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Toyota Urban Cruiser: Test Drive

Date: 03 April 2009   |   Author: Tom Webster

Category: Supermini
P11D price: £16,400
Key rival: Kia Soul

Off-roaders have long been lambasted for their polluting habits, but Toyota's dinky Urban Cruiser is setting out to change that perception.

This 1.4-litre diesel-powered 4x4 sits on a supermini-sized base, but has been beefed up to boost its all-terrain credentials. The result is a chunky-looking little car that sits firmly in the same styling camp as the Daihatsu Materia and Kia Soul.

The advantage it has over these rivals is the fact it can send power to all four wheels should it need extra help in tricky situations. However, as it only uses the front two wheels when cruising around at speed on the road, it limits emissions to just 130g/km and claims consumption figures of 57.6mpg.

As the name implies, it is more suited to town living than green lanes, but costs should be impressively low for a car that will be more capable in winter or no-tarmac conditions than its rivals. The 90PS engine is also definitely more suited to urban sprawl than motorways. It will sit happily at 70mph, but a flat spot in the rev range means acceleration can be laboured attempting overtaking at speed.

A diminutive engine suits the dimensions, though. Its chunky appearance does not make it cumbersome to manoeuvre through tight spots, yet there is still a pleasing amount of head and legroom, both in front and back. The boot is not cavernous, but takes a decent amount of luggage at 305 litres.

This diesel engine will account for a small percentage of sales, but the argument against 4x4s should become less one-sided with its arrival.

Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.4 D-4D 90 AWD
P11D price£16,400
Model price range£14,500-£16,400
Fuel consumption 57.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 130g/km/(18%)
BIK 20/40% per month£49/£98
Service interval10,000mls
Insurancegroup 5
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space min/max 305/673 litres
Engine size/power1364cc/90PS
Top speed/0-62mph 109mph/12.4secs
On sale 8 May 2009
VerdictOffers urban school-run
kudos without the
massive bills


Offers urban school-run kudos without the massive bills