2021 Toyota Corolla Cross: Should you buy one?


The Corolla is arguably Toyota’s most flexible nameplate, regularly changing with the times and enduring various changes to its look. At different times, the model has appeared as a hatchback, station wagon, and of course, the once-ubiquitous sedan.

Recently, Toyota Motor Corporation made the Corolla undergo through another massive makeover with the unveiling of the Toyota Corolla Cross.

But just because it’s new doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth buying. We dive into the details of the car to see whether it deserves to be the next car you own.


Toyota Corolla Cross

The design of the reveal Corolla Cross a look similar to the RAV4, especially at the front where the trapezoidal grille and menacing slim headlights reside. Granted, the Corolla Cross exterior enjoys considerably less sculpting and fewer embellishments than its more refined sibling. Noticeably absent is the fog lamp/air vent assembly that sandwiches the lower grille on the RAV4. These are replaced by stylish-enough dimples.

Headlights and daytime running lights on the top-ranging hybrid variant come in LED, but the lower variants only get halogen projectors for the former and bulb-types for the latter. The car also has rain-sensing windshield wipers and auto-folding side mirrors.



The rear design is a point of contention for many, specifically the lopsided appearance of the “Corolla Cross” badging that dresses the tailgate trim. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we appreciate it when a car maker tries to go against formula, even in the face of ridicule.


The Corolla Cross’s wheelbase measures 2640mm. Not the best in its class, but it allows for pretty decent legroom front and back. At 1620mm tall, there’s also respectable headroom for all occupants.


Cabin-wise, the Corolla Cross boasts plenty of leather surfaces (hybrid only), and an overall design that largely mirrors its sedan counterpart. Infotainment is housed in a floating 8-inch touchscreen system (6.8-inches on the base variant), indicating the car’s upmarket leanings. Speaking of upmarket, drivers get an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat (6-way manual on the base variant), so finding the perfect position will be a cinch. Rear seats are 60/40 folding, with class-leading luggage capacity of (487 liters when carrying the puncture repair kit, 440 liters when carrying a temporary spare tire).


Apple CarPlay and Android Auto users will have to stick to the top-of-the-line hybrid, as it’s the only one with available connectivity to both systems. Other interior features include digital multi-info display, automatic climate control (hybrid comes with rear vents for rear passengers), and intelligent voice command.


corolla cross hybrid powertrain

The Corolla Cross comes in gasoline and hybrid variants. Both are powered by a 1.8-liter gasoline engine, with the latter being aided by a 53kW motor. The gas engine gives off 138hp and 172Nm. Meanwhile the hybrid yields a combined 168hp (97hp gas, 71hp electric) and 305Nm (142Nm gas, 163Nm electric). Gear changes for both cars are handled by an electric continuously variable system, but the hybrid comes with three nifty driving modes (ECO, Power, and EV) designed to enhance driving efficiency.



The Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid comes with the benefit of the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of driver assistance technologies, which include Pre-Collision, Automatic High Beam, Lane Tracing Assist (with Steering Assist), Lane Departure Alert (with Steering Assist), and Adaptive Cruise Control. Despite not having TSS, the base model still comes with some advanced safety courtesy of Vehicle Stability Control and Hill-Start Assist. Standard safety features on both models include anti-lock brakes (with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution), rearview camera, clearance sensors, and seatbelts all around.

Pricing and options

corolla cross

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross comes in just two variants: the 1.8 V HV hybrid and the 1.8 G CVT.  Pricing starts at PHP1,285,000 for the 1.8 G CVT, while the highly equipped 1.8 V Hybrid begins at PHP1,650,000. There are four standard colors to choose from: Red Mica Metallic, Attitude Black Mica, Metal Stream Metallic, and Platinum White Pearl Mica, which costs an extra PHP15,000.


It’s a Toyota, so no matter what we say here, the 2021 Corolla Cross is guaranteed to sell a gazillion units. Be that as it may, the car has all the ingredients for a reliable and comfortable ride, despite the pedestrian looks. The car leans on the pricier side though, and when compared to the segment’s current bestseller, the Geely Azkarra (PHP1.44 million to PHP 1.6 million), we’re more inclined to put our money on the latter.

Photo/s from Toyota Motor Corporation

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