Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder Review: Hybrid Theory

Published on 5 Sept, 2023, 1:30 PM IST
Updated on 22 Apr, 2024, 7:07 AM IST

Pratik Rakshit
Pratik Rakshit
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Is investing in the strong hybrid version of the Toyota HyRyder a wise decision?

The Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder has not only survived but thrived in the fiercely competitive compact SUV market, owing to its hybrid powertrains, remarkable performance, exceptional fuel efficiency, robust safety features, and the inherent trust and reliability associated with the Toyota brand. However, amidst these commendable aspects, there are certain elements that warrant appreciation and critique. Today, we check out these attributes.

Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder: Exterior

In my opinion, Toyota's innovative approach to differentiating the HyRyder from its Maruti counterpart is truly commendable. The inclusion of twin DRLs and the incorporation of a carbon fibre-patterned black grille panel immediately catch the eye and set it apart. Personally, I'm particularly fond of how the air dams not only contribute to the overall aesthetics but also add a dynamic flair to the design.

The combination of the raised flat bonnet, well-defined squared-off wheel arches, durable plastic body cladding, and the addition of sleek silver roof rails all come together to create a rugged yet stylish SUV persona. Having said that, I can't help but wonder if the utilization of blacked-out elements in place of chrome would have further elevated its visual allure, giving it a more distinctive and captivating look.

Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder: Tech & Interior

Toyota undeniably hits the mark when it comes to the build quality of the HyRyder. However, I can't help but notice that the cabin doesn't quite exude a premium feel. While the interior is certainly well-crafted, it falls short in terms of certain essential features. Speaking personally, I believe there are two key aspects that the car should have included: electronically adjustable seats, especially for the driver, and automatic rain-sensing wipers.

These additions could have truly elevated the overall comfort and convenience of the driving experience. Nevertheless, it's worth acknowledging that Toyota has skillfully managed to optimize space in strategic areas, which is a noteworthy accomplishment.

Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder: Rear Seat Space

One standout feature of the HyRyder that truly captures my admiration is its rear seat space, which triumphs over the competition, even surpassing models like the Grand Vitara, Seltos, and Creta. This translates to generous knee room and a respectable amount of headroom, undoubtedly contributing to an enhanced passenger experience. And let's not forget the game-changer here: the expansive panoramic sunroof, which adds an element of openness and luxury to the cabin.

Length

4365 mm

Width

1795 mm

Height

1645 mm

Wheelbase

2600 mm

Ground Clearance

210 mm

However, there's a trade-off to consider. The luggage area presents a compromise. In the strong hybrid version, you're looking at around 265-litre of boot space, which admittedly falls short compared to other contenders in this segment, as well as numerous hatchbacks available in the market. It's important to acknowledge that accommodating the hybrid powertrain does pose challenges, but the current boot space remains notably lower.

Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder: Engine & Transmission

Despite its notable shortcomings, the HyRyder possesses a remarkable ability to uplift spirits, particularly when you take the driver's seat. What truly stands out is the driving experience of this strong hybrid. One of the most gratifying aspects of driving a strong hybrid is its seamless transition to electric mode, which provides a serene and noiseless start to your journey.

Toyota's assertion that around 50 to 60 per cent of urban commuting can be accomplished using electric motors resonates well. This translates to prolonged periods of blissful silence during your drives, with the petrol engine only chiming in when the need for spirited acceleration or quick overtaking arises. The bulk of the vehicle's operation is gracefully orchestrated by the electric motor, which, in my view, offers a refreshing and forward-thinking approach to urban mobility.

Displacement

1490 cc

Max Power

91 bhp @5500 rpm

Peak Torque

122 Nm @4400-4800 rpm

Transmission

e-CVT

Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder: Ride & Handling

Nonetheless, there's a slight stumble in its performance. One drawback of the HyRyder becomes apparent when the petrol engine kicks in, unleashing a noticeable surge of noise that permeates the cabin. This can be attributed to the inherent characteristics of the 3-cylinder setup, which, apart from the serene EV mode, can be a bit grating when pushed to its limits. Admittedly, it's not a dealbreaker, particularly when weighed against the car's notable efficiency gains.

What truly leaves an impression on the strong hybrid iteration of the HyRyder is its exceptional fuel economy. It's worth mentioning that, despite its shortcomings, the car more than compensates with its outstanding fuel efficiency. With a full tank, you can expect to cover nearly 800 km, translating to an impressive 28 kmpl. This figure is quite praiseworthy, especially when you consider that most vehicles in this segment often feature turbocharged units. In my view, this sets a refreshing and noteworthy standard in the landscape of modern automobiles.

Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder: Verdict

Now, let's delve into the pivotal question: Is investing in the strong hybrid version of the Toyota HyRyder a wise decision? My take on this is quite straightforward. The vehicle boasts contemporary aesthetics, embodying a no-nonsense approach to design. Furthermore, it excels as an impressive and high-performing hybrid, offering a powertrain that seamlessly blends efficiency and performance.

Prices (ex-showroom, India)

Toyota UC HyRyder

Hyundai Creta

Kia Seltos

Maruti Suzuki GV

Petrol MT

Rs. 10.86–17.34 lakh

Rs. 10.87 – Rs. 15.17 lakh

Rs. 10.90–Rs. 18.30 lakh

Rs. 10.70–Rs. 16.91 lakh

Petrol AT

Rs. 13.81–Rs. 17.24 lakh

Rs. 16.33–Rs. 17.89 lakh

Rs. 16.60–Rs. 20 lakh

Rs. 13.60–Rs. 16.91 lakh

Hybrid

Rs. 16.46–Rs. 19.99 lakh

NA

NA

Rs. 18.33- Rs. 19.83 lakh

The commendable fuel efficiency further adds to its appeal. While it's important to acknowledge a couple of drawbacks, such as the relatively compact boot space and the understanding that it won't outpace turbocharged competitors in drag races, there's also the matter of its premium pricing.

In my opinion, if you're able to look beyond these minor concerns and opt for the hybrid rendition of the HyRyder, you're making a discerning choice. It presents a comprehensive package, marrying aesthetics, performance, and efficiency. Additionally, considering the long-term benefits both for you and the environment, the strong hybrid version emerges as an attractive proposition.

Photography By: Apoorv Choudhary

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