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2010 Toyota Urban Cruiser, In-Depth

April 5th, 2009
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The new Toyota Urban Cruiser brings together three key attributes in a unique package: Toyota's proven expertise in rugged, all-road vehicle design, the comfort and versatility of a compact hatchback; and class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions, achieved with Toyota Optimal Drive technology.

Its robust design incorporates Toyota's Active Torque Control all-wheel drive system and high levels of occupant safety. It provides strong on-road traction and confidence-inspiring stability and agility in all weather conditions.

Urban Cruiser's dimensions are compact and urban-friendly, benefiting from state-of-the-art Toyota packaging know-how, honed in models such as iQ and Yaris. It has all the five-seat spaciousness, practicality and loadspace flexibility of ingenious compact cars, reflecting the diverse lifestyles and requirements of today's B-segment customers.

It also addresses market demand for environmentally responsible vehicles, with Toyota Optimal Drive technology delivering low fuel consumption and emissions without compromising Urban Cruiser's performance and driving dynamics.

Urban Cruiser will go on sale in the UK and Europe in May. The European objective for first full-year sales is more than 25,000 units, with AWD versions accounting for 30 per cent of the total. Toyota expects to sell approximately 2,500 Urban Cruisers in the UK in its first full-year of sales.

A distinctive new car in a diverse segment

New Urban Cruiser has been designed for Europe's highly competitive B-segment market, which has recently fragmented into several sub-segments. These sub-segments have more than doubled in size since 2002, growth driven by an increasingly diverse cross-section of customers who want more distinctive vehicles that fit in with their lifestyles.

Active lifestyle customer base

Urban Cruiser is designed for customers who are dissatisfied with conventional B-segment hatchbacks and want a vehicle that better expresses their individuality. Typically these people are singles and couples in their 30s and 40s. Urban Cruiser customers will include a significant number who combine an active lifestyle with a high level of environmental awareness but who are not willing to compromise on style.

Distinctive design: rugged exterior, refined interior

Urban Cruiser meets the needs of its target customers with a stylish design that combines the rugged good looks of an all-roader within a compact, urban friendly package. The high quality interior provides five-seat spaciousness, practicality, versatility and a flexible load space, together with more comfort and refinement than is usual in the segment.

Compact, urban-friendly dimensions

Urban Cruiser is 3,930mm long, 1,725mm wide and 1,525mm tall (1,540 with AWD). These dimensions make it ideal for city streets, but in spite of its compact size, its long, 2,460mm wheelbase means there is plenty of room for five on board and ample luggage space.

Driving performance is agile, stable and firmly balanced, qualities that are further improved in the 1.4 D-4D model with AWD.

Class-leading CO2 emissions with no-compromise driving dynamics

The application of Toyota Optimal Drive technology enables Urban Cruiser to meet the growing demand for socially responsible vehicles. With CO2 emissions that fall within the 130g/km threshold, it responds to the introduction of emissions-based vehicle taxation, yet still provides a dynamic, enjoyable driving experience both around town and out on the open road.

Urban Cruiser is available with a choice of two highly efficient new engines: a 100bhp (101 DIN hp) 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine with Stop & Start technology and an 89bhp (90 DIN hp) 1.4-litre D-4D diesel. The latter is available in the UK exclusively with an AWD powertrain, producing CO2 emissions of 130g/km – the world's lowest level for any all-wheel driven passenger car. Urban Cruiser 1.33 Stop & Start produces CO2 emissions of ?129g/km.


  • Rugged styling in the Toyota all-road vehicle tradition
  • Aerodynamically efficient, Cd 0.315
  • High quality interior styled at Toyota's ED2 European design studio
  • Spacious, flexible and practical

Rugged styling in the Toyota all-road vehicle tradition

Urban Cruiser combines the rugged, muscular appearance of a Toyota all-roader with compact dimensions and five-door practicality.

Its striking looks meet the demands of customers for a car that stands out from the crowd. A high belt line, prominent lower doorsills and muscular wheelarches accentuate the robust stance. Emphasising the car's tough urban credentials, underbody components are finished in black, including the front and rear bumper underguards and side rocker panel mouldings. For an even tougher look, a body kit is available for the entire underbody section.

Urban Cruiser features a number of frontal design elements that instantly identify it as a member of the Toyota family, including a large horizontal bar integrated in the front grille; headlamps that are pulled back and outwards into the wings; and a deep, sculpted front bumper with integrated foglamps.

In profile, the vehicle's rugged appearance is further reinforced by the prominent wheelarches, broad shoulder surfaces and deep door panels. The large, body-coloured door mirrors are designed for optimum aerodynamic performance and low wind noise, and give excellent rearward visibility.

The broad rear stance is accentuated by a low-profile rear window, powerfully sculpted bodywork, a wide track and wide tyres. The rear combination lamps have integrated foglights and feature two-tone red and white outer lenses. A high-mounted LED stop light is incorporated into the tailgate trim.

Sixteen-inch alloy wheels with a high gloss finish are fitted as standard.

Aerodynamic performance

In spite of its rugged exterior design, Urban Cruiser displays admirable aerodynamic characteristics, with a drag coefficient of 0.315. This was made possible by careful tuning of the airflow over the bodywork, in particular the 'pagoda' roof and rear spoiler. The angle of the roof sides was optimised and the lower section of the front bumper and the door mirrors was shaped for optimum aerodynamic performance. Adding front and rear wheel spats has significantly reduced air turbulence in the wheelarches.

High quality interior

Urban Cruiser's interior was designed at Toyota's European Design Studio ED2. Its quality and refinement are unprecedented in the B-segment all-road market.

The strong horizontal emphasis of the dashboard emphasises the bright spaciousness of the interior design. Its careful integration with the concave door trim surfaces also adds to the vehicle's class-leading occupant safety attributes.

The speedometer and tachometer are combined in a concentric circle and covered by a smoked glass plate with a non-reflective coating, giving the impression of a high-tech radar screen. A gear shift indicator shows the optimum gear change points to help the driver achieve the best fuel consumption and emissions performance.

The design of the 'floating' centre cluster is both original and functional, with excellent switchgear ergonomics. The centre cluster, front console and door switch panels have a metallic silver finish, adding to the overall sense of quality and refinement.

Space, flexibility and practicality

Urban Cruiser's 2,460mm wheelbase and short, 785/685mm front/rear overhangs allow for a remarkably spacious interior within the vehicle's compact exterior dimensions. The 314-litre loadspace capacity can be increased to up to 749 litres (1.3 VVT-i 2WD) when the rear seats are folded down.

The seats are upholstered in a high quality jersey material that compliments the dark grey interior. The sports front seats have a particularly thin profile, which improves legroom for rear seat passengers.

There are two different rear seat designs, according to model. The 2WD Urban Cruiser has a 60:40 split rear bench, with slide, recline and tilt-down functions, while the AWD version has the same configuration, but with the benefit of a double-fold system.

Urban Cruiser has a wide range of storage compartments around the cabin, including upper and lower glove box sections, rear door pocket bottle holders, a rear centre bottle holder, a utility box next to the handbrake, a front driver's side utility box, twin front centre cupholders, and a front passenger side cupholder that's handily located in front of the air vent to keep drinks cool in warm weather.


  • Toyota Optimal Drive technology gives more power with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
  • New 100bhp (101 DIN hp) 1.3 Dual VVT-i petrol engine with Stop & Start system
  • Revised 89bhp (90 DIN hp) 1.4-litre D-4D diesel
  • 1.4 D-4D AWD has world's lowest AWD passenger car CO2 emissions and fuel consumption
  • New six-speed manual transmission

New Urban Cruiser benefits from Toyota Optimal Drive technology, a range of powertrain innovations that strengthens Toyota's position as a leader in environmental responsibility and sustainable mobility, and is fundamental to it achieving a whole-fleet CO2 average below 140g/km.

Toyota Optimal Drive showcases wide-ranging, advanced technologies that are designed to achieve the best balance of performance and driving enjoyment with fuel economy and low emissions. These focus on three key aspects of powertrain development: reduction of weight, reduction of mechanical losses and maximisation of combustion efficiency.

New Toyota Optimal Drive 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine

Toyota's new 1.33-litre petrol engine features Stop & Start technology and Dual VVT-i variable valve timing, and operates at a remarkably high 11.5:1 compression ratio. It generates 100bhp (101 DIN hp) at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 132Nm at 3,800rpm. Excellent dynamic performance is matched by combined cycle fuel consumption of 51.4mpg and 129g/km CO2 emissions.

The engine's design benefits from Toyota's extensive motor sport experience in being exceptionally lightweight and compact, with a small bore and long stroke, giving a very high power to weight ratio. It features a resin-type cylinder head cover and intake manifold, and an intake channel that has been streamlined to optimise airflow and thus improve combustion efficiency.

Dual VVT-i helps boost response across the entire rev range by varying the air-fuel intake and exhaust valve timing to suit conditions at any given time. As well as improving torque at low and medium engine speeds, the system also reduces emissions and contributes to better fuel efficiency.

Stop & Start

New Stop & Start, featured on the 1.3 Dual VVT-i engine, automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stopped and in neutral. In urban driving, the system can deliver significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions (up to four per cent).

Developed by Toyota, the system is the first in the world to feature a permanently engaged starter motor mechanism. This brings two major benefits: quiet operation and rapid restarting.

Stop & Start turns off the engine when the car comes to a halt, the gear shift is moved to neutral and the clutch pedal is released. Automatic restart is instantaneous as the driver engages the clutch again to select a gear.

To ensure comfort and safety, the engine will not stop if the desired cabin temperature has not been reached; when the selected temperature has been achieved, the air conditioning will switch to “ECO-run loading”, allowing the automatic engine stop function to operate. The engine will automatically restart in the event of low battery charge, or if the vehicle begins to move.

Revised Toyota Optimal Drive 1.4 D-4D diesel engine

Toyota has comprehensively revised its 1.4-litre D-4D common rail diesel engine, available in Urban Cruiser in the UK exclusively with all-wheel drive. It uses the latest piezo-electric injector technology and is equipped as standard with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The piezo-electric injectors work at exceptionally high, 160MPa injection pressure and can supply larger, more precise volumes of fuel at twice the speed of conventional injectors. Thanks to their high operating speed, they can deliver multiple injections in each combustion cycle, optimising the combustion process to give responsive performance with low fuel consumption and reduced emissions.

The engine generates 89bhp (90 DIN hp) at 3,800rpm and 205Nm of torque between 1,800 and 2,800rpm. Combined cycle fuel economy is 57.7mpg and CO2 emissions are 130g/km, the lowest for any AWD passenger car.

New six-speed manual transmission

Both engines use a new six-speed transmission, which also benefits from the application of Toyota Optimal Drive technology. Gear changes are quiet and smooth and a wide sixth gear ratio helps the powertrain achieve world-class levels of efficiency and fuel economy.

Driving Dynamics

  • Active Torque Control AWD
  • MacPherson strut front suspension, rear torsion beam
  • Fuel-efficient Electric Power Steering (EPS)

Active Torque Control AWD

The 1.4-litre D-4D Urban Cruiser is equipped with Active Torque Control all-wheel drive. Integrated with the vehicle's other traction control systems, Active Torque Control is seamless and flexible, providing optimum torque distribution ranging from 100:0 to 50:50 front to rear drive, according to driving dynamics and road conditions.

The system uses an electronically controlled coupling located in front of the rear differential to give the vehicle better traction and cornering stability. When pulling away or accelerating on a low-grip surface, torque is directed to all four wheels to ensure the best possible acceleration with minimal loss of traction. During low-speed cornering torque distribution to the rear wheels is reduced, to avoid tight corner braking. When braking, the coupling is disengaged to optimise operation of the ABS. In normal cruising conditions Urban Cruiser operates in front-wheel drive, with torque apportioned to the rear wheels only when necessary, thus saving fuel.

Active Torque Control is fully automated, but the system can be locked using a dashboard switch, to improve traction in mud or snow. When locked, the system distributes maximum torque to the rear wheels. When vehicle speed goes above 25mph, “Lock mode” is released and the vehicle automatically returns to “Auto mode”.


Urban Cruiser features a high-rigidity, compact, L-arm type MacPherson Strut front suspension, which gives excellent ride comfort, minimal body roll and agile handling performance.

The rear torsion beam suspension with integral anti-roll bar was chosen for its compact, lightweight design, which causes minimal intrusion in the loadspace. The result is outstanding packaging efficiency with first class ride comfort and handling.

Electric Power Steering (EPS)

The Electric Power Steering (EPS) gives variable assistance for low-speed manoeuvrability around town and added weight and feel for high-speed driving. It uses electric power only when assistance is needed, so is more fuel-efficient than conventional hydraulic systems. And because it doesn't use hydraulic fluid, no waste oil is generated, making it kinder to the environment, too.


  • Class-leading active and passive safety
  • Impact-absorbing body
  • Seven airbags
  • Active front headrests
  • ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control fitted as standard

Impact-absorbing body

Urban Cruiser has been designed to offer the highest level of active, passive and pedestrian impact safety performance.

Its lightweight yet highly rigid impact-absorbing bodyshell incorporates a significant percentage of high tensile steel. Impact-absorbing material is used in all the door trims to reduce impact forces on passengers' backs and chests in a side collision, and the door armrest structure has a crushable design to further absorb side impact forces.

The bonnet has an energy-absorbing structure and a crushable cowl at its rear edge. The bonnet lock is set well down, away from the upper bonnet surface, and upper and lower leg impact absorbers are incorporated into the vehicle's front structure. Additional absorbers are positioned where the rear edge of the bonnet meets the upper wing, and front wiper motor has a collapsible bracket, designed to help prevent injury in a pedestrian impact.

Passive safety features

All Urban Cruisers are fitted with seven airbags: driver and front passenger airbags, driver's knee airbag, front side airbags and full-length curtain shield airbags.All seats have three-point ELR (emergency locking retractor) seatbelts with a pre-tensioner and force limiter function. ELR locks up the belt when the load on it exceeds a preset value. During a collision, the force limiter fractionally reduces seatbelt tension to reduce impact forces on the wearer's chest.Active front headrests are designed to reduce whiplash injury in rear-end collisions. If a rear impact of sufficient force occurs, the headrests automatically move forwards and upwards to support the head.


Urban Cruiser is fitted with 275mm diameter ventilated front disc brakes. At the rear 2WD models have 259mm discs, with those on AWD models measuring 279mm across.

Active Safety Systems

ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) are fitted as standard to all Urban Cruiser models.

Cost of ownership

  • Low servicing costs
  • Oil Maintenance Monitoring System (OMMS)
  • Low CO2 taxation and fuel costs
  • Proven Toyota quality
  • Environmentally efficient production
  • Design for easy end-of-life dismantling

Lower servicing costs

Urban Cruiser's 10,000-mile service intervals maximises component lifetime efficiency so that parts such as brake pads are only changed when they have been fully used. A maintenance-free timing chain, a low-cost oil filter in which only one component has to be changed, long-life spark plugs and the use of non-synthetic oil all contribute to low maintenance costs.

Urban Cruiser benefits from Toyota's excellent record of low repair costs, with many components developed specifically to reduce the cost of impact damage repairs. The clutch is self-adjusting, too, and due to an automatic tensioner the auxiliary belt avoids the need for periodic checking.

Oil Maintenance Monitoring System (OMMS)

The Urban Cruiser 1.4 D-4D has an Oil Maintenance Monitoring System (OMMS), which continuously monitors engine use and determines the optimum oil change interval.

As the 1.33 Dual VVT-i engine uses automatic valve adjusters, there is no need for any adjustment of the valve clearances during the engine's lifetime. The clutch is self-adjusting, too, and the auxiliary belt avoids the need for periodic checking with an automatic tensioner. Additionally, the engine coolant will last for 100,000 miles.

Low CO2 taxation and fuel costs

The adoption of Toyota Optimal Drive technology makes Urban Cruiser's petrol and diesel engines highly efficient, resulting in low emissions and excellent fuel economy. As a result, owners pay less at the pumps and enjoy low Vehicle Excise Duty charges. All Urban Cruisers are in Band C for VED for 2008 – 2009, Band D for 2009 – 2010.

Proven Toyota quality

Urban Cruiser benefits from more than 50 years of Toyota experience in building all-roader vehicles. Its bodyshell has been designed to be corrosion-free throughout the vehicle's lifetime, with the use of galvanised steel sheets for most of the body components adding to its anti-corrosion characteristics. A coating is applied to the underbody to prevent any corrosion damage as a result of paint chipping.

Environmentally responsible production

Toyota's manufacturing plants are among the most environmentally advanced in the world, often heated and cooled using solar power, surrounded by native trees and committed to a “zero waste to landfill” policy.

Toyota has cut the quantity of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in Urban Cruiser's interior parts. Acrylic-based material is used for the undercoating, in place of polyvinyl chloride.

Design for easy end-of-life dismantling

To ensure easy recycling, large components such as the front bumper and door trims carry dismantling marks. Materials of components weighing less than 100g are also marked to make dismantling easier.

Equipment and pricing

Urban Cruiser goes on sale in the UK in May 2009, offered in a single, high specification grade. On-the-road prices are £14,500 for the 1.3 Dual VVT-i 2WD model and £16,400 for the 1.4 D-4D AWD version. UK insurance groups are yet to be fixed.

Urban Cruiser is protected by Toyota's three-year/60,000-mile pan-European warranty, with a 12-year/unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warrant and three-year/unlimited mileage paint warranty.

Equipment features

Urban Cruiser's specification reflects its market position as a stylish, contemporary vehicle that meets the needs of discerning B-segment customers.

All models come equipped as standard with 16-inch high-gloss alloy wheels, Bluetooth, automatic air conditioning, Smart Entry & Start for keyless entry and push-button engine start-up, rear privacy glass and an electrochromic auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

The six-speaker audio system includes an Aux-in socket for connecting personal music players and can playback MP3 files stored on disc. The leather-trimmed steering wheel features additional controls for the music system and Bluetooth operation and the dashboard features Optitron instrumentation, with a radar screen-style design for the concentric speedometer and tachometer displays.

Rear seats on all models have a recline function, those on the AWD model also benefiting from fore and aft slide adjustment. A space-saver spare wheel is provided on the 2WD Urban Cruiser, with a tyre repair kit on the AWD version.

Options and Option Packs

Urban Cruiser owners can take advantage of a range of optional equipment and option packs that provide extra touches of style, entertainment, practicality and protection against the knocks and scrapes of modern urban driving.

  • Style Pack: includes scuff plates, alloy pedals, front chrome strips and a leather and aluminium handbrake lever trim.
  • Urban Pack: includes rear parking sensors, rear bumper protection plate, bumper corner protectors and side mouldings.
  • Tech Pack: includes Aux/USB connection and iPod/iPhone integration kit and a digital audio tuner.
  • Leather seats: seats are finished in two-tone Furano leather with perforated panels.
  • Satellite navigation: full-map, EU-wide system with city centre lane guidance, 3D landmarks, live traffic information, Bluetooth with music streaming and voice recognition software.

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