2023 Toyota Corolla Cross, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid First Look: More Power, Better MPG
Toyota promises a sporty hybrid crossover that still manages a manufacturer estimated 37 MPG.
Almost a year after it was initially teased, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid has finally debuted, just as the car market is going bananas for fuel-efficient and hybrid models (while maintaining its attraction to SUVs) as gas prices continue to creep up. Using Toyota’s fifth-generation hybrid technology, the new Corolla Cross Hybrid takes the compact Corolla SUV model that was all-new last year, and ups its combined fuel economy from up to 32 mpg to an estimated 37 mpg while delivering significantly more horsepower.
That’s Toyota’s estimate, at least, and we’ll have to wait and see what the EPA and our own testing results in. But it’s a good start given deteriorating worldly conditions.
Not only does the Corolla Cross Hybrid get the extra space, practicality, and utility of the regular Corolla Cross—at least compared to a Corolla sedan or hatchback—but Toyota advertises 194 horsepower and standard all-wheel drive, with a 0-60 mph time of 8.0 seconds. Gas-fed Corolla Crosses make do with the same 169-hp 2.0-liter I-4 engine as up-level Corolla car models, making the hybrid version the most powerful and, likely, the quickest in the lineup.
Toyota skips the non-hybrid Corolla Cross’s base L trim and starts the lineup at the mid-level LE, with the XLE offered as the step-up model. More interesting still, there are hybrid-exclusive S and SE trims, the former of which includes a sport-tuned suspension, smart key access, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The SE trim builds on the S with paddle shifters and roof rails as standard, as well as Rear Cross Traffic Alert, blind-spot monitoring, and privacy glass. The XSE takes it further with 18-inch alloy wheels, premium LED lighting, and heated front seats. Corolla followers will recognize these S, SE, and XSE trim levels, which on the sedan and hatchback represent the sporty vertical of options, whereas the L, LE, and XLE variants represent the more traditional, comfort-focused trims.
On top of the standard Jet Black Mica and Cypress paint colors, the SE and XSE will also be exclusively available in four different two-tone paint combinations; Sonic Silver, Barcelona Red, Blue Crush Metallic, and the all-new Acidic Blast paint colors are each available with a black-painted roof. A full spray of Wind Chill Pearl is available for a $425 fee.
All models get the latest Toyota Multimedia System capable of Over-The-Air (OTA) updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and USB-C charge ports. This setup retains the 8.0-inch display size from last year’s Corolla Cross and Corolla models, but gets sharper graphics and an entirely new UX that is more intuitive, responsive, and feature-laden than before.
Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is also included on all trims, featuring pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, steering assist, dynamic radar cruise control with lane keep assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist, rear seat reminder, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and hill start assist.
The new hybrid will be built alongside the rest of the Corolla Cross line at the new Mazda-Toyota plant in Huntsville, Alabama—with projections to build up to 150,000 Corolla Cross models every year once the full lineup is on sale later this year.
Justin Westbrook – Writer / Manufacturer – Photographer / MotorTrend
- HIGHS: Attractive base price, more practical than a Corolla hatchback, generous standard safety features.
- LOWS: Slothful acceleration, coarse-sounding base engine, bland interior.
- VERDICT: Sensible, efficient, and forgettable the Cross embodies both the virtues and vices of Corollas present and past.
Toyota has made the Corolla of SUVs with the 2023 Corolla Cross, which is both a blessing and a curse. The Cross features the nameplate’s signature affordability with an extra dose of practicality. Unfortunately, it also inherits the compact car’s forgettable driving character and meh performance. Its styling, though hardly memorable, at least skews toward the cute end of the spectrum, and the sportier trims add a little visual zest to the Corolla Cross’s curb appeal.
The base engine is an anemic 169-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder but an optional hybrid system adds three electric motors to boost combined output to 194 ponies. The Corolla Cross straddles the narrow line between the smaller C-HR and the larger RAV4 in Toyota’s lineup and finds itself up against popular rivals such as the Jeep Compass. Unlike the Jeep, however, the Toyota comes standard with a bevy of driver-assistance features, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
What’s New for 2023?
A new hybrid powertrain joins the lineup for 2023 and includes standard all-wheel drive. The Corolla Cross hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and three electric motors for a combined 194 horsepower. Three new trim levels—S, SE, and XSE—have been added and all models get an updated infotainment system with an 8.0-inch display
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The XLE model is the one that offers the equipment that many SUV buyers are looking for, including a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and handsome 18-inch aluminum wheels. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is available for those who need it. If there’s any issue with the Cross’s pricing it’s that a well-equipped XLE like the one we tested puts it in competition with the larger, roomier, and all-around better RAV4.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All nonhybrid Corolla Cross models will come with a 169-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission; front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available as an option. During that first test we complained that acceleration was lazy and that the engine sounded buzzy, particularly at high revs.
At our test track, our all-wheel drive test vehicle delivered a 9.2-second 60-mph time. Sloths move quicker. The hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors; all-wheel drive is standard on the hybrid and the powertrain makes a combined 194 horsepower. We haven’t test driven the hybrid model yet but we’re hoping it delivers both more refinement and quicker acceleration. The Corolla Cross’s ride is agreeable enough though, so buyers seeking comfort will be satisfied either way.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the front-wheel drive Corolla Cross is good for 31 mpg city and 33 mpg highway; going with an all-wheel drive model drops those figures to 29 and 32 respectively. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, the Corolla Cross missed its highway fuel economy rating slightly and delivered 30 mpg. EPA estimates aren’t available yet for the hybrid model, but Toyota is predicting a 37 mpg combined rating. For more information about the Corolla Cross’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Drivers familiar with the Corolla sedan will find themselves at home inside the Corolla Cross. The dashboard layout, interior materials, and convenience features are nearly identical to the four-door model’s. However, the Corolla Cross’s larger dimensions create more room for passengers–particularly in the back seat–and additional space for cargo.
Lower trims are far more basic, but the XLE model comes with nice-looking faux-leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and a flip-down center armrest for rear-seat passengers.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Out of the Corolla Cross’s dashboard sprouts a square infotainment display running Toyota’s latest software interface. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio are standard, but wireless smartphone charging, rear-seat USB charging ports, and a JBL stereo system are optional.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
With the Corolla Cross, Toyota will continue its current trend of standardizing driver-assistance features by offering a suite of systems on all trims that includes adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. For more information about the Corolla Cross’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features will likely include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
New Toyota models come with a fairly basic standard warranty package, but the company throws in two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance to sweeten the deal. Rivals such as the Kia Seltos or the Hyundai Kona may offer more value for high-mileage drivers with their 100,000-mile policies.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 25,000 miles
2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $28,840/$32,170
Options: JBL speakers, $1465; Convenience package, $1250; adaptive headlights, $615
DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle inline-4, aluminum block and head, port and direct fuel injection
Displacement: 121 in3, 1987 cm3
Power: 169 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque: 150 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
continuously variable automatic with 1 fixed ratio
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.0-in vented disc/11.1-in disc
Tires: Goodyear Assurance Finesse
225/55R-18 98V M+S
Wheelbase: 103.9 in
Length: 175.6 in
Width: 71.9 in
Height: 64.8 in
Passenger Volume: 89 ft3
Cargo Volume: 24 ft3
Curb Weight: 3384 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 9.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 17.0 sec @ 83 mph
110 mph: 39.9 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 9.6 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.7 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.0 sec
Top Speed (C/D est): 120 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 172 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.80 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY (AWD with 17-in wheels)
75-mph Highway Driving: 30 mpg
Highway Range: 390 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 30/29/32 mpg
BY DREW DORIAN / caranddriver
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross, On Youtube