Toyota Corolla Cross Limited AWD review: Toyota’s new hybrid SUV for the money? – Comments

The trendy New Zealand automotive market is considerably singular: everybody seems to want an SUV (at the very least individuals who don’t need utes, but they’re like SUVs too). However in one other sense, it is multi-part, with a number of variations on the SUV theme and a complicated array of characteristic choices.

Enter the Toyota Corolla Cross, which fills a void for patrons who need one thing somewhat larger. C-HR and nonetheless somewhat bit smaller RAV4. The fifth merchandise in Toyota NZ’s crossover catalog, even earlier than contemplating heavier-duty all-terrain SUVs. land cruiser sherry.

It is also the primary “Corolla” SUV ever bought in New Zealand, updating the Japanese producer’s legendary household automotive model with 2023 tastes.

It is a bit complicated although, is not it? We are saying clear your head by leaving the Corolla connection apart; it does not actually look or really feel prefer it namesake of the warehouse and the badge represents extra of a advertising and marketing alternative than the rest. Certain, it is on the Corolla platform… however so are all the opposite small-mid Toyota crossovers.

Consider the Cross as a smaller however nonetheless extraordinarily sensible various to the RAV4, which is now a large SUV. Toyota’s smaller SUVs, for instance race cross and the C-HR is constructed round fashion first and the passenger space second (neither very interesting if you happen to’re sitting within the again). The Corolla Cross seems extra conventional, it is actually roomy for everybody and it has a fairly neat and simply accessible 436-liter trunk.

The truth is, the Cross is arguably good for a household stepping out of city. previous generation (2013-18) RAV4: the brand new automotive is 110 mm shorter, however has the same wheelbase and higher packaging.

The vary is Toyota in depth, with three characteristic ranges and two powertrains starting from $41,990 to $51,990. Our restricted AWD take a look at automotive is true on the prime of the tree; Greater than $50,000 Corolla. However the measurement, expertise and tools intention to hold that worth with confidence.

All Cross fashions characteristic the brand new 2.0-liter engine with a hybrid system, which is conceptually no totally different from the Prius and the corporate’s final 20 years, however steady enchancment has introduced lithium-ion battery expertise (underneath the again seat, by the way in which). ) are smaller, lighter, and higher at recovering worthwhile regeneration power from braking and deceleration. The entrance electrical motor has additionally been contracted however elevated in energy (83kW).

Auto park/360-degree digital camera, upgraded JBL audio, wi-fi cellphone projection and charging pad, eight-way powered/heated entrance seats, heated steering wheel (that is luxurious!), panoramic glass roof, electrical ‘kick-open’ energy tailgate and extra fashionable 18 inch alloy wheels. The infotainment system is Toyota’s newest, and the interface with clean, colourful graphics and enough processing pace is an enormous step up from different fashions of the model. Anticipate to see him on different Toyotas because the facelifts unfold.

However the Cross’s dynamic features considerably undermine their luxurious aspirations. As all the time, the Toyota hybrid system is surprisingly environment friendly in metropolis driving, reclaiming power so quick that in heavy site visitors beneath 50 km/h you will be driving on electrical energy more often than not. Congratulations to Toyota for one more really inexperienced household SUV for the varsity run; The official Clear Automobile determine of 4.9/100km is absolutely achievable in metropolis driving.

At sooner driving, the Cross is much less enticing. It is undeniably clean on the freeway, however there’s that acquainted CVT flare when further acceleration is required or winding roads beckon; and naturally, the e-CVT for Toyota’s hybrids does not have the extra perkier fastened gear begin perform. Certainly, it’s higher to drive with the torque of the hybrid system and depart the drivetrain comparatively stress-free.

The cabin structure is not significantly majestic both. It is filled with {hardware}, sure, and it is ergonomically strong, with clear and colourful digital instrumentation, however it does not have the bespoke really feel of the C-HR or the chunky stuff of the RAV4. There’s some comfortable stuff on the leather-accented trim and instrument panel, however many of the plastic trim is difficult and glossy, attracting mud and fingerprints.

Nonetheless, there aren’t any complaints about passenger area, particularly on the rear: visibility is nice and legroom is beneficiant. The seat is break up 60/40 and whereas the load from the trunk is not completely flat, it is a simple fold for carrying cargo: there is a small step as much as the (folded) backrests. Toyota supplies a small flap to shut the hole so you do not catch your trunk. It additionally seems tidy.

AWD is an choice you may solely have on this Restricted mannequin for an additional $3000. Do you have to? It actually depends upon what you propose to do together with your Cross. Toyota’s E-4 stays an clever system that makes use of a separate 30kW electrical motor on the rear axle (no mechanical linkage) to create fast-moving and exact AWD when wanted; particularly good on gravel or snow. AWD additionally has extra subtle double wishbone rear suspension in comparison with the torsion bar on FWD variations. So it is all superb expertise.

However the Cross is not a highway warrior by way of efficiency or dealing with, so you will not get a lot profit from AWD except you propose to go off-road regularly. Whereas the gimmicky rear suspension makes the Cross smoother on bumpy Kiwi roads at excessive speeds, this is not the kind of automotive that basically pushes: it is constructed for consolation and steady-state driving with protected understeer as cornering speeds enhance. The AWD mannequin doesn’t have room for the spare wheel, as an alternative a “tire restore equipment” is obtainable.

It might be complicated, however you may see how simple the Corolla Cross is for Toyota NZ. Whereas it lacks the capabilities of the Yaris Cross or C-HR, it gives a properly thought and executed package deal and the newest evolution of Toyota’s confirmed hybrid expertise.

For our cash, although, the Cross makes extra sense the additional it goes down within the class: Modest dynamics and unassuming inside design do not fairly meet the problem of a flagship mannequin just like the Restricted, however strong engineering, ease of use, and practicality make the GX/GXL lots for the cash. make it appear to be an excessive amount of of a crossover – particularly when you think about that Toyota’s full security assist package deal is commonplace throughout its vary.

ENGINE: 2.0-liter petrol engine with hybrid lithium-ion battery and twin electrical motors
STRENGTH: 146kW (common)/190Nm (petrol engine)
GEARBOX: Repeatedly variable transmission, AWD
CONSUMPTION: 4.9 l/100km, CO2 112 g/km (3P-WLTP)
PRICE: $51,990

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