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August 21, 2020

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross vs the Competition

The almost back-to-back arrivals of the 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross and 2021 Ford Territory have re-ignited the compact crossover segment. Once a niche market cornered by the Honda HR-V and Subaru XV, it’s now getting crowded with at least half a dozen choices out there.

Given the hate against Chinese-branded SUVs in the comments section, we’ve limited the choices to those from Japan and Korea to see just how the Corolla Cross matches up. Now, with most of the attention (and features) focused on the fully-loaded 1.8 V Hybrid variant, we’ve decided to go one step further and pit the entry-level Corolla Cross 1.8 G versus its similarly priced competition (or as close as possible) from Honda, Kia, Mazda, and Subaru. And as a wild card, we’ve also thrown in the similarly-priced, but one size larger Ford Territory Titanium+ into the mix as well (yes, we know that the Territory is made in China as a joint-venture with JMC, but it still has a Ford badge upfront, k?).

You can check out the full table below, but here’s our take:
  • Toyota has done a good job in pricing the 2021 Corolla Cross. Among its Japanese peers, it’s the most affordable choice with the Kia Seltos 2.0 EX the only one being more affordable. It’s very clear too that while the Subaru XV is the most expensive of the lot, it does come with standard all-wheel drive. Sadly, that can’t be said about the Mazda CX-30 Pro—it’s priced way too off market.
  • In terms of size, the Subaru XV squeezes out a narrow (5 mm) win over the Corolla Cross in terms of overall length. However, it’s very clear that the Ford Territory outsizes the rest in all other aspects (including weight). The Toyota though loses in terms of ground clearance, with the Subaru being the only one to cross the 200-mm mark.
  • With similarly-sized engine on offer, again, it’s the Subaru XV that manages a 1 horsepower advantage over the Mazda CX-30. Of course, the turbocharged engine of the Territory means it’s got the best torque of the bunch, followed by the 2.0-liter offerings. With a 1.8-liter engine, the Corolla Cross is actually the weakest in terms of horsepower and ties with the Honda HR-V for weakest torque.
  • Again, suspension-wise, all of these crossovers are equipped the same way except for the Territory and Subaru XV which offer independent rear suspension. It is only the Subaru with rear vented disc brakes.
  • In terms of sheer goodies, the Territory has gotten things down pat. It’s got the best loaded interior and exterior feature-wise. 
  • Meanwhile, Toyota’s product planners clearly benchmarked the HR-V in terms of features, managing to match their Honda rival and winning actually in one aspect: airbag count. But, if you don’t care what happens in a crash, the HR-V offers standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the Toyota does not. 
  • Even more shocking is the Mazda CX-30 Pro which has similar feature sets to the Corolla Cross and HR-V, but is priced way, way more—like P 225,000 more!
  • Finally, when it comes to safety, it’s good to see that almost all of these compact crossovers offer things like stability control (except for the Seltos, so shame on you, Kia). Having said that, it’s the Territory once more that wins the safety round with its Ford Co-Pilot 360 which adds pre-collision braking, blind spot monitoring, and even a 360-degree camera.


  1. In terms of price per specs (value for money) ranking
    1. Territory
    2. XV / Crosstrek
    3. CX-30
    4. Corolla Cross
    5. Seltos
    6. HRV

  2. The corolla cross is priced 1,285,000 pesos as per TMP web site and not 1,265,000 pesos as stated in this article.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. Corrected the chart above.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. For the price, just get the now discounted 2019 Kia Sorento 4x2 at Php1.5M. Awesome chassis (monocoque), reliable and powerful diesel engine, 3 rows, good looks.

    1. Horrendous resale value though, but our market favors japanese cars and people here seem to exist in the 90s where Toyota and Honda can do no wrong.

    2. Generally I agree. But not that bad for diesel-powered 3 row crossovers like Santa Fe and Sorento.

  5. I really don't agree with the hate on Chinese car brands.
    The amount of prejudice I see is embarrassing.
    The logic behind it is infantile.

    1. That's true today, but before these new gen Chinese cars I would say it deserves the ridicule. The recent crop of Chinese cars are way better in design and quality.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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