Home » I Can’t Believe The $30k Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Is This Good

I Can’t Believe The $30k Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Is This Good

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Ts
ADVERTISEMENT

I’ll be honest with you: Sometimes I ask for review units of cars I’m pretty sure I’m not going to like. The new Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid was definitely one of those cars. I’d seen one on the street and could barely even place it ,and I thought to myself that, in an era where even the worst cars are at least fine, maybe I’d found something I could truly rant about. I was correct. I can rant about the Corolla Cross Hybrid. I can rant about how fundamentally good it is.

This was a shocker to me. I am in shock. A fairly nondescript Toyota crossover hybrid should be a car that I, as a car enthusiast, find despicably boring. I should find it to be yet another offensively average product shuttled out for rental fleets. I shouldn’t have even asked for it but, for some reason, a couple of members of our Discord picked it out of a list of cars that were available to review and I thought to myself: Here comes another in a long line of forgettable crossovers.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Well, dear reader, here I am with my hat in my hand begging for forgiveness, planning to convince you that this thing is actually good and that the hybrid system here is exactly the right idea for a huge portion of the population. That this only costs around $33,000 in the good trim and in the good color is also almost galling to me. Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 6 Of 7

Look, electric cars are the answer for many people but, for me, a person who lives in a building and doesn’t have a parking space with charging available I’m pretty much set on getting a hybrid to replace my ICE-powered Subaru. A freakin’ pudgy Corolla hybrid was nowhere near my list of cars I’d consider. Now it’s near the top. What is going on here?

And let me be clear, right off the bat, this is not a perfect car. The pink-hued Porsche 911 Carrera T I’ve got in my parking lot right now? That’s a perfect car. But even a stripper version of that 911 Carrera T is still about $100,000 more expensive than a Corolla Cross Hybrid and the one I have doesn’t even come with a back seat.  For all its little imperfections and annoying bits of design, I’ve come to realize the Corolla Cross Hybrid is a good value for many people and I hope that Toyota uses this layout in more vehicles.

ADVERTISEMENT

Good, affordable cars are so hard to come by and this, THIS, is a good car that’s reasonably affordable and offers a ton of value.

This Is The Ideal Hybrid Layout For A Small AWD Crossover

I had a surprising amount of difficulty finding a good illustration of the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s layout. There’s an illustration in the vehicle itself that attempts to show the driver, in a simplified manner, where the power is going (front wheels, rear wheels, generator, all of the above). Though illustrative, the diagram is actually a bit of a fib. Here’s what it looks like:

Diagram of Hybrid AWD system

This shows the 2.0-liter inline-four motor, the battery pack, a front-mounted motor somewhere near the middle of the car, and a motor over the rear axle. That’s almost true. In reality, the Toyota hybrid drive unit for the front wheels utilizes a motor that’s integrated into the eCVT in the front of the car and the very clever system decides if it wants to power those wheels using the gas engine, the motor, or some combination (while also deciding if it wants to generate power for the battery pack). The rear motor is, in fact, over the rear axle.

Here’s a diagram from a guide for Toyota technicians who need to know how to take the car apart to service it. This is more accurate.

ADVERTISEMENT

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Awd Layout

The packaging here is super smart, and what you end up with is a car that’s front-wheel-drive when it makes sense, all-wheel-drive when it makes sense, and even rear-wheel-drive under certain circumstances.

Here’s another little graphic from that system guide that explains how it decides to use power:

power diagram for Toyota

I was surprised when I first started driving this thing that it utilized only the rear motor for slow acceleration in city driving up to about 20 mph. While the small lithium-ion battery pack  [Update: my corrected math is 4.08 amp hours at 220 volts = about 0.9 kWh – MH], it’s enough to scoot you around town without using much gasoline so long as you put it in EV Mode and you’re willing to stay at Changli speeds. Under fast acceleration or in “sport” mode the gas motor kicks in and you get a combination of electric motor and gas motor for the front wheels and the electric motor on the rear.

ADVERTISEMENT

Is the Corolla Cross Hybrid fast? No. The rear-mounted powerplant in the Carrera T is fast, this is merely adequate. But it’s a great kind of adequate you don’t appreciate if you’re not in different cars all the time. The modern CVT transmission is popular because of its theoretical long life and its ability to efficiently keep a car in a desirable/efficient power band. In reality, CVTs are annoying because they are not instantaneous and, unfortunately, keeping a car in its ideal powerband means a lot of engine drone when that power is coming from a small gas motor and not a big honkin’ V8.

Corolla Cros
Photo: Toyota

Here’s where the Corolla Cross Hybrid also excels. Toyota has been building these types of hybrid drive systems since the original Prius, and they’ve gotten very good at it. The eCVT is not really a CVT in the conventional sense like the one found on the non-Hybird Corolla Cross. Instead, it’s the latest version of what Toyota sometimes calls the “synergy drive” that uses, essentially, a planetary gearset to shift power between different modes. This offers something like the capability of a CVT without the most annoying sounds and behaviors of this common transmission setup.

Driving around town I was consistently impressed by how darn smart this system is. Granted, it was mostly dry and my guess is that the rear electric motor doesn’t have enough grunt to replace your WRX as an ice racer, but that’s not with this car is meant to do. I’m sure it’ll get you up your driveway with no issue in the snow and a combined 196 horsepower and 136 lb-ft of torque add up to a 0-60 mph time in the low 8.0-second range, which isn’t bad for an economy car.

Here are the more important numbers: 42/45/38. That’s 42 mpg combined, 45 mpg city, and 38 mpg highway. In my time driving it with the reckless abandon of an automotive journalist I could scarcely get the estimated fuel economy to dip below 40 mpg and, trust me, I tried.

This Is Quite Nice For The Economy Car

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 4 Of 7

ADVERTISEMENT

I had the loaded-to-the-hilt version of the Corolla Cross Hybrid, which is the XSE trim with the nicer stereo and moonroof, which cost $35,565 with a $1,335 delivery fee. I didn’t think the sound system was all that great and I don’t really care about a moonroof, but I liked the digital gauge cluster that came on the XSE trim.

Out of a concern that maybe I’d buy one, I spec’d my own and it ended up being a little less than $33,000 (I selected the two-tone paint, I’m a sucker for two-tone paint). Damn, that’s actually a good price. An even better price is the sub-$30k Hybrid S, but I think air vents for rear passengers is sort of a must if you have a kid.

This is an economy car more than anything and, yet, it doesn’t really feel like an economy car. In AWD spec the Corolla Cross features independent suspension at all four wheels and the ride is blanket-on-a-blanket soft. It feels almost luxurious. Luxury cars are soft. How does Toyota do this?

Crank the wheel too hard under speed in any direction and it becomes clear that the softly sprung suspension does a great job of absorbing bumps but any twisty backroad is going to be a chore. That is how they do it, but it’s a completely fine choice. If you want a sporty crossover get a Mazda.

It Doesn’t Look Or Feel Cheap

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 5 Of 7

ADVERTISEMENT

On the inside the Corolla Cross Hybrid is pretty much like the regular Corolla or, well, just about any other Toyota. It’s nice. There are actual buttons and knobs for some of the controls and there’s a large, pleasing screen that will pretty much always show CarPlay and nothing else for most drivers (maybe Android Auto). The seats are well-supported and comfortable, the materials don’t feel that cheap, and the steering wheel buttons are logical in a way so few are these days.

Does it have some piano black in the interior? Yes. Yes it does. Most pianos don’t even have piano black on them. This is a travesty, but I’m willing to overlook it because it’s not everywhere.

You can’t even buy a new Tesla in a good yellow color. For whatever reason, CEO Elon Musk is averse to people having the good colors. The Corolla Cross comes in the good colors. There’s a good red. A good blue. And this good yellow, with a two-tone black top.

I don’t think anyone looking at this car would naturally assume it’s an “economy car” or that the person who purchased it was hoping to save a little money on a subcompact crossover. Other than some shiny black trim, the contrasting colors give the car more presence than the more expensive and bigger Forester.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 3 Of 7

ADVERTISEMENT

There are a lot of creases on the exterior, which help define the protruding arches. There’s a little bit of Dan Flashes in the extra shapes (the patterns are so wild!), but I don’t hate it. The rear of the car is so generically Toyota that Jason and I, while walking down the street in Los Angeles, could not figure out which Toyota it was. It’s not bad, it’s just not anything.

This Is A Great Value By Modern Standards

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 2 Of 7

This is a subcompact crossover so it’s not particularly large. The rear seat gives you about 32 inches of rear legroom with just shy of 22 cubic feet of storage area in the back with the seats up. If I were to step down from the Subaru Forester I purchased in 2016 for $25,000 I’d be gaining a lot in terms of fuel economy and overall niceness, but I’d be losing a lot of size and storage.

No other automaker in the United States currently uses quite this setup in a small AWD crossover, with a rear-mounted lithium-ion battery and a motor over the rear axle for extra power (the Jeep Renegade 4xe in Europe), but it’s quite clever. I’m still tempted to buy a Ford Maverick, but I wish Ford would consider tossing a motor back there to give me all-wheel-drive.

The novel struggle of modernity is that, with places like Wikipedia at your fingertips, one is constantly reminded of what the past was actually like. Before the internet, you could passively wonder about whatever happened to the dad from Seventh Heaven and move on before looking it up and finding out the awful truth.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s a pretty awful game to play to look at the MSRP for older models and realize that everything has gotten too expensive. There was a time when $33,000 would get you a lot of car. Hell, just ten years ago, a 2013 Toyota Highlander, which is two classes up in size, stickered for about $33,000. Now that same money gets you something significantly more efficient, but also significantly smaller. Americans buy more space than they need and not everyone has two kids and three dogs. But it still hurts.

Still, in this one case, I think Toyota has absolutely nailed it. Whether in S trim or loaded up to XSE, what Toyota has created is a vehicle that’s way more affordable than the average new car, offers no real penalty in terms of style or luxury, and with a powertrain that’s as clever as it is miserly.

It doesn’t set my heart on fire. I will not write poems about it. It’s just a great idea, executed well, at a price point that’s hurting for choice. Actually, you know what, I relent? It’s iambic pentameter-worthy.

 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
107 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kvally
Kvally
3 months ago

Makes me think the exterior design of the Pontiac Vibe (shown on the main page) was ahead of its time. With a bit of nip and tuck, the Vibe would have fit in today along with this. Granted, the Vibe did share components with Toyota Matrix. ????

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago

That’s modern Toyota in a nutshell: aggressively competent. I’m rather surprised they didn’t bake in some unexpected sportiness. I guess that’s not the mission profile for a Corolla hatch on stilts.

Chris D
Chris D
3 months ago

Iambic pentameter, okay, you asked for it. (This took about three minutes to put together.)

You can shop for a Toyota like I did
And test drive a Corolla Cross Hybrid
The grille’s too big, the back’s small
It’s kind of cheap, sorta tall
But the two-tone paint job is just splendid! 

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris D

Those aren’t anything like iambic pentameter

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
3 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

yeah, correct…not really close either

Dave Schott
Dave Schott
3 months ago

I wish Ford would consider tossing a motor back there to give me all-wheel drive.” Amen I say – I had to buy the turbo version of the Maverick to get AWD. And find out that I needed to buy a higher octane fuel to not void the warranty.
Moving the electric motor to directly power the rear wheel not only provides AWD, but also ensures the load in the bed of the truck gets powered directly, just like a regualr truck. And, of course, you get hybrid mileage using regular gas.
To the author – buy a Maverick – 4 doors, more visibility, can haul toys around, plus groceries. Cheaper too.

Darnon
Darnon
3 months ago
Reply to  Dave Schott

Not running Premium in a Maverick won’t void the warranty. It’s simply recommended for maximum performance.

Steve Lee
Steve Lee
3 months ago

Stew Leonard’s!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

Ok, this is nit picky, but, that’s kinda what we’re here for, right?
So, in the diagram about how it uses power, what’s the point of the fish skeleton inside the car shape? Little dotted lines—or maybe bolts of electricity, but fish bones? And, if you’re going to put fish bones in it for whatever reasons, why are they pointing the wrong way? Or am I the only one who did a bit of a double take on that?

Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
3 months ago

I have to say that Toyota’s hybrid set up regardless of the car is damned impressive. I rented a Hybrid Sienna minivan and drove it from Chicago to Zion National Park and back (so over the Rockies) with 5 people. I’m a lead foot and the speed limit in Utah is 80, so I was pushing 90 for a lot of miles. Over 2500 miles we averaged 39mpg. In a MINIVAN.

Master P
Master P
3 months ago

FYI the battery is 4ah @ 220v; .9kw

Rich Hobbs
Rich Hobbs
3 months ago

Point of interest. This is the replacement for the C-HR. And ugly little wart of a car that had terrible space utilization. I worked for Toyota (3x) and supposedly was an acronym. Are you ready? Coupe High Rider! It had 4 doors…not a coupe in my book. High rider? Same ground clearance as a Camry. So ?…
a young gal brought one in for service and when I told her what CHR stood for she corrected me..it’s Cool Hip Ride! ????

Ben
Ben
3 months ago
Reply to  Rich Hobbs

I rented a CHR once and mostly liked it. The only major problem I had was that from about 45 to 50 mph it had a horrible shudder. To the point where I actually checked for loose lug nuts. I don’t know if something was wrong, if the CVT just sucked, the $1000 hammer guys didn’t do their job right, or some combination of the three, but it was baaad.

Rich Hobbs
Rich Hobbs
3 months ago

Yeah for the money it’s an ok deal. But the front end (grill?) is a huge expanse of black plastic. IMHO it’s ugly. Bordering on fugly! And probably expensive as hell to replace if you rear end something. Or hit it head on! Bring real bumpers back! That protect and minimize damage in low speed collisions.
Toyota as a lot of you know is using the same floor pan, drive train architecture in all of its small vehicles. This is just a Prius/Corolla with different sheet metal.
like wise the Tacoma and Tundra do or will share same platform.
And like you said a few years ago, you could have got a Highlander for the same money.
Pretty soon our dollar will be worth 0.
PS I know it has a front bumper…a piece of steel channel with some styrofoam in it behind the black plastic maw…

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
3 months ago
Reply to  Rich Hobbs

fun fact, the grilles on most new Toyotas cost more than the bumper covers. So yeah, it’ll get ya.

Also, I knew they shared a lot… but the part numbers for most of the suspension components are the same from Corolla Sedan to Cross. That one threw me for a loop. You’d think it’d at least have taller springs and dampers, but nah.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

I thought the base one had rear air vents, because Toyota crowed about that when they brought the Cross out and many competitors don’t. Honda doesn’t have vents or even center armrest in the back of any HR-V which seems like an odd omission for a vehicle they specifically designed to be larger and roomier for our market. Now, a rear wiper…that you don’t get on the base Cross L/S. But that’s just like the Matrix was too. #justToyotathings

I really like the Cross Hybrid as an everyday people’s car (Toyota pun not intended… initially) but I wish they would offer it in non-sport trims or at least not force you into a black interior on the XSE (yet lower trims offer lighter gray?). Hopefully as production builds and with more Toyotas moving to hybrid-only, they will do so.

The mileage isn’t quite as good as a Niro, but you do get the AWD if you really want that, and should be a good bit peppier than a Niro hybrid. Not a knock on the Niro, my father has the prior gen, it scoots around just fine and has returned the advertised mileage or better, but Toyota is of course trying to shake the slow hybrid driver image.

Some have said pricing seems close to a RAV4, but Cross Hybrid pricing is around entry RAV4 Hybrid pricing – an LE RAV doesn’t give pushbutton start, and the XLE gives you a power seat but not some of the creature comforts the Cross does. So, there’s still a few grand separating them.

Speaking of Dan Flashes, trying to buy a Toyota seems a bit like walking into one of those stores these days…

Nico
Nico
3 months ago

I also wish they didn’t only offer black interiors on the upper trims. My girlfriend lathers herself in sunscreen that has zinc and my previous 4Runner Pro had white stains all over the black seats, armrests, and door panel. It drove me insane and was an absolute pain to scrub off every week. I’ve had vehicles with saddle brown or grey interiors since and it’s not an issue because sunscreen marks and dog paw prints aren’t noticeable on brown/grey interiors which is a major plus.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
3 months ago
Reply to  Nico

isn’t there a tan interior available?

Nico
Nico
3 months ago
Reply to  Ford_Timelord

They have one on the XLE Gas model but they do not offer it on the CC hybrid models/trims 🙁

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago

Toyota has a Supra that costs 50k because the pattern is so wild. I want that one sooooooo bad.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

I will admit I am using the money the company has given me for food to buy sports cars, yes I am.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago

This is becoming my go to recommendation for people who just want an appliance. It’s literally the perfect NPC car. It’s affordable, it’s a hybrid, it offers plenty of space, it has AWD, and it’ll run for eternity with nothing but basic maintenance…and hell even if you miss an oil change or two I’m sure it’ll be a okay.

It’s the perfect basic car and I have no choice but to respect it. I mean…what else is there in the high 20s/low 30s that checks this many boxes? The CorollaCross hybrid can literally do just about anything other than tackle trails or handle track days. It’s the perfect appliance car.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
3 months ago

Nothing to be ashamed about. I know quite a few car people that have Toyotas for a spare car. A Lancia aficionado with an old Previa for getting to his country property. A BMW motorbike fan who has a 100 series landcruiser for picking up bikes around the state. They appreciate the reliability and having a car that will work without much fuss.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 months ago

I have to admit it sounds like an amazing package, even if the thought of buying one makes me a little ill. However, I really want a new Prius, so I guess I’m a huge hypocrite.

Now I have to actually recommend these to folks. Thanks Matt. 😉

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
3 months ago

The hybrid Corolla Cross was at the top of my list when looking for a new car. It wasn’t even on my radar until we saw a non-hybrid one at a car show and I instantly knew it would fit my use case at the time perfectly. I still call it the 3rd gen Matrix.

However, the launch got delayed and the Toyota dealers in my area are still marking up some hybrids. This review was a little painful to read because this was the car I had my sights on, but not enough to pay market adjustments and wait 6+ months.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hardigree

I look forward to the Autopian article coming in 2043, when David borrows someone’s 2023 Corolla Cross to drive to his pals’ vow renewal.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

Oh that’s good…

Ben
Ben
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

Given how long it took him to refer to his girlfriend as “my girlfriend”, it’s entirely possible that article in 2043 will be “You won’t believe what happened when I drove a 350000 mile Corolla Cross Hybrid to my own wedding”. 😉

Scott
Scott
3 months ago

Thanks muchly for the great review Matt. I’m not any sort of Toyota fanboy (I owned a couple of early Supras, and have driven at least a dozen other/more recent Toyotas over the years) but the CC’s size/MPG/decent colors appeal to me. I agree that it’s attractively priced, but as you say, everything is too expensive now. I definitely could rationalize the rather uninspired Toyota-generic-grey interior and try to ignore the bits of piano black, and probably even accept the far-less-than-thrilling handling IF Toyota had decided to price this car as if the whole inflation/supply chain crisis/etc… thing had never happened: say: just bumping $30K for the fully loaded one, and perhaps $24-5K for the S(tripper) version. At those prices, I could literally think about replacing my perfectly usable daily driver just to get the modern hybrid MPG.

SO, Toyota, if you’re reading this: I know the days of local dealer ads for $16,999. base Camrys are over, but if economies of scale and your interest in building market share ever happen to let the intrusive thoughts win, please knock the price down $5K and I will buy one in that yellow/black combo. I promise. 🙂

The Dude
The Dude
3 months ago
Reply to  Scott

Going to guess the SUV tax is also at play here. The CC isn’t quite as bad in this space where compact SUVs tend to offer the least bang for buck when factoring size/features compared to a hatch back or even sedan.

Scott
Scott
3 months ago
Reply to  The Dude

Well, there’s some truth to that idea: the Honda HRV always was a couple/few grand more than a contemporary Fit (when the Fit was still around) but it’s a bit inaccurate to imagine that the two cars are completely equivalent: some folks just prefer the higher seating and less wonky appearance of the HRV vs the Fit, so some of those differences ought to get figured into the ‘SUV tax’ to be fair. Also, having driven both, they didn’t FEEL quite the same either… though less sporty, the CUV definitely felt (IMO) a bit more modern and substantial than the hatch on which it was based.

As for the Corolla Cross and whatever “SUV tax” it includes… I dunno what exactly it’s supposed to be equivalent to in Toyota’s lineup. If the regular Corolla hatch, it’s still a pretty different vehicle for the same reasons as the Honda… except instead of ‘wonky’ the Corolla hatch is perhaps more ‘boy racerish’ (I happen to think it’s a pretty decent looking hatch by today’s standards myself, especially in that non-metallic (?) bright blue Toyota offers).

Of course, the SUV version of a platform usually does also suffer a bit in terms of efficiency (MPG) vs the hatch/sedan version (if there is one) but that’s a tradeoff folks seem willing to make… for better or worse, American buyers love crossovers, even smallish ones. I’m over 50 myself: I’d rather be seen in a yellow CC than a blue C hatch.

If the Corolla Cross wasn’t available in such an interesting and unusual yellow, it probably wouldn’t appeal to me quite as much as it does. I’m so incredibly tired of black/white/grey/silver that almost ANY interesting and/or vivid color will increase my interest in a car/truck considerably. I mean… I liked the Maverick anyway (at its original/semi-fictional $21.5K MSRP for the base hybrid) but given that it could be had in that Area 51 color, and the Cayenne metallic (for XLT and higher trims)… either of which would make most ANY car better, it just make the trucklet even more appealing. 🙂

BTW, is the Corolla Cross’ metallic yellow the SAME metallic yellow we saw when the new/current/good Prius was introduced? The one we don’t get as a choice here in the States?

Last edited 3 months ago by Scott
Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
3 months ago

What’s really amusing me now is that years ago, cars were much cheaper in the US than almost anywhere else but certainly cheaper than in Oz.

Now, when I look at it, a mid spec GXL trim Corolla Cross hybrid AWD lists in Oz at AU$48,000 drive away. The top spec Atmos adds another seven grand.

Matt’s US$33,000 estimate is equivalent to AU$52,000. The list price for the test car (US$35,565) is almost AU$56,000. So despite the fact North America is likely to purchase of thousands of these cars a month while we in Oz might take a year to do the same…we aren’t paying anymore for them. That’s nice.

Still…these things are way too expensive thanks to the Toyota Tax.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
3 months ago

I’m in Melbourne and almost pre-ordered one of these before they released as a hybrid GXL AWD in the light green as I was thinking with the lead times and Toyota Tax (TBH all companies have a Toyota Tax now.. Priced a VW lately?) I could drive it for 18months and sell it for around the same price as purchase due to demand as this had happened for RAV4s as they weren’t able to keep up with demand and secondhand prices were outrageous.

I’ve had Corolla 4wd Wagons and Tercels since I started driving so I thought this would be a good successor but the packaging of the cross was annoying with the spare wheel space used for a big cable and the interior being a bit dark and gloomy. I like the solid Toyota build though I guess compared to my VWs.

In the end I chickened out which is lucky as my new job is just down the road and I can stick with my older cars for weekend driving.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
3 months ago
Reply to  Ford_Timelord

I have actually priced a VW lately. I found myself surprised that it was much the same price (adjusted for inflation) as what I paid for the equivalent vehicle (that I’m still driving) back in 2002. That said…I’m not paying $75,000 for any car, period!

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
3 months ago

Wasn’t so long ago you could get a basic Golf manual for $25,000 AU OK it wasn’t as well specified as the latest but I’d suggest that the Golf mark 7 looked better inside and out and less screens than the mark 8 Golf.

Still 50k for the Corolla Cross seems a lot of money.

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
3 months ago

Boy, unless something has radically changed, hard disagree on the interior being nice. I recall the sedan version of this model getting some positive press ~4 years ago, so I was kind of looking forward to it when I rented one for a long drive.

Context: I had been driving a friend’s bargain-basement, 10-yo Kia for a month or two after my 15-yo Passat died. I was 100% ready to be impressed by a brand new interior in a Toyota.

And it sucked. Ugly, unpleasant, unergonomic. I think it took my wife 20 minutes with the manual to figure out how to connect my iPhone to the screen. The car was utterly miserable to drive, but I won’t assume that carries over to this crossover thing. But that interior was an unbelievable disappointment.

That drive, as it happens, was 6 hours to Michigan to pick up my AllTrack, the interior of which felt like a damn Rolls after that Corolla.

DadBod
DadBod
3 months ago
Reply to  Jason Roth

I was obsessed with the Rav4 Prime until I sat in one. The interior just doesn’t click for me, either.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
3 months ago
Reply to  Jason Roth

I don’t think Toyota interiors are appreciated until they are 10 years old and worn in not worn out. My recently departed Golf interior was scratched and electrically glitchy compared to my 30 year old Corolla Alltrac wagon.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
3 months ago
Reply to  Ford_Timelord

My Tacoma’s interior isn’t anything to write home about but the plastics and seats hold up so well. I have a Mazda 3 from around the same year with way less mileage and it’s utterly disintegrated.

Tbird
Tbird
3 months ago
Reply to  Ford_Timelord

Toyota interior materials do seem to be rugged in nature.

David Meyer
David Meyer
3 months ago

I would really love it if they put this powertrain into the regular Corolla Hybrid. I don’t want a crossover. I do like the Corolla sedan hybrid, but it only has 138HP.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  David Meyer

Part of the value of the Corolla hybrid seems to be that they used the “old” hybrid powertrain setup of the old Prius, leaving the newer powertrain as seen in the Cross here to the new Prius. I believe the Corolla offers the newer setup in some markets but mostly where they’ve pulled back on the Prius.

I imagine it could maybe trickle down to the Corolla perhaps in the next generation. There is the Prius in the meantime, but more form over function now…and also ~$4500 more.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
3 months ago
Reply to  David Meyer

The European Hybrid Corolla Wagon is the car I would take any day over a Corolla Cross

Camille
Camille
3 months ago
Reply to  Ford_Timelord

And it comes with the 2.0 184hp hybrid.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
3 months ago

I predict these will fly off the lots..similar to their sedan versions. They work and get good mileage with room for family. Toyota to the hilt.

DadBod
DadBod
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

Can you even find them on the lots? My local Toyota dealer still has no inventory. The waitlist for a Sienna is hopeless.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
3 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

My local dealer has 1 new Rav4 on the lot. Their best selling vehicle in the USA. Good luck getting anything you want.

Wally_World_JB
Wally_World_JB
3 months ago

I have a 2023 hybrid Mav and adding AWD is about the only thing I’d change to my Alto Blue XLT.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
3 months ago

WOW, when people say $30K is cheap……

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
3 months ago

We’re just old. In 2010 that’s $21K.

Data
Data
3 months ago

I had the same thought. $33K economy car. Old man yells at clouds.

Newcarpetsmell
Newcarpetsmell
3 months ago

I’m interested in how it compares to overall cost of goods and wages in 2010. Maybe it’s the same and I’m stuck in the past though.

DadBod
DadBod
3 months ago

I remember the $9999 Ford Ranger. 🙁

Clark B
Clark B
3 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

I remember buy one, get one free Kias!

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
3 months ago

The addition of an electric motor to a CVT means the electric motor can provide a little extra power and mitigate many of the most annoying sounds and behaviors of this common transmission setup.

I recommend getting rid of this sentence. Toyota’s eCVT is not a CVT with an electric motor grafted on, as this review implies. If anything, an eCVT looks a lot like a traditional planetary automatic gearset with an electric motor grafted on, and that has big implications for how the system works and is maintained.

Anyway, great writeup Matt. I’m one of the sickos in the peanut gallery who recommended the Corolla Cross, and this review delivered. Toyota has figured out the holy trinity of AWD, hybrid fuel economy, and uncompromised interior packaging, and it’s great to see them applying it to all kinds of normcore models. I understand that Subaru doesn’t have the development budget of Toyota, but it’s still embarrassing that the best Crosstrek you can buy in 2023 is actually a Corolla Cross.

Last edited 3 months ago by Sensual Bugling Elk
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
3 months ago

I understand that Subaru doesn’t have the development budget of Toyota, but it’s still embarrassing that the best Crosstrek you can buy in 2023 is actually a Corolla Cross

I know little about either of them, so what makes you say this? Just that this is a hybrid that gets like 50mpg? Which, is extremely valid.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago

Sicko? Nah, recommending this to non enthusiast makes you a friend 🙂 It’s the ideal appliance.

Last edited 3 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
3 months ago

Thanks for the kind words, Nsane. I firmly believe that the non-enthusiast’s car-buying decision tree always starts at RAV4 Hybrid and branches from there.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
3 months ago

The only part of the packaging of the cross I don’t like is the removal of the spare wheel on the AWD hybrids. I think they could have come up with a better solution.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago

I keep banging on about this, both here and in real life, but does this fit someone with freakishly long legs and a surprisingly wide upper body? Because Toyotas lately have been like a too-small shirt – I can fit if I put in the effort, but it feels like one wrong move and I’ll burst out of it.

I used to fit in all the cars. Now I don’t. And I haven’t even gotten bigger. People buy more space than they need because space efficiency is dead.

DadBod
DadBod
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Please someone answer this for me, too. We need tall guy car reviews.

Nico
Nico
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I think TFL guys and Doug may have done a review on youtube so might be worth a search. They are at least 6 ft tall.

GertVAG
GertVAG
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Same here, won’t fit properly in a Corolla wagon while in a Polo or Golf, I encounter no problem at all…

Newcarpetsmell
Newcarpetsmell
3 months ago

$30k for an economy car…

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
3 months ago
Reply to  Newcarpetsmell

I bought a new Chevy (with a 327 and 4-speed) in 1967 for 2300 bucks. And McD’s burgers were 15 cents.

Data
Data
3 months ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

We want more Matlock…

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
3 months ago
Reply to  Data

Can I interest you in a hard candy?

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Newcarpetsmell

$30k for an economy car…

Is equivalent to $19k in 2005, the starting price for a base RAV4. Your point would be?

Slirt
Slirt
3 months ago

this deserves #GetItintheGoodColor

107
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x