A Guide to the Toyota Urban Cruiser in South Africa

The Suzuki Vitara Brez... Ahem! Sorry. The Toyota Urban Cruiser is a deft little SUV that was named the winner in the Compact category in the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) 2022 Car of the Year awards.

A brief history of the Toyota Urban Cruiser

That Vitara Brezza slip of the tongue is relevant because the Toyota Urban Cruiser is the latest in a series of collaborations with Maruti Suzuki of India, which sees vehicles sharing platforms. In this case, the Urban Cruiser is largely only cosmetically different to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, with the addition of a few added features.

Buying a Toyota Urban Cruiser

Toyota fans looking for a less serious, less expensive, less capable and likely more-fun-around-town version of the Land Cruiser (for which the Urban Cruiser is named) can select from five variants in six colours. Shoutout to the designers who named Burnt Orange, Mystic Pearl White and Sonic Silver. The ones who named Cobalt Blue Metallic, Coffee Brown and Iron Grey Metallic probably did so at 4:45pm on a Friday.

The base five-speed manual Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.5Xi MT price starts from R272 200 and comes with a fair number of bells, but fewer whistles. The range-topping XR AT adds cruise control, front and rear armrests, six-speaker sound system, two-tone paintwork, front LED fog lamps, alloy wheels, reverse camera, automatic light control system, auto retractable side mirrors and an automatic rain-sensing front window wiper, a four-speed automatic transmission and some other odds and ends and is priced from R343 300. All five variants share the same 1.5L petrol engine, driving the front wheels.

Some overseas territories can select a four-wheel drive model, while there's also an unlikely-to-ever-be-seen-in-SA hybrid version – the Urban Cruiser Hyryder – with either a mild-hybrid Suzuki-sourced engine from the Brezza or a Toyota hybrid with a 1.5L petrol and 59 kW electric motor, with Integrated Starter Generator for a combined 85 kW (8 kW more than the standard petrol version, but likely with plenty more get-up-and-go).

The claimed 6.2L/100 km mixed-use fuel consumption should see you realistically do around 600 km on a tank – not bad news in light of the current petrol price.

You can do some personalisation for an additional cost, with a choice of side skirts in black and silver, roof spoiler 'garnish', bumper corner protectors, scuff plates bearing the model name, mudguards, black inserts for the front under-run, garnish for the rear bumper, 'safety film' and a towbar.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Warranty

A three-year/100 000 km Toyota Maintenance Plan is included, and a three-year/45 000 km Toyota Urban Cruiser Service Plan. You can add the ironically named Toyota Unlimited Warranty, which has a six- to eight-year lifespan, including 24/7 road cover, as well as wear and tear cover on selected components.

The top-up Toyota Genuine Extended Service Plan covers all manufacturer-specified services for the duration of your plan, which can be extended to a maximum of 10 years or 300 000 km. The added-extra Toyota Maintenance Plan covers all scheduled maintenance and fair wear and tear items and can be purchased or upgraded from a Toyota Service Plan. It is available up to six years from the date of original sale.

Toyota Financial Services can also help you finance your vehicle across installment, lease or FutureDrive – giving you a Guaranteed Future Value – or you can check out all your options with our helpful finance comparison tool.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Insurance

Toyota, unsurprisingly, offers their own insurance plan, MyToyota Insurance, which guarantees that any repairs will be done by accredited repairers using genuine Toyota parts. It also covers accidental damage, theft and hijacking, third-party liability, hail damage, windscreen and factory-fitted sound system and accessories, assist services and vehicle repatriation.

You can also add on a credit protection policy, death & disability policy, Guaranteed Auto Protection Plan (GAPP), Shortfall Cover, Deposit Protector and a scratch and dent plan.

You can also check out identical levels of cover using our vehicle insurance comparison tool.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Insurance

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.