Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder review- A sensible Hybrid

The Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder has democratised strong hybrids


  • Astonishing hybrid fuel economy
  • Well equipped for the price
  • Commanding driving position
  • Please-all-offend-none styling
  • Spacious and comfortable interiors


  • Tight boot space in the strong hybrid
  • Unexciting powertrains
  • Interior fit-and-finish could be better
  • Refinement could be better

Toyota has made quite a name for itself in India over the last two decades, but they never could truly go mass market. Eventually, the best solution for them became a joint-venture with Maruti which faced the exact opposite situation. The Urban Cruiser Hyryder is the first fruit of the union. Built on Suzuki’s Global C platform, it gets Toyota’s renowned strong hybrid technology that has done duties for many years abroad. While the development has been a joint effort, the car along with the Maruti Grand Vitara is manufactured at Toyota’s Bidadi plant in Karnataka while the mild hybrid engine is supplied by Maruti. To truly understand the essence of the Urban Cruiser Hyryder, however we have with us the strong hybrid version today powered by a combination of a 1.5L petrol engine along with an electric motor.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder: Design

The Urban Cruiser Hyryder looks smart and classy, if a bit anonymous

Being a Toyota, the Hyryder does not feature flashy, shiny or many contrasting elements. However, the styling does evoke a sense of subtle elegance. Toyota has done well to appeal to conservative tastes, yet not make it look old or boring. At the front, you have twin DRLs which flow neatly into the black grille with a carbon-fibre pattern. Below the DRLs are large surrounds housing projector headlamps. You also have the massive grille and a large silver skid plate underneath which give it good road presence. As you move towards the side, you notice squared-off wheel arches, a large glass area and a very classy C pillar divided into the dual-tone paint colours. It also has smart looking alloys and a uniquely placed Hybrid badge under the mirrors.

Move on towards the rear and one notices a stark familiarity with other global Toyota designs. Also draped in the squarish-theme, it gets snazzy C-shaped taillamps with a chrome strip connecting the two. Interestingly, the reverse lights, indicators and reflectors are placed on the extreme edges in a vertical fashion near the bottom of the bumper giving it a signature look. Overall, the Hyryder is smart, but subtle leaving really nobody complaining about the styling.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder: Interiors & Features

Open the door and sit inside and the first thing you notice is how easy the ingress and egress is. The large doors along with a good seat height make sure that its a comfortable affair. The dashboard gets a nice, swoopy design with the 9 inch free standing touchscreen infotainment system taking the centre stage. The collaboration with Maruti can be clearly seen in the interior with many parts such as the HVAC controls, steering wheel, power window switches and more coming straight out of the Maruti parts bin. While not outrightly terrible, the fit and finish could have been far better given the competition which feels nicer inside. There is also a lack of soft touch plastics inside that may feel a bit cheap compared to some rivals.

The 9 inch touchscreen is slick and responsive

Equipment levels inside are quite good too. The aforementioned touchscreen is quite slick and responsive if a bit basic. It is quite loaded with wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay along with connected car technology and a 360 degree camera. This unit is paired to an Arkamys sound system with 4 speakers and 2 tweeters. There is a lot of cool stuff otherwise too, with ventilated front seats, heads-up display, a large panoramic sunroof, digital instrument cluster, tyre pressure monitoring and wireless smartphone charger also making their way inside. A decent and long feature list that will be enough for the average joe. As for safety, the Urban Cruiser Hyryder has you covered with 6 airbags, ESP, Hill Start Assist, 3 point seatbelts and adjustable headrests for all occupants.

The rear seats are supportive and high set

The rear bench is a comfortable place to be in. For one, the bench itself is supportive with slightly hard cushioning which is great for spending long hours in. It is placed high which gives one a commanding view ahead and paired with the large windows, the cabin feels airy despite of the dark brown and black theme used inside. Legroom is great as well, although headroom can feel restrictive in variants equipped with the sunroof. Possibly the biggest flaw with the Urban Cruiser Hyryder is the small boot, which at just 255L in the hybrid feels a tad too small. While this can be understood due to the presence of the hybrid battery underneath, it does hamper the practicality of an otherwise sensible package.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder: Driving Impressions

Toyota’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 1,490cc, three-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor and an e-CVT gearbox. The electric motor draws energy from a 0.76kWh lithium-ion battery pack. What’s interesting is that not only can the electric motor power the vehicle all by itself for a short while, the vehicle by default, starts in EV mode. Besides powering the vehicle, the motor also acts like a generator and recharges the battery when the vehicle is running on petrol. Transmission duties are carried by an e-CVT, which isn’t a conventional belt and pulley set-up, but a sun and planetary gearbox that channels power to the front wheels.

Overtaking on open roads and highways will require careful planning and you will need to work the gears along the way too. However, the 5-speed manual transmission is slick and pretty easy to operate, and so is the effort-free clutch. A/C performed pretty well even when the petrol engine was not running. As with other hybrids, they have used an electric compressor which is not driven off the engine belt.


Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder: Verdict

The Urban Cruiser Hyryder has been developed with a lot of thought put into it. While there is a fair bit of Maruti in the package, that only makes it more practical and balanced. The interior is fairly well-equipped with comfortable seats and a decent amount of room. Pair that with a flabbergasting level of fuel economy from the Hybrid powertrain along with the silence and smoothness that comes with it and you have a package that is the pragmatic buyer’s dream. Sure, it isn’t all rosy, the boot space is lacking, the interiors could do with a better sense of occasion and the 3 cylinder engine could make its presence felt less but these come little in the way of the no-nonsense vibe of the Urban Cruiser Hyryder. It stands true to the Toyota badge then and it shows in the sales figures with about 3000-5000 units sold monthly. It is not the segment best but not in least bit devoid of success. Should you buy one then? Absolutely, if you are looking for a matter-of-fact machine which goes about doing its job, every day without you having to think about it.

The Urban Cruiser Hyryder is priced between Rs. 11.14- 20.19 Lakhs (Ex-showroom) and competes with other midsize crossovers such as the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Honda Elevate among others.

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