Between the C-HR and RAV4 on the Toyota SUV tree now sits the first-ever Corolla Cross combining the iconic Corolla badge with the ever-popular SUV style that Australians can’t get enough of. The Corolla Cross shares the same platform as the C-HR and the current Corolla hatchback and gives new car buyers another small SUV option to consider.
This is the Corolla Cross GX Hybrid 2WD, the lowest optioned variant in the model range. Where you notice the price point mostly is in the cabin with cloth seats, hard plastic coverings on the door trims and dash, and single zone climate control. But the GX does have plenty of redeeming qualities such as keyless entry on the front doors, keyless start and loads of active safety tech.
This GX 2WD is powered by 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder engine with the Toyota Hybrid system that charges the hybrid battery while you drive. The engine produces 146kW of power and maximum torque of 190Nm between 4,400 – 5,200 rpm and drives the front wheels. The Corolla Cross has the option of being driven in EV mode only at low speeds under certain conditions, like in a carpark or built-up urban areas and the 7” digital driver’s display indicates when you are using engine power, eco mode or charging the battery or you can watch the Energy Flow on the infotainment screen. The only annoying feature of the GX drivetrain is the continuous variable transmission (CVT).
There are three drive modes on offer, Eco, Normal and Power and I spent the week in Normal mode as I was happy with the pleasant ride and how the Corolla Cross drove and its acceleration, which is claimed to be 0-100km/h time is 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 180km/h. The official combined fuel consumption 2WD GX with the hybrid engine is 4.3L/100km and for my week in the Corolla Cross I used 6.2L/100km. This is slightly more than the last C-HR 2WD hybrid I drove, at 5.1L/100km, more than the Corolla hatchback at 5.5L/100km and less than my fuel consumption in the RAV4 AWD hybrid, at 7.8L/100km.
The upside of the cloth seats is they do not burn your legs when you get into the Corolla Cross after it has been parked in the sun and this material did not feel scratchy on my skin, something that my children have complained about in the past with other cloth seats. The driver’s seat is comfortable and has manual seat adjustment for recline, forward/back and seat height with 2-way power lumbar support. The passenger seat has manual adjustment for recline and forward/back only.
The 8″ colour touchscreen display has been updated with more modern graphics and links to your phone via wired Android Auto and Wireless Apple CarPlay. Other media sources available include AM/FM radio, DAB, Bluetooth, USB and Miracast. The infotainment system can be accessed using voice control by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine-looking silhouette on it and an animated graphic now plays on the screen when you say the command. The voice control worked well for me for changing the radio station and making phone calls, but failed when I attempted to set a destination on the sat nav.
The cubby at the front of the centre console is square shaped and my phone neither fitted in length ways or long ways, so hung over the edge of the cubby. Above this cubby there is one USB-A port and under the centre arm rest is one USB-C port and a 12V outlet. Other cabin storage available includes two rigid cup holders, one deeper than the other, and good-sized drink bottle storage in the front door cubbies.
The rear seats have plenty of head room, but leg room was tight for me and the centre seat does not fold down as an arm rest. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but possibly only enough room for two car seats. Some good elements of the rear seats include the drink bottle holders on the arm rests and two rear air vents with individual direction controls and a central manual on/off air speed control. But my favourite feature was the single carpet floor mat that covers the entire rear floor.
The tailgate of the Corolla Cross GX has a power-assisted manual opening and manual closing. I found the boot size was adequate for a weekly shop and would most likely fit a pram and a small shop. If more space is needed that rear seats have a 40:60 split folding mechanism with the release on the shoulder of each rear seat. The boot has four substantial tie down points, two hooks and a light, but no 12V outlet and under the boot floor there is a temporary use spare tyre.
All variants of the Toyota Corolla Cross have a 5-star ANCAP (2022) safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 85% (32.63out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 88% (43.20 out of 49). Passive safety includes dual frontal, side chest-protecting, and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags, as well as a driver knee airbag, are standard. A centre airbag which provides added protection to front seat occupants in side impact crashes is also standard.
The Toyota Safety Sense active safety features on the Corolla Cross GX include Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with steering assist, Lane Change Assist, Pre-Collision Safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, Intersection Turn Assistance, Emergency Steering Assist, Road Sign Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Safe Exit Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Toyota Corolla Cross is fitted with an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system capable of functioning at highway speeds and a lane support system (LSS) with lane keep assist (LKA), lane departure warning (LDW) and blind spot monitoring (BSM). ANCAP tests of the AEB (Car-to-Car) system showed GOOD performance with collisions avoided or mitigated in all scenarios, including AEB Junction Assist where the test vehicle can autonomously brake to avoid crashes when turning across the path of an oncoming vehicle. Tests of LSS functionality showed some GOOD performance, including in several of the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios with an overall ANCAP Safety Assist score of 83%.
One safety feature that has been omitted from the Corolla Cross GX is front and rear parking sensors and it only has dynamic guidelines on the standard rear view camera to assist you when reversing. As the Corolla Cross usually starts in EV mode, I also thought it should have a bong to warn pedestrians behind the vehicle that it is reversing. For convenience the Corolla Cross GX does have automatic headlights, automatic high beam and automatic rain-sensing wipers.
All new Toyota vehicles are backed by a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty. If your vehicle is properly serviced and maintained per its Warranty and Service Book, Toyota will extend your engine and driveline warranty for an additional two years. Toyota will also increase the standard guarantee on new Hybrid batteries to up to 10 years as long as the owner undertakes an annual inspection as part of routine maintenance according to the vehicle logbook. The service interval for the Corolla Cross hybrid is 12 months or 15,000kms, whichever occurs first. and the price is capped at $250 per service for the first five services.
The Toyota Corolla Cross has a higher ride height and more practicality than the Corolla hatchback without the need step up to the Toyota RAV4 SUV. The Corolla Cross GX Hybrid 2WD starts at $35,500 excluding on-road costs and as tested with premium paint in Stunning Silver ($575) this Corolla Cross GX is $36,075 plus on-roads. Due to the unprecedented global demand, some Toyota models are currently experiencing extended wait times. Visit your preferred Toyota dealer for the most up-to-date advice.
|The driving experience||No front or rear parking sensors|
|Updated graphics on the infotainment system||Odd shaped front phone storage cubby|
|The single mat over the rear floor||The continuous variable transmission|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.