Toyota Corolla Cross test drive: crossover station wagon – both in appearance and in reality

Toyota Corolla Cross test drive: crossover station wagon - both in appearance and in reality

The Toyota Corolla Cross car is undoubtedly one of the most important novelties of the beginning of 2023 on the Ukrainian market. But why? What are the strengths of this crossover and what are its weaknesses? What awaits the novelty in Ukraine? Let’s break down the Toyota Corolla Cross car in a full-length review – I will tell you all the key details that are important to know about the new product.

Positioning of the Toyota Corolla Cross model

What is Toyota Corolla Cross? This is exactly what follows from the name of the car: before us is a crossover built on the basis of the popular Toyota Corolla model. In the range of the Toyota company, the novelty is perfectly positioned between the Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Yaris Cross models. Yes, in this case, the Toyota C-HR crossover has been living for a long time. But he bets on bright design and youthful character. But the new Toyota Corolla Cross has a more traditional style and emphasizes practicality.

Car Toyota Corolla Cross debuted in 2020 and since then has found many versions – intended for different markets, with different engines and technology. We have a novelty Toyota Corolla Cross appeared at the beginning of 2023 and is offered in a single version of the equipment (front-wheel drive and 2-liter hybrid), but in four configurations to choose from. The car became the hero of the article Toyota Corolla Cross in PREMIUM execution.

How the Toyota Corolla Cross crossover drives

From the point of view of the behavior of the power unit, everything is good, which has already become a tradition for Toyota hybrids. Start on the electric motor, imperceptibly turning on the gasoline engine (it can be recognized only by the sound, but there are no jerks), active acceleration and clear following of the accelerator pedal – there are no “eco” jams here.

The hybrid system probably recalculates the logic of turning on the motors a million times per second, the indicator on the instrument panel dances its own three Pa dance called ECO-POWER-CHARGE. But the result is the same – a good “pick-up” in the city, while driving at highway speeds, intense and uninterrupted linear acceleration.

A racing car? The steering wheel clearly answers “no”. Neutral average force, same average sharpness: it makes 2.7-2.8 revolutions from stop to stop. And there is little backward connection, but there is body roll and sometimes the desire to slip out with the nose out. However, as soon as the car entered a corner with a certain steepness, the independent suspension behaves well and keeps the body on the intended arc, even if there are bumps under the wheels.

And in general, the suspension allows you to pay almost no attention to potholes: good energy efficiency, good comfort. When there is only one person in the cabin, sometimes a little stiffness is noticeable on small things; However, as the load increases, it goes away – only a continuous flow of softness remains.

I would like to make such an emphasis on sound comfort. When you drive in the city, the electric motor works part of the time, there are no high speeds, and the roads are mostly clean. But when accelerating, the sound of the gasoline engine bursts into the cabin; after all, it starts and immediately revs clearly above idle. Then on bad broken roads or when driving on “snow porridge” a noticeable rustling in the wheel arches is added.

After all, aerodynamic noise cuts through at high highway speeds. And so we started with the fact that the car is kind of quiet in the city. But when many sources of noise converge, there is already a lack of silence. Despite the fact that these sources of noise can be detected both individually and in various combinations – here you can’t guess how it will turn out…

Outwardly a crossover Toyota Corolla Cross more like a station wagon. This is how a “station wagon” should drive Toyota“? Neutral on the steering wheel, but with good comfort? So it goes. Among the obvious advantages are the hybrid and good acceleration dynamics: up to “hundreds” in 8.1-8.2 seconds on winter tires; I think in the summer it will be guaranteed to “depart” from eight seconds. And also, living up to his name Cross, in this case a rather soft and energy-intensive suspension is used: you can race on broken roads. But you should drive off-road carefully: ground clearance at the level of 160 mm, long “nose”, only front-wheel drive, no special driving mode – only the usual “ECO/NORMAL/POWER”, which affect the behavior of the hybrid.

Let’s take a look in the interior – we will see the familiar design of Toyota Corolla: here are the familiar contours of the front panel, here is the well-known steering wheel with a pleasant covering, here is the usual “climate” unit and horizontally stretched ventilation deflectors. But take a closer look – you will immediately find the differences!

First, a huge 10.5-inch touchscreen display that rises above the center console. Secondly, the central console has also changed a little: it consists of two vertical racks, inside of which there is a place for a niche with wireless charging, as well as buttons for controlling the heating of the seats and the steering wheel. Thirdly, another large display (now 12.3-inch) is used as a fully digital instrument panel. I will talk about these displays in detail below, and so far the first impression is that they perfectly enliven the interior of the Toyota Corolla Cross and give the perception of “modernity” to the car.

Of course, the main differences are behind us: after all, in front of us is not a sedan, but a crossover! Which is so similar to a station wagon – with its horizontally stretched roof, its general body profile. This is where the “easy” landing comes from: you sit in the back without a margin above your head (which is characteristic of high crossovers), and there is not much space for the knees. Although in general – plus or minus is enough.

Moreover, the creators tried to add comfort and convenience to passengers: the angle of inclination of the back of the rear seat can be adjusted, there is an armrest and ventilation deflectors. In the trunk, the picture is similar: sufficient volume, albeit without excesses, unexpected and commendable attention to details – hooks and niches, electric lid drive.

Let’s put it this way: the interior is “not stressful”. Toyota Corolla got a couple of interesting details that stand out Cross: modern displays, changed central console. From the second row, there is no excess space, but in principle it is sufficient; but there are many nice little things that guarantee comfort on the road. The trunk offers a volume of 390 liters, a “docking” spare, niches for small items and hooks for bags, an electric lid drive. Plastic cladding means things will rattle; but hard plastic is easy to clean.

Are there innovations in the car Toyota Corolla Cross

So, before us is a crossover based on the Toyota Corolla. We take the familiar TNGA GA-C platform and fully independent front/rear suspensions, put a hybrid based on a 4-cylinder gasoline engine, add an e-CVT electromechanical variator and front-wheel drive. It seems that everything is familiar – look at the “focus of the name Toyota Corolla Cross”.

For example, the hybrid here is of the fifth generation and is built on the basis of a 2-liter M20A-FXS engine (compression ratio 14.0:1, Dual VVT-i valve timing). In this hybrid, a Li-Ion type battery is used, losses in the electrical system are reduced, and the total power is increased by 8% – now 197 hp.

It should be noted that the gasoline engine develops a power of 152 hp. and 188 Nm of torque. In turn, the electric motor produces 112 liters. and 206 Nm of torque. However, these indicators cannot be compiled directly, since usually the gasoline engine and the electric motor work in different modes. Therefore, there is a third value – the total power of the hybrid system: the aforementioned 197 hp.

After all, that’s not all! In the world, there are versions of Toyota Corolla Cross with front or all-wheel drive, with engines of 1.8 or 2.0 liters (regular or hybrid), with a simplified rear suspension based on a transverse beam, with a proprietary Direct Shift CVT variator, even there is a heated” version of the GR Sport. Each market gets its own version of the Toyota Corolla Cross model – and for now, Ukraine has just this option: the most powerful 2-liter hybrid in the range, independent “circular” suspensions, but only front-wheel drive.

We start from the well-known layout of the sedan Toyota Corolla: TNGA GA-C platform, transverse installation of 4-cylinder gasoline engine, front-wheel drive and fully independent suspensions, traction battery under the rear sofa. And now we add the features of the model Toyota Corolla Cross: the hybrid system is built on the basis of a 2-liter engine, a traction battery of the Li-Ion type (previously, NiMH was mainly used on Toyota hybrids), the transfer of a standard ordinary car battery to the trunk.

What else brought the new Toyota Corolla Cross model are displays in the cabin. Yes, from now on the instrument panel is a solid 12.3-inch monitor with beautiful and pleasant graphics. The whole picture is built on the basis of two round indicators, inside which you can change windows with additional information (hybrid operation, on-board computer data, selected music). Plus a small window between them – movement speed, “cruise” operation, row control, various settings.

The central touch display has a 10.5-inch diagonal, and the menu resembles the multimedia system of the new Lexus NX: several tabs that open in turn. It is also worth noting the support for Apple CarPlay Android Auto, the smooth operation of the interface, the ability to configure user profiles.

Excellent displays: many functions, a pleasant picture, work without brakes. It is hoped that the digital instrument panel and the new multimedia system will eventually come to other cars Toyota!

The price of the Toyota Corolla Cross car and its competitors

So, in Ukraine, the Toyota Corolla Cross crossover is offered in only one version from the point of view of technology (2-liter 197-horsepower hybrid and front-wheel drive), instead, it gives a choice of four different configurations.

Toyota Corolla Cross LIVE opens the model range: light-alloy 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, electric windows, cruise control, fabric upholstery, eight airbags, TSS (Toyota Safety Sense), digital 12.3-inch. central touchscreen 8-inch display, rear view camera, heated seats and steering wheel, separate 2-zone “climate”, ABS and VSC systems, tire pressure monitoring. Price Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0 Hybrid LIVE – from UAH 1.3 million. or about $32.5 thousand.

The Toyota Corolla Cross car in the following configuration ACTIVE adds: roof rails, 18-inch alloy wheels, sequential turn signals and LED lights, tinted windows, background lighting in the cabin, touch 10.5-inch smartphone. Price Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0 Hybrid ACTIVE – from UAH 1.38 million. or about $34.5 thousand.

The Toyota Corolla Cross LOUNGE version is located on the higher level, where the following has been added: an electric trunk lid drive, front/rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring of mirrors, a safe exit assistant, a warning and braking system when approaching objects. Price Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0 Hybrid LOUNGE – from UAH 1.43 million. or about $36 thousand

At the top of the model line is the Toyota Corolla Cross PREMIUM car, which is distinguished by the following: leather perforated seat upholstery, electric driver’s seat adjustment drive, panoramic glass roof (option). Price Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0 Hybrid PREMIUM – from UAH 1.51 million. or about $38 thousand

Before you say dear! I advise you to once again pay attention to the equipment – the car initially receives a powerful hybrid, the interior has a 2-zone “climate” and a digital instrument panel, there is a rear view camera and heated steering wheel/seat. Even in the base there is a set of TSS assistants: this is an adaptive “cruise”, row control, character recognition, emergency braking function. Higher trims add headlights with running turn signals, other discs, radars for monitoring the “blind spots” of the mirrors and cross-traffic at the rear, an enlarged 10.5-inch display. The maximum configuration is leather on the seats and a glass panoramic roof. The equipment is good, but the price range of $32-38 thousand is a lot. Who are the competitors?

For example, Nissan Qashqai: it is clearly not worse in terms of interior space and equipment, it can offer a wider choice of versions and all-wheel drive, it’s just a matter of more economical engines – hybrid versions of the model are already arriving in Ukraine right now. Another difficult competitor is the Honda HR-V: a spacious and comfortable interior, good equipment, also only front-wheel drive and an economical hybrid, although it loses a little in terms of power and dynamics.

Other “Japanese” competitors include the Mazda CX-30 (“lively” character, there are four-wheel drive versions, but no economical option) and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (a spacious interior and a lower price, but lacks advanced equipment and an economical hybrid/diesel) versions). In addition, we are waiting for a detailed introduction to the new Suzuki S-Cross crossover, which promises an attractive price.

Their “Europeans” should be mentioned Volkswagen T-Roc and Peugeot 3008: both please with driving habits, provide good equipment and an adequate price, and the “French” can additionally offer a turbodiesel. Renewed ŠKODA Karoq, Opel Grandland, Citroen C5 Aircross cars are also sold in Ukraine. And in general: the new Toyota Corolla Cross crossover with its price tag already enters the territory of the “older brothers” – for example, for such money you can already look at the initial-medium versions of the Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Tucson.

Above I have named more than ten cars that are strong competitors. After all, there are actually even more models on the market – all this does not promise an easy ride for the novelty Toyota Corolla Cross. But, in addition to power/dynamics, suspension work, high level of equipment, the new product has other trump cards.

Toyota Corolla Cross fuel consumption and car maintenance

Urban fuel consumption is on average around 5.5 liters per 100 km. I also note that my minimum was 4.5 l per 100 km, and the maximum was slightly more than 6 l per 100 km in the city. On the highway at a speed of 80-90 km/h, the car consumed 4.5-5 liters per 100 km, at a speed of 110-120 km/h – about 6.5 liters per 100 km.

The general warranty for the car is three years or 100,000 km. The warranty for the components of the hybrid system is 5 years. There is also an extended warranty program: under special conditions, such a warranty can reach ten years.

Service must be carried out every 15 thousand km or annually. The minimum maintenance cost is UAH 4-4.8 thousand: The amount (and maintenance cost) alternates every 15/30 thousand km of mileage.

Prices for cars and maintenance are indicated as of February 2023, prices for maintenance are indicated for one of the dealers in Kyiv.

Safety of Toyota Corolla Cross during crash tests

During the Euro NCAP crash test cycle, the Toyota Corolla Cross received the maximum 5-star rating. However, there are several remarks: weak protection of the driver’s chest in the case of a frontal collision with partial overlap, head protection in the event of a possible side impact on the head of a neighbor. Otherwise, everything is not at a high level: good protection of adults in frontal and side impacts, high level of safety for children, operation of driver assistance systems.

In the end: will the Toyota Corolla Cross crossover become popular in Ukraine?

Of course, and you still doubt it? After all, the novelty implements the formula “Toyota + hybrid + crossover”, which has always been synonymous with success and good sales.

Yes, there is little emotion here (and a lot of price), but many Toyota models are like that. And they are still successful on the market or even bestsellers in their class. I think that a similar fate awaits the Toyota Corolla Cross car – let it not become an absolute bestseller, but it will clearly show good sales in its class.


A powerful and economical hybrid

Good equipment, many modern systems

Comfort and energy efficiency of the suspension


High price, even the “base” is not cheap (but look at the equipment)

There are no versions with other engines, no four-wheel drive

Toyota Corolla Cross test drive: crossover station wagon - both in appearance and in reality

Specifications Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0 Hybrid

The body is a crossover, 5 doors, 5 seats

Dimensions – 4.46 x 1.83 x 1.62 m

The wheelbase is 2.64 m

Clearance – 160 mm

Trunk – from 390 l (5 seats) to 1299 l (2 seats)

Carrying capacity – 460 kg

The minimum equipped weight is 1510 kg

The engine is a hybrid, R4 2.0L gasoline engine plus an electric motor

The total power of the hybrid system is 197 liters.

The specific capacity is 130 liters. for 1 ton

The drive is front-wheel drive

The transmission is an e-CVT continuously variable hybrid transmission

Dynamics 0-100 km/h – 7.7 seconds

The maximum speed is 180 km/h

Passport consumption, city – 4.1 l per 100 km.

Passport consumption, highway – 4.5 liters per 100 km.

The tires of the test car are Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 225/50R18

The minimum price of the car is from UAH 1.3 million. or about $32.5 thousand.

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