After the small Aygo was transformed into the Aygo X city SUV and the Yaris with the Cross also received a slightly longer-legged spur with a robust adventure look, the Corolla family now also gets its SUV offshoot. It is simply called the Corolla Cross and has a more classic style. The hybrid will arrive at the German dealers at the end of November. We made our first ride with the two-liter hybrid and front-wheel drive.
With the Corolla Cross, Toyota closes a gap in the model range that is not visible to everyone: until now there was a gap between the fairly sporty C-HR, which is not particularly spacious in the back, and the RAV4 . Toyota Marketing has acknowledged that it is too big and expensive for many customers, while some are bothered by the C-HR’s quirky design and lack of space. What must we do? Tusch: The C-HR is now joined by the Corolla Cross, as a more classic SUV. It costs slightly more than the C-HR, but offers more everyday usability (for example, up to 433 liters of luggage space). We have already informed you about the new Toyota Corolla Cross, now we have sat behind the wheel for the first time and we can say that it is pleasant to drive.
Toyota proudly points out that the fifth-generation hybrid powertrain with a new battery and optimized control electronics is in the Corolla Cross. In the case of the 1.8 liter with 98 petrol horsepower, the system power also increased noticeably compared to the non-crossing Corolla from 122 to 140 hp as the electric motor was increased from 72 to 95 hp. The two-litre petrol engine with 152 hp has slightly increased its torque and the electric motor has 113 hp instead of 109 hp. The system power of the Cross has increased from 184 to 197 hp compared to the normal Corolla. The top model 2.0 with four-wheel drive also has an electric motor on the rear axle. Compared to the Yaris Cross, this engine has increased torque by 29 Newton meters and power by 33 to 41 hp.
There’s no such thing as a one-pedal feel
Power is delivered to the front wheels by a continuously variable transmission with no virtually programmed gear ratios. As a result, there are no paddle shifters. Increased recuperation can be activated on the selector lever. In drive program B (like braking) the engine brake is noticeably stronger than during normal use, but operation with one pedal is not possible. If possible, the Corolla Cross starts purely electrically and can cover several kilometers with a light foot on the accelerator without using the combustion engine. Because the battery placed under the rear seat is quite small with a capacity of about one kilowatt hour (Toyota does not want to give exact figures), the petrol engine switches on very quickly, which works without jerking and without annoying noises.
What the electronic fine-tuning and the overhaul of the petrol engine have brought about is of course difficult to estimate without the possibility of comparison. However, the ride with the two-litre showed: in Eco mode the progress is rather restrained, in Normal mode, on the other hand, the power delivery does not really leave much to be desired. However, when the driver switches to power mode, things come to life: even small throttle commands spontaneously lead to noticeable accelerations and the Corolla Cross is almost greedy on the gas. It should go from 0 to 100 km/h in about 7.5 seconds – that’s believable. The 1.8 liter regulates at 170, the two liter at 180 km/h, when it comes to consumption, Toyota sees itself at the top of the segment with values from 4.9 to a maximum of 5.4 liters according to WLTP .
When driving briskly with frequent changes from throttle to brakes or even just resolutely accelerating, you have to accept that the electronics release the engine, but that the speed of this sudden increase in speed only follows with a delay. Often a pinch of too much gas is enough for this acoustic effect, which takes some getting used to. Those who prefer a calmer driving style will experience the Corolla Cross as a predominantly quiet mumbling fellow, whose engine will not disturb anyone thanks to its good handling characteristics and a pleasant sound.
In the four-wheel drive vehicle, the stronger electric motor on the rear axle must also compensate for oversteer or understeer by means of a targeted distribution of power to one wheel or the other. So it helps ensure that the car doesn’t push to the outside of the corner or turn inward while the rear is breaking out. How well this works should be shown in later tests with this variant. Even without this torque vectoring, the Corolla Cross is a pleasantly easy to drive car on public roads. The direct, easy-to-use steering is very precise and without great concentration, the Corolla can be steered exactly where it needs to go, even at high speed. This nimbleness doesn’t come at the cost of noticeably stiff springs and dampers: the Cross is a pretty mellow dude that doesn’t give harsh jolts even on bad roads and doesn’t cause noticeable swaying or heavy rocking.
lame navigation system
The digital cockpit is neat and easy to read, but not many different views can be set. A large touchscreen is enthroned in the middle as standard, allowing you to dive deep into the wonderful world of electronics. The menu navigation usually seems logical or at least intuitive to learn. The map view of the standard cloud-based navigation system was very simple. However, the fact that it tends to lag a second or two behind the navigation announcements in cornering situations is much more annoying.
With a little thought, the space is sufficient for four adults, and the passenger should not be too large: his seat is not height-adjustable and is mounted high enough from the factory. The passengers sit better in the back and of course the driver. The extensive assistance equipment, which has been optimized in many functional areas, is pleasant, including an exit warning when a car or cyclist approaches from behind. The all-round visibility is also one of the Corolla Cross’s pluses, while some of the cheap-looking hard plastic and the tailgate that doesn’t open far enough are on the negative side.
To the prices
The two-liter starts as “Team Germany” at 38,600 euros, costs 43,200 euros as a “Lounge” and furthermore offers leather upholstery on the seats, an electrically operated tailgate, a good sounding sound system, 360-degree cameras and an optimized parking aid system Memory function and automatic parking for frequently used parking spaces. The surcharge for four-wheel drive is 2,000 euros. The price should be reduced by this amount if you settle for the 1.8 liter. As a “Team Germany” it costs 36,600 euros, with a less extensive equipment line “Comfort” being even cheaper.
Come on of course!
Oh no, not another SUV!
With the Corolla Cross, Toyota offers a more classic SUV alternative to the polarizing C-HR. It drives pleasantly quietly and comfortably. The extra space and trunk are not free. On a two-litre front-wheel drive vehicle, giving up lifestyle in favor of more daily use should be worth an extra $1,500.