The Toyota Corolla Cross: an immediate hit!

The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car in the world by a LARGE margin. More than 50 million had been sold globally by 2021. That surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle, the previous title holder at 21,529,464 before it went out of production in 2003. The VW took 65 years to meet that mark. Toyota sold more than double that number in 55 years.

It is no stretch to see how it accomplished such success – engineering excellence to a price, unmatched reliability, and retained value. Toyota has an innate sense of knowing what the consumer wants.

 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Photo: Toyota Canada

 

Today’s consumer wants SUVs. I refer to them as crossovers since the vast majority are based on a car platform.

Toyota produces a wide range of crossovers, under the Toyota and Lexus brands. For the 2022 model year, it added the Corolla Cross. There already was a Corolla hatchback. So it took the same TNGA-C platform and drivetrain, squared off the roofline, hiked the suspension up by 75-mm and gave it a unique front end, and some different trim bits.

 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Photo: Garry Sowerby

 

Voilà! – the Corolla Cross, a new crossover! Something for everyone!

Just to make sure it doesn’t miss even a tiny piece of the compact crossover segment, there are no less than seven trim levels (L FWD, L AWD, LE FWD, LE AWD, SE AWD hybrid, XLE AWD, and XSE AWD Hybrid.) There are front and all-wheel-drive models with gasoline or hybrid drivetrains spanning the $30,700 – $40,400 price range – literally something for everyone.

No surprise. The 2022 Corolla Cross was an immediate hit. All the company changed for the 2023 model was the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For the 2024 model nothing has been changed or added.

 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Photo: Garry Sowerby

 

The lower end of the trim ladder is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 169-horsepower and 150 lb.ft. of torque. Power goes to the front or all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission.

 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Photo: Toyota Canada

 

The XSE and XLE hybrid models also use a 2.0-litre four. But this one is different. It operates on the Atkinson cycle, which sacrifices some power for additional fuel mileage.

 

Two electric motors in the hybrid version of the Corolla Cross provide maximum torque from idle

But that loss of power and performance is more than made up by the addition of two electric motors, one up front and a second to provide power to the rear wheels.  The combined output is 196-horsepower.

The ability of electric motors to provide maximum torque from idle, means the hybrid Corolla Cross will reach 100 km/hr a full second ahead of the pure gas version.

 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Photo: Toyota Canada

 

The Corolla Cross uses the fifth-generation Toyota Hybrid System, with electronic AWD. In addition to more power, it also boasts better fuel economy at a combined city/highway range of 5.6 litres/100 km compared to 8.1 for the conventional version with AWD.

The tester was the range topping XLE AWD hybrid. The XSE trim is also available with the hybrid powertrain.

 

The big gain for the Corolla Cross over the Corolla sedan lies behind the front seats.

The Corolla Cross shares much of its exterior dimensions with the Corolla. Much of the interior is common as well. Behind the front seats, cargo capacity with the rear seats folded down is an impressive 1,750 litres compared to 609 for the sedan.

 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Photo: Toyota Canada

 

The 20-cm infotainment screen runs the latest version of Toyota’s multi-media system. Satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all standard as are conventional knobs for major HVAC and audio controls.

The list of standard safety and driver assistance features is typical Toyota-extensive.

 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Photo: Toyota Canada

 

The 2024 Toyota Corolla Cross is more powerful and more fuel efficient than its non-hybrid sibling. In range topping XSE trim the price difference is only $1,400.

Knowing the expected life of Toyota products, this will be recovered in fuel savings alone – and it will be more fun to drive in the meantime!

 

FACTS & FIGURES – 2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD
PRICE

Base: $40,401

As tested: $49,000 including freight

 

SAFETY

LED headlights with automatic high beams, intuitive park assist with automatic braking, smart stop technology

 

INFOTAINMENT

20-cm colour TFT infotainment screen, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto

 

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Radar-based cruise control, smart key with push-button start, power rear door, wireless charging pad, remote keyless entry, 18-in alloy wheels, power moonroof, power heated mirrors with integrated signal lights, heated front seats, eight-way power driver seat with lumbar support, dual zone automatic climate control, heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rear view mirror, power windows, tonneau cover

 

OPTIONS

Arctic Blast paint, $540

 

MECHANICAL

2.0-liter four-cylinder engine – 150 hp, 139 lb-ft of torque plus three AC motors, 111 and 40 hp, 152 and 62 lb-ft (combined output: 196 hp), lithium-ion battery pack, regular fuel. Continuously variable automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 6.2/5.6

 

DIMENSIONS

Length, 4,489; mm; width, 1,824 mm; wheelbase, 2,639 mm; weight, 1,530 kg

 

COMPETITION

Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, Mazda CX-30

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