Everything we’ve got to say about the hybrid powertrain…
Hybrids seem to be returning, as high-efficiency diesels are being choked to death. The ongoing joint venture between Toyota and Maruti Suzuki seems to have fairly democratized hybrids through the sibling duo- Urband Cruiser Hyryder and Grand Vitara- badge-engineered renditions of the same mid-size SUV. We sample one to determine the real-world performance, fuel efficiency, livability and occupant experience of the hybrid powertrain and the vehicle it juices.
The Hyryder is a mid-size SUV with dimensions that you’d expect from one. It measures 4,365 mm in length, 1,795 mm in width, and 1,645 mm in height. It has a wheelbase of 2,600 mm, shorter than the Korean rivals. The ground clearance, however, is 210 mm- the best in its class. This gives it a more convincing SUV stance and is quite a good thing to have in real life. Positioning the battery inside has curbed the Hyryder hybrid’s boot capacity slightly.
|Ground clearance||210 mm|
Toyota Hyryder has a distinct character to its design. It fairly encompasses the carmaker’s signature design DNA. Urban Cruiser Hyryder is underpinned by Maruti Suzuki’s global C platform. It is available in a total of 11 colourways– including monotones and dual tones. Key highlights at the front include good-looking LED DRLs, funky headlamp designs, a Carbon Fibre-like finish on the grille, a large air dam, and a flat bonnet. The silhouette looks almost identical to the outgoing Maruti Brezza- except for being vocal about the longer wheelbase. The Silver roof rails, flared wheel arches, faux skid plates and plastic cladding add more character to the vehicle’s design.'
Interior And Features
The cabin looks and feels good. But is it roomy inside? Well, it is, but not as much as what the exterior dimensions and design, in general, would suggest! Most components on the inside would look familiar, as they’ve been sourced straight from Maruti Suzuki. The most triggering of these could be smaller bits like power window switches, rear reading lamps etc, that despite the Hyryder’s price tag, come from extremely affordable Maruti cars. The free-standing 9-inch Smart Playcast touchscreen comes from the new Brezza and feels good to operate. It, however, hinders the front visibility slightly. The dashboard comes straight from the Brezza- a fact that wouldn’t hit you in the first go- thanks to the neat leather padding it gets, with premium double stitching and vertical Silver trims- reminiscent of the new Fortuner.
The touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and phone mirroring. The vehicle does not come with branded premium speakers. Though there is a ‘Premium audio’ option available within the settings, the end results are barely on par with the premium audio outs of some of its competitors. Other notable features on the Urban Cruiser Hyryder include 360-degree camera, 7-inch digital instrument cluster, head up display, climate control, a large panoramic sunroof offering sliding function for both the panes, ventilated seats and a wireless charger.
Toyota Hyryder: Rear Row And Boot
Urban Cruiser Hyryder offers a decent rear seat experience. The overall design is quite supportive and comfortable. You sit high with a commanding view and comfy cushioning. There are ample knee and leg rooms for the rear occupants. The rear also has individual headrests and 3-point seat belts. Further, the rear backrest can also be reclined for added convenience.
The downside, however, is that headroom at the rear is adequate for people up to 6ft in height. Taller people would end up rubbing their heads against the roof- taller-set rear seats and panoramic sunroof could be quoted as the reasons. The boot space again, is compromised slightly due to the electric powertrain’s battery pack sitting inside- 255 litres is not you’d expect from this segment. There is some additional storage available underneath the boot floor and alongside a pair of small side pockets. The spare wheel (full size and Steel) is mounted underneath the vehicle, as you would find in an Innova or Fortuner.
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Toyota Hyryder Hybrid: Specification
Toyota offers the Urban Cruiser Hyryder with two petrol powertrains- a mild hybrid and a strong hybrid. While the mild-hybrid could feel more or less similar to the one on the new Brezza, the strong hybrid has a lot to talk about, and is thus the one we are sampling today.
The strong hybrid powertrain consists of a 1.5L petrol engine coupled with a front-axle-mounted electric motor and its battery pack that sits towards the rear of the vehicle. The interesting thing, however, is that this petrol engine is not the one you’d find in the Brezza, it is not MSIL’s K-series engine. This instead, is a 3-cylinder engine running the Atkinson cycle, that comes from some of Toyota’s global models. Atkinson cycle, if you’d recollect, is quite dated compared to say, Otto cycle, and is often ditched for the way it dulls the low-end performance and ruins the overall driveability. On hybrids, however, it makes so much sense. Here, the low-end torque vulnerabilities are addressed well by the electric motor, while the engine caters to all further performance needs. This process also ensures great fuel efficiency overall.
On the Hyryder, the TNGA petrol engine is capable of churning out 92 hp / 122 Nm and another 80 hp / 141 Nm can be had from the electric motor. The combined output, however, is not 92+80 hp, but 114 hp instead. Another interesting thing here is that the Hyryder’s electric powertrain uses a Lithium ion battery pack, unlike the Camry hybrid that uses Nickel Hydride batteries. The capacity of this, further, is just 0.76 kWh. The gearbox on offer is a single speed CVT, which Toyota prefers to call ‘e-CVT’.
There are a total of three driving modes on offer on the Hyryder- Eco, Normal and Power. ‘Normal’ would be where you’d want to stick around for the most balanced drive experience. Eco takes a toll on the power delivery and performance, while ‘Power’ mode fails to reward you with huge performance improvements. However, it would be the way this car drives off the line and into speeds, that would feel the most interesting. The hybrid powertrain seems so seamlessly put together. The transition from the ICE to the motor and back happens seamlessly and the CVT box feels decent and predictable at most times.
The vehicle starts on the electric motor. It is the motor that gives it the first push, and gets moving. The TNGA petrol engines wakes up only after the Hyryder is on the roll. You can hasten the ICE kick-in with strong throttle inputs as well. The electric motor and its 141 Nm of instantaneous torque keeps the low-end clean. However, the powertrain lacks any urgency, and speed builds up in an extremely linear manner. In fact, the Hyryder takes around 13 seconds to do the 0-100 kph sprint. The best part here would be the overall refinement levels. The powertrain feels smooth and silent at most times. The 3 cylinder TNGA engine lets you know of it kicking in, almost every other time- it even has the characteristic 3-pot thrum.
The powertrain even offers an EV mode, that’d let you run on the electric motor alone. This can be engaged when the battery charge levels are above 50-60 percent and when throttle inputs aren’t aggressive. The small size and capacity of the battery does limit the EV-only range and recharge rates. The vehicle’s four disc brakes are strong and have aggressive bites- probably due to the regen working along.
Ride And Handling
Unlike the Suzukis that we’re familiar with, the Hyryder’s steering is not too vague or light. It offers ample feel and feedback. There is enough weight to it to give the driver ample confidence. There is body roll to be felt, courtesy of the 210mm ground clearance probably! However, this SUV doesn’t scare us with the way it rides. Overall road manners would instantly relate it to the Suzuki Global C platform- we all know how good that chassis is! The suspension is on the stiffer side, probably due to the added weight, but for good. Ride quality is as good as the road manners and body control.
Toyota Hyryder Hybrid Fuel Efficiency: Real Data
Honestly, the Hyryder strong hybrid excels with its real world fuel efficiency. We are not talking about the on-paper figures, and not results of an all-ideal setting. We took the hybrid Hyryder on a real-life drive routine to gauge its efficiency. Having started off with around 40-42 liters of fuel, we munched more than 600 kilometers, in a week’s time. The route involved highways, country roads, ghats and more. The overall mileage figures stood at around 19 kpl. On highways, 22 kpl was what we managed to achieve and in other common road scenes, the SUV returned 19-21 kpl as well. The highest number we saw, was a whopping 22.5 kpl- something that one would hardly expect from a vehicle of this segment!
Pros: What Not To Like On Toyota Hyryder?
A quick rundown of some of the not-so-good things:
- The headroom at the rear could have been better
- Common-in-segment features like rain-sensing wipers, autonomous driver assistance, and powered seats go missing on the Hyryder hybrid.
- The boot capacity could have been better.
- The plastics and elements inside are more ‘Maruti-borrowed’ and oddly familiar.
- The exterior size fails to translate well into cabin room.
Variants And Prices
The Hyryder strong hybrid is available in 3 variants- S, G and V. The top-of-the-line V is priced at Rs 18.99 lakh, ex-showroom. Hyryder G hybrid bears an ex-showroom price of 17.49 lakh, and Hyrder S hybrid 15.11 lakh. View more images of the Hyryder hybrid here.
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