Saturday 4 October 2008

New Car: 2009 Toyota Urban Cruiser

The Toyota UC will launch across Europe in May 2009 with the UK market expected to be one of the first markets to receive it. Sales are forecasted at 30,000 units in the first year with 50% of sales going towards the 1.4 D-4D AWD. The car looks very familiar to some - its a revised Scion xD (sold in the U.S) and Toyota IST (sold in Japan).

Another production model was shown in Paris this week but wearing purple bodywork. The previous show car was painted in Ice Blue. The Urban Cruiser measures at 3,940mm overall length, wheelbase of 2,460mm, width of 1,725mm and a height of 1,540mm, making it larger than the Yaris in which its based upon. A class-leading 314 litre cargo capacity (seats up) and 749 litres (seats down) gives the UC's rivals a run for their money.

The Urban Cruiser will be very well specified for Mainland Europe with front electric windows, 16 inch steel wheels, electric power steering, sliding and reclining rear seats*, active front headrests, 7 airbags, ABS, EBD, VSC with TRC, radio/CD system with MP3-compatible and 6 speakers. Upgrade options include manual air-conditioning with pollen filter.

Mid spec'ced UC's are equipped with leather steering wheel, leather gearshift and front and rear electric windows, audio system has integrated Bluetooth for hands-free calls, air-conditioning, 16 inch alloy wheels and front fog lamps. Upgrade options include automatic air-conditioning and a touch-screen navigation system.

Flagship models have automatic air-conditioning, smart entry, push start button, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, electrical retractable door mirrors, high gloss 16 inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and a touch screen navigation system. Optional full leather seats and central console box with armrest lid are available. Toyota hopes to achieve a full 5 stars in the Euro NCAP car test safety rating, just like the Yaris, Avensis and Auris.

UK models are likely to have an optional sunroof, touch-screen navigation system and metallic paint. The vehicle should be much better equipped than the Yaris supermini but expect to pay a premium for the extra kit. Prices should start from £11,000 for the 2WD model.

Powering the vehicle will be a 1.3 litre VVT-i petrol engine and a 1.4 lire D-4D diesel engine with DPF (diesel particulate filter). The 1.3 litre with Stop/Start system develops 100bhp with a maximum torque of 132Nm at 3,800rpm. This engine is available in 2WD and emits 130g/km of CO2 emissions. The 1.4 litre diesel is available in both 2WD and 4WD variants. The 1.4 litre kicks out 90bhp with maximum torque of 205Nm at between 1,800 and 2,800 rpm. CO2 emissions are low at 120g/km for the 1.4 D-4D 2WD, putting it in VED tax Band B, while the 1.4 D-4D AWD emits 133g/km, making it liable for a £120 taxation and VED tax Band C. Both engine are hooked upto a 6 speed manual transmission and makes it the lowest CO2 emitting SUV in its class.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) for the 2WD, 1.3 VVT-i is 1,590kg, 1,625kg for the 1.4 D-4D 2WD and a hefty 1,700kg for the 4WD variant. The new supermini SUV will rival the popular Fiat Sedici, Suzuki SX4 and VW Polo Dune.

* Sliding rear seats only available with 2WD variants

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