The Toyota ist (marketed with a stylized lowercase 'i') is a subcompact car manufactured by the Japanese automaker Toyota. It is exported to the United States as the Scion xA and Scion xD, the Middle East as the Toyota xA and to Europe and Latin America as the Urban Cruiser for the second generation.

Derived from the suffix "-ist," the name points to a person who is passionate about something (stylist, artist, specialist, and so on).[1]

In Japan, it is available at Toyota dealerships Toyota NETZ and Toyopet Store.

The ist, the sixth brand to use the Vitz as the base model, was conceived as a high-end multi-use compact car with SUV-like styling and wagon-like roominess. The car was fitted with either a 1.3-liter (FWD) or a 1.5-liter engine (FWD or 4WD), with a Super ECT transmission. A wide front grille consisting of two thick horizontal bars, large 15-inch tires, and extended wheel arches gave the vehicle its unique and dynamic exterior styling. The body dimensions were a notch above those of the Vitz, giving more space to the cabin and the trunk. The 6:4 split rear seats could be fully folded to widen the deck as necessary. The sturdy body structure was realized through the advanced GOA (Global Outstanding Assessment) process, which enhanced safety in collisions with heavier vehicles.

First generation (XP60; 2002–2007)

First generation (XP60)
Manufacturer Toyota
Kanto Auto Works[2]
Also called Scion xA
Toyota xA (Middle East)
Production May 2002–July 2007
Assembly Kanegasaki, Iwate, Japan (Kanto Auto Works)
Designer Masanari Sakae (2000)
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout FWD
4WD (Japan)
Related Toyota bB
Toyota Platz
Toyota Vitz
Scion xA
Engine 1.3L 2NZ-FE I4
1.5L 1NZ-FE I4
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,370 mm (93.3 in)
Length 3,855 mm (151.8 in)
Width 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height 1,535 mm (60.4 in)
Curb weight 1,100 kg (2,425.1 lb)
Toyota ist (1st generation)
Toyota xA (UAE)

Based on the first-generation Toyota Vitz hatchback, the first-generation ist shared a platform with the Toyota Platz sedan.

The model codes are NCP60 (1300, 2NZ, FWD), NCP61 (1500, 1NZ, FWD), NCP65 (1500, 1NZ, 4WD).

The ist was developed from the Toyota Vitz supermini in a crossover SUV bodystyle offering the flexibility of larger SUVs, but with the advantage of better fuel economy from a smaller vehicle. It first appeared at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, and was placed into production in 2002.

The ist is meant to cater to younger drivers, being sold as a Scion in North America and as the xA in the Middle East. The ist interior features a unique interior with an easy to read central instrumental cluster position similar to the five-door Toyota Yaris/Vitz and the four-door Toyota Vios sedan. At its introduction, 42,000 orders were received in Japan.

Its primary competitor is the Honda Fit and the Nissan March. The first-generation car was used by the Shizuoka Prefectural Police as a police car.

Second generation (XP110; 2007–2016)

Second generation (XP110)
2007 Toyota ist 01.jpg
Manufacturer Toyota
Also called Scion xD
Toyota Urban Cruiser
Production July 2007–March 2016
Assembly Japan:
Kanegasaki, Iwate (Kanto Auto Works, till 2012)
Ōhira, Miyagi (Toyota Motor East Japan, 2012-2016)[3][4]
Designer Junho Kim and Masaaki Yagi (2005)
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout FWD
4WD (Japan)
Related Toyota bB
Toyota Belta
Toyota Vitz
Scion xD
Engine 1.5L 1NZ-FE I4
Transmission CVT
Wheelbase 2,460 mm (96.9 in)
Length 3,930 mm (154.7 in)
Width 1,725 mm (67.9 in)
Height 1,525–1,540 mm (60.0–60.6 in)
Curb weight 1,150–1,210 kg (2,535.3–2,667.6 lb)

The second-generation ist is similar to the five-door Toyota Yaris/Vitz; however, unlike the Vitz, the instrument gauges are now shifted in front of the driver as opposed to the middle of the dashboard previously.

This new ist, like its predecessor, is sold as a Scion in the US. But instead of being the new xA, it is called the xD. The only real difference between the ist and xD is a revised front fascia.[5]

In Europe and Latin America it is sold as the Urban Cruiser with slightly different front panels.[6]

In Japan, the ist is sold in 2 grades namely 150G and 150X and equipped with Super CVT-i for the 1NZ-FE option. One appealing offer for the 1NZ equipped model is the choice of AWD, which was not carried over to the US for the xD.[7] Furthermore, a center console is offered on Japan's ist, but not the US' xD.

Starting with production model year 2007 in Japan, G-BOOK, a subscription telematics service, is offered as an option.

The former Kanto Auto Works produced the Toyota ist from January 2010.[8]

The ist was discontinued in Japan on 29 April 2016.

Urban Cruiser

Toyota Urban Cruiser

The Toyota Urban Cruiser is a mini MPV that is currently produced by Japanese automaker Toyota. It was first introduced in 2008. It slots below the Toyota RAV4 to compete against small crossover SUVs like the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Soul, while also attracting buyers of mainstream family hatchbacks. Designed by Toyota ED²,[9] it debuted at the March 2008 Geneva Motor Show and went on sale shortly thereafter.

Unfortunately, the Urban Cruiser did not have sales success in Europe after 2011 due to the ongoing strength of the Japanese Yen, and production was discontinued in 2014.

Mechanicals and emissions

The Urban Cruiser is powered by a 1,329 cc petrol engine that produces 100 hp (75 kW) and 132 N⋅m (97 lb⋅ft), or a 90 hp (67 kW), 205 N⋅m (151 lb⋅ft) 1,364 cc turbo diesel. Front-wheel drive is standard, but the diesel model is also offered with an all-wheel drive option. Both come with a 6-speed manual transmission. There is no automatic option.


Despite being equipped with seven airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control, the car received a relatively poor Euro NCAP safety rating of 3/5 stars.[10]


The Toyota C-HR is the successor of the ist in Japan (or the Urban Cruiser in Europe), which is in the same class. The crossover SUV-like variant of the XP150 Yaris, the Yaris Heykers, which is sold in Indonesia, is also the successor in the same class.


  1. ^ "Vehicle Lineage Chart Data: Origin of a car's name". Toyota-global. 
  2. ^ "Kanto Auto Works, Ltd". Kanto-aw.co.jp. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  3. ^ "Affiliates (Toyota wholly-owned subsidiaries)-Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc". Toyota. 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Japanese Production Sites" (Press release). Japan: Toyota. 2016-03-06. 
  5. ^ "new toyota ist". Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  6. ^ Paul Hudson (2009-07-01). "Toyota Urban Cruiser review". telegraph.co.uk. London. Archived from the original on 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  7. ^ "Toyota iSt engine options". Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  8. ^ "Affiliates (Toyota wholly-owned subsidiaries)-Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc". Toyota Motor Corporation. 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  9. ^ Mike Hanlon (March 2006). "Toyota mini SUV Urban Cruiser concept". gizmag. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  10. ^ "Toyota Urban Cruiser's crash test crash". euroNCAP.com. Retrieved 2009-11-26. 

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