New Toyota Yaris-based SUV to make Geneva Motor Show debut

A new sub C-HR SUV has been teased again by Toyota, it will use same platform as latest Yaris supermini and be revealed in early March

Toyota has confirmed that its new small SUV will be unveiled for the first time at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. The B-segment model will shape up as an all-new Nissan Juke and Renault Captur rival and will sit on the same platform as the brand new Yaris. 

Teased in a new official image showing the rear lights, the new model will use the freshly developed G-AB platform that sits under the new Yaris and the homologation special GR Yaris. Toyota has confirmed that the car will use an intelligent all-wheel drive system and be powered by a hybrid powertrain. It’ll be built in France alongside the Yaris and our exclusive images preview how it could look.

• Toyota GR Yaris revealed for the first time 

The as-yet-unnamed model is designed to sit below the C-HR, despite the fact that the futuristic crossover is already slightly smaller than the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008. Toyota believes that having a car closer to the 4.0-metre length of most superminis will appeal to customers put off by the C-HR’s higher price.

Speaking to Auto Express in 2019, Harrison admitted the company was already considering expanding its SUV line-up at the smaller end of its range.

“SUV segments in general are all continuing to grow,” he told us. “C-HR is playing in the very top end of what could almost be a sort of coupé-crossover C-segment SUV. It doesn’t really compete with other products like Qashqai or more practical offerings.

“If you look at the level of conquest we have with that car, it’s incredible, even from premium brands. But the way that area of the market is continuing to grow and sub-divide, there would definitely be opportunities for additional products. I don’t think for a minute that we’ve got it all covered with C-HR.”

He added: “The traditional supermini hatch [like the Ford Fiesta and Toyota’s Yaris] is probably the most robust of the segments. It’s holding up better than saloons and larger hatchbacks against crossovers – partly because of affordability, I think. But the B-SUV segment is also growing, pulling customers down from the C-segment. So we’re looking, we’re evaluating, and we see an increasing number of players doing that. There may be opportunities in future. The platform is flexible enough to support something like that, for sure.

Expect the new model to be only a few millimetres longer than the Yaris, nudging it just over the four-metre mark, and around 40mm taller to give the higher seating position that customers in this market are after.

Toyota may also choose to extend the Yaris’s wheelbase slightly, giving the SUV a little more rear legroom to counter the likes of the Captur and in particular the Citroen C3 Aircross and Skoda Kamiq.

The TNGA-B underpinnings allow the new model to feature electrification at the heart of its range; indeed, given the slightly higher price positioning over the Yaris, Toyota may choose to avoid the supermini’s entry-level 1.0-litre petrol engine and make its new offering’s line-up entirely hybrid.

• Best small SUVs on sale right now

That would mean using the same 1.5-litre petrol-based hybrid powertrain as the Yaris, with a total system output of around 115bhp and the ability to complete up to 80 per cent of urban journeys on electric power alone, thanks to a lithium-ion battery pack. A more conventional 1.5-litre offering, including a manual gearbox alongside Toyota’s familiar CVT auto, could also be made available according to market demand.

The vehicle can be be offered with more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, in addition to the raise ride height and four-wheel drive system and it’s expected that the European examples will eventually be available with a choice of 4×4 or front-wheel drive configurations.

Inside, expect the baby SUV to get the same infotainment set-up as upper-end Yaris models, with a 10-inch head-up display and a large central touchscreen incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Toyota will reveal the new small SUV at the Geneva Motor Show and UK sales are unlikely to start until spring 2021 at the earliest.

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