toyota corolla landscape
On the road

0-100: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

Toyota’s long-serving and well-regarded Corolla family has a new, higher-riding member with a more practical SUV body style and the fuel-sipping appeal of a hybrid drivetrain.

The new Corolla Cross is the sort of practical, compact SUV package Aussies love. Based on the Japanese car maker’s Corolla hatch and sedan, the new model gets a boost in ride and roof height among a raft of changes that add to its versatility and appeal.

Available with two-wheel or all-wheel drive, and petrol or petrol-hybrid powertrains, it’s priced from $33,000 (MRLP) for the entry level 2WD GX petrol, rising through eight variants to the Atmos Hybrid AWD, costing $49,050 (MRLP). Choosing the fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain adds $2500 to the price of the GX, while the midrange GXL is priced from $36,750 for the petrol, $39,250 for the 2WD hybrid and $42,250 for the AWD hybrid.

Stepping up to the flagship Atmos sees prices rise to $43,550 for the petrol, $46,050 for the 2WD hybrid and $49,050 for the AWD hybrid. Power for the petrol variants comes from a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder engine developing 126kW/202Nm and driving the front wheels via a sequential 10-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT), to return combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.0L/100km. Hybrid versions employ a 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine teamed with an electric motor on the front axle for a maximum power output of 146kW and thrifty combined cycle consumption of 4.3L/100km. Hybrid AWD variants add a second electric drive motor on the rear axle, which improves traction but leads to slightly higher fuel consumption of 4.4L/100km.

It's a techy interior within the Corolla

The entire Corolla Cross range gets an upgraded version of the Toyota Safety Sense suite, which includes lane-change assist and safe-exit assist, along with other advanced driver assistance features. In fact, Toyota claims the Corolla Cross has the richest suite of active safety and Connected Services technologies of any Toyota model to date.

Having sampled both the petrol and hybrid drivetrains, we’re committed fans of the latter, thanks to the extra oomph provided by the electric motor(s), plus we like the extra grip of AWD on Tassie’s often-slick roads. With the pulling power of the Corolla badge, plus the new model’s higher ride height, greater interior flexibility and the appeal of fuel efficient hybrid drivetrains, expect to see plenty of Corolla Cross on roads in 2023.

The soft plush interior of the Toyota

The specs

Retail price: $49,050 (MRLP)

Body style: Small SUB

Seating: 5

Fuel consumption: (Combined) 4.4L/100km (101g/km CO2)

ANCAP safety rating: 5 Star (2023)

Engine: 2.0 litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol (112kW/190Nm); front-axle mounted 83kW/206Nm electric motor; rear-mounted 30kW electric motor (combined outputs 146kW)

Transmission: Continuously variable with 10-speed squential manual mode

Drive type: E-Four AWD system

0-100km/h: 7.6 seconds