of which affixes a small e-motor to the rear axle to help with stability whenever traction becomes a problem. It’s not traditional all-wheel drive, nor as capable, but remains useful when the going gets rough at low speeds. Limitations aside, your author has found it somewhat handy in the past and believes it to be a shrewd marketing opportunity for the brand in regions where the weather is less than predictable. In the Prius, AWD results in a heavier battery that’s better suited for cold environments. That alone could make it worth a second look for those living in places with inhospitable winters.

Auto Express believes Toyota is attempting to get the car as small as possible (about 4 meters in length) and suggests it will be just a few millimeters longer than the Yaris. Previous interviews with the outlet indicated the manufacturer is looking for something better suited to compete with the industry’s “more practical offerings,” meaning it’ll probably have a less wild design than the C-HR and be priced accordingly.

According to Toyota, the new model will be manufactured alongside the Euro-spec Yaris in France. Any additional information will be dripped out through additional teasers or announced in Geneva early next month.

Toyota’s all-new B-segment SUV will make its world debut at the 2020 .

— ToyotaUK (@ToyotaUK) February 18, 2020

[Image: Toyota]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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4 of 5 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Feb 19, 2020

    "Toyota will only ship the new crossover as far West as it thinks is profitable." Isn't this the vehicle now slated for the new plant in Huntsville, Alabama?

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Feb 20, 2020

    Pretty soon, the Bolt will look like a normal size CUV if car manufacturers keep releasing these subcompact models into North American marketplace.

  • Bob65688581 We bought zillions of German cars, despite knowing about WWII slave labor. Refusing to buy something for ideological reasons is foolish.Both the US and the EU have imposed tariffs, so the playing field is level. I'll buy the best price/quality, regardless of nationality.Another interesting question would be "Would you buy one of the many new European moderate-price EVs?" but of course they aren't sold here.Third interesting question: "Why won't Stellantis sell its best products in America?"
  • Freshblather No. Worried there will be malicious executable code built into the cars motherboard that could disable the Chinese cars in the event of hostilities between the west and China.
  • Bd2 Absolutely not - do not want to support a fascist, totalitarian regime.
  • SCE to AUX The original Capri was beautiful. The abomination from the 90s was no Capri, and neither is this.It looks good, but too similar to a Polestar. And what's with the whacked price?
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.