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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Review: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid

As I write this review, gasoline prices have breached P 75 per liter. To put that into perspective, refilling a 50-liter tank a week would cost me P 3,750—or more than half my monthly fuel budget. No matter what you drive, the endless fuel price hikes certainly sting the wallet that it’s starting to seriously affect the sort of new car you’re considering to buy. With battery electric vehicles or BEVs still prohibitively expensive, the next best thing could be to consider a gasoline-electric hybrid. And one that could probably answer most of your requirements is the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid.

Frankly, I’m still not impressed with the Corolla Cross’s overall design. It’s not ugly, but it’s not head-turning either. It’s the automotive equivalent of white bikini briefs—it does what it’s supposed to do (in this case support your family jewels), but does so in an incognito manner (it’s not fashion). Despite some little design nuggets peppered here and there (including the C-shaped blisters on the side), it scores a zero in design drama. I can also talk about how the rear badge logo doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing, but overall, it doesn’t change the fact that it was designed by corporate bean counters during their 30-minute lunchbreak.

The same can be said about the Corolla Cross’s rather insipid interior. It’s well-finished, but is largely there so that you don’t see wires jaunting out of the dashboard. There are indications that Toyota wanted to do evoke a feeling of Marie Kondo minimalism; they ended up with Corporate Japan sternness, instead. It’s no surprise, really because it’s lifted lock, stock, and barrel straight from the Corolla Altis sedan. The front passenger has to contend with staring at this large expanse of black-grained plastic (at least it’s soft touch), but the driver at least gets a nifty digital/analog gauge cluster. Towards the middle, this 1.8 V Hybrid variant gets an 8-inch display auto infotainment that works well even if the hard buttons are clearly designed for a right-hand drive vehicle. Oh, and yes, at least Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.

Okay, so the Corolla Cross won’t win any awards for interior design anytime soon, but it does win in one crucial aspect: practicality. Despite the bleak color scheme, it feels airy with lots of head, shoulder, and legroom to go around. The seats themselves look great and are supportive. Plus, finding a comfortable driving position is much easier here than compared to the Corolla Altis. Come cargo carrying capacity, the luggage hold is generous, although for its price, the tailgate still isn’t power operated. Moreover, the load area isn’t flat as the sides dip down noticeably compared to the middle part. Folding the rear seats don’t result in a completely flat load area either, so those who plan to maximize the available 1,891 liters should take note. The cubby holes scattered around the cabin are decent enough; including those in the back which get niftily door trim-molded cup holders.

As nondescript as the entire Corolla Cross experience has been so far, it has one very big advantage; one that helps set it apart from the rest of its competition: the drivetrain. Its strong suit, and probably the biggest reason to consider one, is its easily attainable fuel efficiency; one that can be achieved simply by driving normally (no hypermiling). Anyone can easily achieve its bonkers level 26.21 km/L in light city traffic (27 km/h average) or 20.83 km/L in heavy city traffic (18 km/h average). All in all, these figures are actually comparable to the Corolla Altis.

For those who’re entirely new to the electrified experience, the Corolla Cross serves as the perfect introduction. It doesn’t differ from driving a conventionally-powered car, and that’s the point. There’s no special start-up procedure and there’s nothing to charge; just push the “Engine Start” button, wait for the “Ready” to flash on the instrument panel, and you’re ready to go. Well, okay, driving off in dead silence is a bit eerie, but aside from that, it’s pretty much a normal car.

Like its application in the Corolla Altis, and for that matter, the Toyota Prius, the electric motor in the Corolla Cross already makes a healthy 71 horsepower. Already outpowering the Wigo by around five horses, it comes as no surprise that by default, it’ll use this as aggressively as possible to pull itself around. Only when extra jolt is required or when the battery’s charge is low will it call up the assistance of the 97-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. When it does, it’s actually hard to tell which engine is running except for the slight vibration coursing through the throttle pedal (if vibration is present, then the internal combustion engine just kicked to life).

Like the engine it’s attached to, the accompanying transmission, the E-CVT is tuned for everyday motoring than canyon carving. It prefers to keep itself in the background, continuously shuffling its ratios to keep the engine revs down and the speeds up. It’s especially great at keeping the electric motor happy, and with a special brake regeneration mode (designated “B” on the shifter), it tops up the battery quickly. However, command an overtake and things take a split-second before everything comes to life. Again, always remember to ingrain this in your head: sensible motoring, not sporty motoring.

Compared to its Corolla Altis base, the Corolla Cross loses the independent rear suspension for a simpler torsion beam setup. On a daily basis, it won’t be missed as seat-of-the-pants feel is remarkably the same. Treated sensibly, it offers a sturdy, stable, and obedient behavior without noticeable float or wallow. It also feels solid, and absorbs jolts and bumps excellently. Driven more spiritedly, it tends to understeer but that’s largely down to the large battery pack situated in the floor. Plus, the brakes do feel artificial, but that’s down to its regenerative properties. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s interesting to note that Toyota opted to swap the electronic parking brake in the sedan for a foot-actuated one here. It feels like a missed opportunity having the comfort of the auto hold function in stop-and-go traffic.

Priced at P 1,665,000 or a P 70,000 premium over the Corolla Altis, some may argue that the differences in specs aren’t enough to justify the added price. On the other, there are those who see something attractive in an SUV body style, and are willing to pay a slight premium to get what’s essentially a tall riding hatchback. I, for one, belong to the latter. And given the price of fuel nowadays, you can’t judge me for seriously considering to get one as a daily driver (I’d probably fork up for the Corolla Cross GR Sport though). The Corolla Cross doesn’t offer any measure level of excitement, but counters that with unbeatable everyday practicality. In that sense, it manages to live up to its nameplate by offering the long-storied nameplate’s penchant for value and reliability, and wrapping it in a body style that’s so in vogue at the moment.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid

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Ownership 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid
Year Introduced 2020
Vehicle Classification Compact Crossover
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.8
Aspiration NA
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 98 @ 5,200 (121 combined)
Nm @ rpm 142 @ 3,600 (207 combined)
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission CVT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 20.83 km/L @ 18 km/h,
26.31 km/L @ 27 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,455
Width (mm) 1,825
Height (mm) 1,620
Wheelbase (mm) 2,640
Curb Weight (kg) 1,430
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Manual
Tires Michelin Primacy 4 225/50 R 18 V (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Pre-Collision System
Lane Tracing Assist w/ Lane Departure Alert
Hill Start Assist
Blind Spot Monitor
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear (LED)
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) 8-way, Electric
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) 4-way, Manual
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat 60/40
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Dual Zone, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
Smart Device Link
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Amusing Uly that you are considering the C Cross after 'attacking' the design when it was launched in 2020 (just teasing you hehe).
    Hope you can also review the Changan Eado EV and BYD Dolphin. I really like your review of the Chery Arrizo EV.

    1. The design is still meh. But I can't deny the fuel efficiency. Hard to match, and I was driving it like a normal car--I wasn't gentle on the throttle or anything. I'd definitely consider the Corolla Cross as a daily, but maybe the GR Sport version.

    2. Uly, how is the availability of the GR Sport in PH? Been driving this for almost a year now in TH and all good. Considering to buy the GR sport when I return home in Sept.

  2. Goodluck when the battery wears out. It costs as much as a 2nd hand car, or maybe thousands of liters of gasoline, which basically offsets whatever fuel you saved.

    1. Sadly, we have to start realizing that electrified vehicles are the way to go. Sure, they do have a planned obsolescence, but so do modern ICE vehicles as well.

    2. wdym by ICE vehicles having a planned obsolescence? Is it in terms of phasing them out because of the environment? Or something mechanical?

    3. Mostly environment-related. Some countries, particularly in the EU are starting to ban ICE vehicles, or make them very difficult to pass emission regulations. But some parts, mostly electrical-related, now have a built-in lifespan into them. Things such as wiring harnesses start to breakdown, again, mainly down to environmental regulations. Mechanically though, parts will be harder to come by as cars get older, that's something to consider as well. Some car brands will only support a vehicle up to ten years after they've phased it out.

    4. That's the reason why most cars should be considered tools, not investments.

    5. Toyota said no need to replace the battery as it will last with the life of vehicle. If u still dont bliv it then u bter ask them yourself!

    6. When is the life of a vehicle exactly? When the warranty expires? After 10 years?

  3. H toyota trademark...boring but always a reliable n durable cars, for most pipol h all dats matter.

  4. its sad that even tho its fuel efficiency and practicality are unmatched, it still feels somewhat overpriced/underspecced. the interior is awful and kinda cheap, and the exterior is uninspiring. its not ugly, but there are some controversial/polarizing designs that people appreciate thru time, or will grow to their liking, but this isnt one of those designs.

    Between this and the cx-30, i would still choose the cx-30 but i will recommend this corolla cross to other people as this is obviously the sensible choice, its just sad all the nice things we want cant come in just one package

  5. For a 1.8 engine and it produces only 98bhp? Lower than the ICE 1.8. What gives? Even if you add the electric motor, the bhp is still below the ICE bhp.

  6. All cars should now be designed with the lowest weight possible for the class to increase mileage.

    1. NVH will suffer

    2. Interesting that the argument of battery cost is still here despite 20 plus years of the Prius. If you read up, battery replacements are only necessary past the 8-10 year mark, where you will be in the market for a replacement car anyway.

      We own one, and it has already replaced our VW Golf (which used to be our most fuel efficient vehicle) as the daily driver. In out of town trips, engage power mode and the instant torque delivery aids in overtaking. I’ve surprised more than one turbo diesel SUV who thought they had the torque to overtake on a steep, curved hilly road.

      For those still averse to hybrids due to the unfamiliar tech, I’d advise you to drive one and see how you like it. We like it and possibly the next car in the household when we replace our Cross would be a full EV, assuming they become more affordable and the charging infrastructure improves with the EV law in place.

    3. Some people keep their cars for more than 10 years.

    4. ^^Great sales talk about the prius, you must have sold a lot of units... kudos!

    5. Sarcastic much?

    6. @MCE - 207NM at 3600 rpm pulling 1.4 tons is not much, not sure if it improves when you engage sport mode but usually it just increases throttle response and keeps the revs high - perhaps also that diesel SUV is not in the mood? But hey its your experience and that what's important.

      I'd choose the all new TOTL HRV over this because its better at everything sans the fuel economy, but I expect HRV's won't be bad.

    7. To answer:

      1) Not an agent of Toyota so not sure where the Prius comment comes from. We bought an actual Corolla Cross, so that beats any armchair comments.

      2) Agree, some people keep their cars more than 10 years. By that time though, your car would increase in maintenance costs. Longest car we've kept was 8 years, a 2013 Montero. By the time we sold it, madami na napalitan just to keep it in top shape.

      3) On paper yes, mahina figures ni Corolla Cross. But having driven turbo-diesel SUV and VWs, I can say the quickness of the torque assist is at par or slightly better. Sa hatak malakas. of course sa rekta talo ka na once the turbo-diesels spool up their turbos.

    8. Thanks MCE for sharing.

    9. @MCE your fault you bought a piece o' crap mitsubishi that can't last for 8 years without repairs. Most cars need only minor maintenance in 10 years. No such repairs that would make it a money pit. Don't buy trash if you plan on keeping cars for 10 years.

    10. @RG Shhh. A poser's opinion doesn't matter. So shut it.

    11. Again RG has no feelings nor emotions. It's futile to attack the account instead of contributing to the conversation. It might make you feel you're the better person but RG couldn't care less and the universe in general.

      And yeah, FORD brand to me is still garbage. Convince the world otherwise. It appears RG's "fans" are triggered by this. It is just a car brand nothing big are at stakes here 😁 Same goes when the lot of you are bickering, they are just cars.

      Keep it chill. 🙏

    12. Why you talkin in 3rd person? Is that what your therapist required you to do?

    13. No ego to hurt here ☺️ Just let it go.

  7. I think NA HR-V will be more fuel efficient than the Turbo HR-V given they have the same displacement. Also 1.5 Turbo engine is also the one used in the Accord and Civic.

  8. How was the fuel consumption calculated? If you started driving with the battery fully charged, did you measure the fuel consumed when the battery was charged back to initial level?

    Sana all vehicles will publish their torque/HP curve vs RPM.

  9. For fuel economy, we get an easy 14-16km/l in limited city driving (kasi pandemic) and 20km/liter upwards in long drives in power mode. Using the car-computed mileage and the manual fill-up method yields very close results, so I stick to the car-computed figures. Cross hybrid is the most fuel-efficient car we’ve owned so far.

    1. Congratz, Am pretty sure h reliable n durable as they have been making hybrid since 2000 starting wd d prius

  10. Corolla Cross Hybrid or Rav4 Hybrid? Which is possibly better?

    1. If we had the budget, RAV4 Hybrid. Pero a comparably-equipped RAV4 hybrid is almost 800k more expensive (2.5m vs 1.7m). Madami ka nang mabibiling gas nun hehe.

  11. I like the front styling. It's the rear part i do not like. Wish they had the rear of the Yaris Cross on here instead.

  12. Never been happier with getting the Cross hybrid after seeing gas going at upwards of P80/liter. I've been able to get 45.5km/liter on trips to Nuvali from Mandaluyong City, not hypermiling but just being smart, like using the adaptive cruise control more often than not on the highway. Plus, no coding violations for EVs, including hybrids, under the new EV law.

  13. Is this true that Hybrids are exempt from number coding? How come I don't see more people talking about this?

    1. It was proposed, but nothing came of it.

    2. It’s in the EV law. Problem lang is wala pang IRR, so hybrids can’t take advantage yet of the coding exemption.


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