Some Corolla Cross Hybrid Strengths Were Expected. Others Surprised
This petrol-electric Corolla Cross Hybrid adds a most compelling arrow to Toyota’s recently introduced entry crossover bow. The new Cross carries the geneses of the Corolla and RAV4 badges into a car that’s resetting the motoring landscape. And for good reason too.
Plugs a Vital COROLLA RANGE Gap
It slots in below the RAV4 and above the Corolla Hatch to shift the Corolla badge squarely into crossover territory. It’s bold too. Morph a Corolla Hatch into a RAV4, Corolla Cross would sit in the middle frame of that clip. A handsome car. Stylish too.
Neither too flashy, nor too basic, some say its auto-leveling LED daytime running headlights are too big. Others find them attractive. Add LED tail lamps, power-retractable wing mirrors, automatic light control and Bridgestone 225/50/R18 tyres on a neat set of alloys.
Access the dual zone air-conditioned black leather cabin via the Smart Key System. Cross is ergonomic and spacious inside. It echoes its Corolla siblings’ elegant and ergonomic style with even better visibility out. Thanks to that extra height.
Spacious Cabins Echoes Corolla Cousins
Pleasant soft-touch surfaces and double-stitched details abound. Add one-touch power windows, rear vents, four cupholders, stowage binnacles and a 12-volt power outlet. A gesture power liftgate accesses class-leading luggage capacity behind the 60/40 rear seats.
Settle behind the multifunction wheel and you’re confronted by the 8-inch TFT touchscreen. It has CarPlay and Auto mirroring, USB, and C ports. The reverse camera complements PDC and ours had 9-speaker JBL sound. It’s easy and intuitive, but suffers its ageing tech.
With a little practice, you’ll probably play a Mozart concerto. With a chorus of Corolla Cross warning whistles, chimes and bells. It really is that bad! Enough already!
How a Hybrid Works
The Corolla Cross Hybrid has a 70 kW 142 Nm 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine. Joined at the hip with an electric motor. Toyota’s latest more compact, more efficient generation Hybrid has 90 kW total system output.
It harvests electric power while braking, coasting, and freewheeling and stores the energy in a small, highly effective battery. The e motor can drive under full battery power. It boosts petrol performance too, like a like a turbocharger. And improves economy by a third.
Hybrids are not compromised by antiquated power grids and interrupted electricity supply. Unlike heavy EVs, they need not wait for future local infrastructure before they will operate at their best. And this car is based on the Prius, which sold a million units in 20 years.
Corolla Cross Hybrid is Refined Easy to Drive
Push the Button to Start and Corolla Cross Hybrid is easy to drive. Refined in operation, ride is comfortable. And for the most part, quiet. Best of all, this hybrid adopts none of the bulky feel and handling ills associated with excessively heavy BEVs.
Corolla Cross Hybrid’s poise really impressed. Precise and inspiring, there’s little body roll. A low center of gravity, beefed-up McPherson front and well fettled Torsion beam rear suspension make for an engaging drive.
Driver feedback could be sharper. The Cross is a tad wooden in feel and lacks connection with the driver. And it’s no rocketship. But there’s sufficient power, with that ever present electric bonus. It makes overtaking faster, easier, and dare we say, safer, too.
You Guessed it! Economy is Good.
Fuel economy is good. Toyota reckons Corolla Cross will sip an average of 4.3l/100 km on a good day. In the real world, we maintained a quite satisfactory 5.8 l/100. That said, this car seems to prefer city driving. Which hybrids do?
It’s a touch cheap. Our sample Corolla Cross had a few little rattles, and there’s a tinny sound on shutting the door. And like most hybrids, it sounds a bit like a vacuum cleaner.
Well safety stacked, Corolla Cross has everything from stability control to ABS EBD brakes. Add Hill Assist, all the airbags, ISOFIX, anti-theft and auto locking. Toyota Safety Sense includes Cruise Control, Blind Spot, Lane Trace, Rear Cross-Traffic and Pre-Collision systems.
Corolla Cross Hybrid is an Absolute Bargain
There’s good reason why Corolla Cross Hybrid is flying off the shelf. At R413K, this XS is almost impossible to beat. Yes, there’s a small Hybrid premium. You’ll win it back in fuel savings in 18 months. And pocket that third from there. Think about that for a second!
An economical and practical family crossover that’s easy to drive and live with, and handles superbly, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s biggest plus must be price. This car’s strongest suit is exceptional value for money. Over and above its several other strengths,– Michele Lupini
Photos & Data: Giordano Lupini
ROAD TESTED: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XS Engine: 70 kW 142 Nm 1.8-litre Atkinson petrol + Electric Motor. Total system output: 90 kW Drive: CVT FWD TESTED: 0-60 km/h 4.69 sec 0-100k m/h: 10.66 sec 0-120 km/h 15.16 sec 400m: 17.5 sec @ 129 km/h 80-120 km/h: 7.83 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 170 km/h Fuel Average: 4.3 l/100 km CO2: 98 g/km Warranty/Service: 3y 100K/6 service 90K km LIST PRICE: R413K RATED: 9