Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Review
You may not realize it, but the Toyota Corolla Cross is the first of its kind for the Malaysian market in a number of ways. In the past there were officially imported and produced variants of the traditional Corolla body style (the FX hatchback and a number of liftbacks), but the Corolla Cross represents a pretty radical departure being the first crossover based on the Corolla platform.
In a sense, it is a more appropriate replacement for the Toyota RAV4 of old, at least at the positioning and price point that it currently presents. It is an entirely new product, designed largely for the ASEAN region where crossovers are seeing incredibly high take-up rates and proving to be even more popular than sedan in some cases. It’s a very logical move on the part of Toyota to hedge their bets on different bodystyles.
As the name suggests, the Toyota Corolla Cross is based on the Toyota Corolla sedan, meaning it also sits on the same fantastic TNGA platform and actually shares a number of dimensions with the not-locally-available Toyota Corolla hatchback. Our market sees two different variants on sale, both powered by the same powertrain – we don’t get the more complex Dynamic Force Engines, nor do we get the hybrid powertrains.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Specifications
Being based on the same platform means that the Toyota Corolla Cross gets the same powertrains – and what makes sense for the sedan, works for the crossover as well. We’re talking about the sole engine on offer – the 2ZR petrol-powered 1.8-litre engine, making 139 PS and 172 Nm of torque. Power is sent exclusively to the front wheels through a CVT-type automatic transmission with seven virtual ratios. The top speed, rather surprisingly, is limited to 185 km/h.
The chassis, as we have talked about at length with the Toyota Corolla Sedan, is simply sublime. It’s the Toyota New Global Architecture platform, or TNGA for short, and it underpins cars like the Toyota C-HR, Toyota Camry, and Toyota RAV4 as well. Unfortunately in this case, it replaces those excellent rear double wishbones with a simpler torsion beam rear suspension setup. The front suspension design is largely the same.
This kind of engineering decision is part cost-saving measure, part practicality. A crossover needs to have practicality prioritized above all else, and the double wishbone design does inevitable eat into boot space and reduces the overall amount of luggage space. Having no double wishbone also generally allows for a bit more flexibility in passenger cell design.
As mentioned earlier, the dimensions of the Toyota Corolla Cross are surprisingly close to that of the Corolla hatchback. That’s to say it has a wheelbase of 2,640 mm, for a length of 4,460 mm, width of 1,825 mm, and height of 1,620 mm. This makes it a little larger in overall dimensions than the Toyota C-HR as well.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Exterior
Despite having Corolla in the name, the Toyota Corolla Cross doesn’t really bear many styling elements with the regular Toyota Corolla sedan. The front end looks like a cross between the Toyota RAV4, and Toyota C-HR, with a dominating front grille flanked my slim headlights and underlined by a black trim element. There is body cladding along the lower edge of the body and the wheel arches to accentuate the crossover nature of the model.
Differences between the variants are limited to the wheels – 17-inch wheels for the 1.8G and 18-inch wheels for the 1.8V – as well as Bi-LED headlights in place of halogens for the, LED daytime running lights, and acoustic windshield glass for the 1.8V variant. You can get the Toyota Corolla Cross in Red Mica Metallic, Nebula Blue Metallic, Metalstream Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, and Graphite Metallic.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Interior
The Toyota Corolla Cross has an interior that is, unsurprisingly, similar to the Toyota Corolla Sedan. The same free-floating display element for the infotainment sits front and centre on the dashboard, while the instrument cluster has a 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-info display to add a level of modernity. Black leather seats are standard even for the entry level model.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Safety Features
As is the case with all Toyota products, the Toyota Corolla Cross limits its really big ticket items to the 1.8V variant. We’re talking about Toyota Safety Sense, including items like the Pre-Collision System (autonomous emergency braking and warning), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist for higher speeds (no stop and go functionality), and Automatic High Beam.
Common items to both variants are things like the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Tyre Pressure Warning System, Vehicle Stability Control (electronic stability control), Traction Control, Hill-start Assist Control, and ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. Seven airbags throughout the vehicle and ISOFIX child-seat anchors are also included for both variants.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Strengths & Weakness
If there’s things to love about the Toyota Corolla Cross, it’s the fact that it represents an SUV in a segment that Toyota has long been absent from, at a price point that is definitely more palatable and acceptable to the Malaysian consumer. It’s no secret that Toyota products have had trouble matching the pricing of rivals, but the Corolla Cross definitely manages to fight on even ground.
Unfortunately, it comes at a time when products and marketing don’t have as much of an impact as consumers just aren’t going out to buy cars. There are established rivals on the market as it is with much longer histories, and with Toyota products the best way to understand and appreciate them is with a test drive in person. Until conditions change, it’s understandable that the Toyota Corolla Cross won’t get the consideration it deserves.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Price
While the pricing of the Toyota Corolla Cross is similar to that of the Toyota Corolla sedan, there are some slight differences in positioning and variants. Where the top-spec Toyota Corolla sedan is the 1.8G, that represents the entry-level grade for the Toyota Corolla Cross – and this goes for RM 124,000.00 with current sales tax exemptions. The top-spec Toyota Corolla Cross is represented by the 1.8V, setting you back RM 129,266.00 with the current sales tax exemptions in place.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Features
Between the two variants of the Toyota Corolla Cross, the feature list is fairly flat. Both variants get the same multi-information display as mentioned earlier. A digital video recorder, 3D panoramic view monitor, a nine-inch capacitive touch screen for infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay readiness, a six-speaker sound system, eight-way power adjustable front driver seats, and rear air ventilation are common across the range.
Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Fuel Consumption
There are no manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figures for the Toyota Corolla Cross, but we imagine that it would be slightly worse than that of the Corolla sedan. The closest figure one can find in the North American market is the Toyota Corolla L and LE, powered by the same powertrain and returning between 30 and 38 miles per gallon. This translates to between 12.8 and 16.2 kilometres per litre – a decent figure thanks to that CVT-type automatic transmission. Being naturally aspirated, fuel consumption figures remain slightly steadier even with more aggressive driving.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1798 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 124,000 - RM 134,000
30 Mar 2021
FIRST DRIVE: 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8G - Is Pretty Good Really Good Enough?
The Corolla reference here seems to be an exercise in nameplate recognition more than anything else. At least stylistically, this exterior is unique enough to justify it being a totally different model and there’s very little here (besides the badges) to indicate a strong tie-in with the Corolla sedan or its other body styles. Stepping into the Corolla Cross and there’s a much clearer bridge between the Corolla sedan. The materials, ergonomics, button placement, and even seating position feels familiar, if not nearly identical - as it probably should. It feels modern, well thought out, and decently spacious. Keep your expectations in check and you’ll find the Corolla Cross is a pretty fun little thing to chuck around. Even at slower speeds, the pliancy of the springs and dampers coupled with the inherent rigidity of the TNGA platform delivers a drive that’s hard to get too upset with. Though steering is predictably vague, the front end is sharp and responsive enough and does manage to find grip even if you overcook the turn-in a little. Its rear is much more vague, perhaps owing to that torsion beam over an independent setup.View full review
User Review of Toyota Corolla Cross