Toyota Urban Cruiser (2009 – 2013) Review

Toyota Urban Cruiser (2009 – 2013) At A Glance


+Chunky and quirky looks. A rare sight on UK roads. 1.4 D-4D AWD surprisingly enjoyable to drive.

-1.3 VVT-I no fun to drive. DMF and clutch of 1.4 D4-D can be short lived.

Insurance Groups are between 8–10
On average it achieves 92% of the official MPG figure

The Toyota Urban Cruiser is an oddball car. It's chunky, without absorbing urban ruts, potholes and speed humps as well as a Qashqai on same size tyres. The diesel comes with four-wheel drive that doesn't endow it with off-road ability. The petrol engine is very efficient, with stop-start, but isn't outstandingly fuel efficient or low in CO2. And the collapse of Sterling against the Yen has meant that UK prices are a bit jaw dropping.

Real MPG average for a Toyota Urban Cruiser (2009 – 2013)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

38–64 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

How long should an exhaust system last?

"My Toyota Urban Cruiser has done 51,000 miles, is on a 2009 plate and the joint between the back box and the remainder of the system has corroded through and is now detached. Should I have expected it to have lasted longer? "
Exhaust systems depend very much on type of usage. Lots of short runs from cold starts will rot out the back box. You didn't say if this was petrol or diesel.
Answered by Honest John

Should I buy a Toyota Urban Cruiser?

"An elderly neighbour has offered to sell me his 2011 Toyota Urban Cruiser AWD 1.4 deisel. He doesn't drive it anymore and the mileage is only 12,000 and he wants £9000. It is in showroom condition and I am tempted but the reviews are putting me off. What do you think?"
This is a rare car in the UK because the unfavourable exchange rate with the Japanese yen made it expensive. The AWD 1.4 D-4D is the best to drive: But it has had some clutch and DMF problems:
Answered by Honest John

Clutch and DMF failure on Toyota Urban Cruiser

"My 2009 Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.4 diesel has lost both its DMF and clutch after 22,000 miles. Is it a well known fault and should I expect any comeback from Toyota?"
It's a very rare car in the UK. But we did actually burn the clutch of one quite badly when we got one stuck in the sand in Portugal. Could be that the clutch and DMF are the weak points in the AWD system. The replacement for the Urban Cruiser uses a hybrid drive system with an electric motor driving the rear wheels. We saw that drivetrain being tested in an Urban Cruiser in Austria in December 2012.
Answered by Honest John

Can you recommend a medium 4x4 for off-road use and driving in snow?

"I live in a remote location in Devon on a tidal river road. About 20 or 30 times a year our only exit, until the tide goes out, is on a track through three fields. Devon roads round here are steep and narrow and ideally I’d like a small 4x4 so I can still go out in the snow. I’d like a car with high ground clearance too. There are only the two of us, both pensioners. My husband has memory problems and can’t drive. I thought the Fiat Panda 4x4 was ideal, except it is too small for our two dogs and I sometimes have to take large bags of garden rubbish to the tip. Apart from the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti do you have any suggestions? I have about £20,000 available and I drive no more than 10,000 miles a year. Doing such a low mileage should I go for petrol, in which case ruling out the Yeti? "
There was a Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.4 D-4D 4WD, which is now withdrawn. You might find a Suzuki SX4 1.6 4WD, but they are hard to come by. There is a Suzuki Swift 4WD, a new SX-4 4WD on the way and a bigger SX-4 S-Cross already here. The latest offers are a Peugeot 2008 with Grip Control, which is as good if not better than most 4x4s because it comes as standard with all weather tyres and I've driven one up a 1-in-3 snow slope. Or the new Fiat 500 Trekking with Traction Plus, which is the same sort of system and same tyres:
Answered by Honest John
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