Toyota Corolla has been on the market since 1966. More than 50 million copies were produced in these years. It is also popular in Norway.
After a short break, where we got to grips with the Auris instead, the Corolla is back in 2018. Then with its 12th generation in a row.
Now it is more important to Toyota than ever. Maybe not in Norway, but anyway globally.
To adapt to market changes, it is now available in a completely new version. Corolla Cross! This means, as the name implies, better ground clearance and all-wheel drive. A compact SUV, if you will.
Basically something that should fit the Norwegian market like a glove…
How important the Corolla is to Toyota is shown in the effort they put into developing the latest generation. It took more than 400,000 hours – the equivalent of an investment of about 60 billion euros. In short: Toyota is flexing its muscles with this car.
The Corolla Cross is the first model to be equipped with the fifth generation of Toyota’s popular plug-in hybrid system. Or as Toyota puts it: This is a self-charging hybrid.
Whatever you call it, it should be perfect Rechargeable A hybrid, like the RAV4’s older brother. This would have made it easier to sell the car in Norway.
But maybe it could work with a regular hybrid, too? After all, for less than NOK 500,000, you get a reliable, solid and relatively spacious all-wheel drive car.
Moreover, we are probably talking about conservative clients. Some may think that it is too early to start driving a pure electric car.
We got to know the newcomer better, to see what he has to offer.
How is driving?
The Corolla has never been known for being so fun to drive. The Cross doesn’t get the help of increased ground clearance, either, on its entertaining driving characteristics.
But it feels secure, stable and admirably comfortable. There’s also a nice, precise steering feel. And if you buy a Corolla, these are the features you’re looking for.
However, there is a big BUT here. Continuously variable CVT automatic transmission. The ever-changing transmission wasn’t a good idea.
Toyota, as mentioned above, was not on the lazy side when the car was developed. Huge amounts of time have been invested in making it as good as it can be. Still still! – so we’re still struggling with the stepless automatic transmission. What’s so annoying about that? Yes, I will tell you that. Just like before: it will be hard and a lot of noise. It “rushes” the engine too much – too much. Even without actively using your right foot.
Let me put it this way: It’s good that customers probably come from an older Corolla or another Toyota. Maybe even a car that already has a CVT gearbox. Because the shock will not be so great after that. But if you are used to an electric car, this solution will seem like the Stone Age.
It sounds wild, you see. But that’s how it feels.
Consumption was set at 0.52 L/mL. We end up at about the same on our test road. low enough. But you lose out on the advantages of plug-in hybrids like the RAV4 – which allow you to drive on electricity only for a significant portion of the time.
By the way, there are three engines: a 152-horsepower gasoline engine and two electric motors with a capacity of 113 (front) and 41 horsepower (rear). In total, you have 197 horsepower.
There are many in Corolla. And even if you’re away from the electric car, it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in a respectable 8.1 seconds. fast enough.
Perhaps more important than acceleration is the increased accessibility with all-wheel drive. The rear electric motor starts when necessary.
The 16cm of ground clearance – which also affects the way you get in and out of the car – is also something many people appreciate.
Space and practical features:
What do you bring with you?
The luggage compartment is 435 liters. Not too bad, for such a compact car. And since it’s not rechargeable, you also don’t have a case with a charging cable, which takes up a bit of space.
The rear seat back does not have a passage hole. So it is a pity that it is split 60/40 instead of 40/20/40. Fortunately, you have the option of a roof rack and ski box. You can carry 75 kg on the roof.
The weight of the trailer is a modest 750 kilograms. Regarding the last point, the competitors are better. Nissan Qashqai, for example, manages 1,800 kilograms.
Life in the back seat
The rear seats are spacious and good. Considering the size of the car, there is good head and legroom. The seats are soft and good—although the middle seat is, as usual, somewhat tentative.
There are cargo options, cup holders, center armrests, and separate air vents for air conditioning. But you can’t adjust the temperature at the back.
It’s also nice to have your own glass roof over the rear seats – letting in more light.
behind the wheel:
You are sitting high and comfortable in the Corolla Cross – with a good overview. The seats are good and comfortable – with sufficient lateral support. The seat cushion is not extendable.
The screen of the new infotainment system is positioned higher – and easy to read. It is arguably the best infotainment system Toyota has ever made.
In addition, the air conditioner has its own switches/wheels – making it easy to adjust.
In front of the gear lever are three large buttons that are reminiscent of something you’d expect to find in a large, rugged SUV. They seem dimensionally appropriate for a car that wants to wear gloves, and so needs buttons of a certain size and physical resistance in them. These three buttons give you warmth in the steering wheel and warmth in the front seats. It looks old fashioned – but it will probably never break.
Design – outside and inside
We love the design of the Corolla Cross. It looks good. We think the front in particular is suitably rugged and modern. Where many come up with strange tricks with lights, Toyota opts for a traditional solution. But it still looks modern and good. From the front, it’s simply aggressive.
The grill is well spread out – and the off-road theme is supported by a plastic handle and a skid plate at the bottom.
The taillights are abnormally large in today’s world of LED lights – where narrow strips are often the norm. But it actually looks pretty good, the way Toyota solved it.
It has typical SUV elements with plastic trim around the wheel arches and down the ducts.
Inside, no major changes have been made compared to the regular Corolla. But things have happened at Toyota in recent years. Noticeable quality and design has improved
You also now get a black roof and a nice big panoramic glass roof.
The new infotainment system is a significant innovation, because you’re connected to that screen every time you drive. Now the menus are neat and easy to navigate, as you get Apple Car Play (wireless) and Android Auto (cable).
Cross also has all-new digital tools. They can feel a little cluttered, and the system of buttons on the steering wheel takes some getting used to. But then he sits down.
Otherwise, there’s wireless mobile charging, it has all the driving assistance systems you’d expect and the infotainment system can be updated wirelessly.
Imagine if it was delivered as a pure electric car! Then Toyota got a bestseller – also here at home. With its seemingly old-fashioned CVT gearbox and “self-charged” hybrid powertrain, it becomes even more limited in its range.
Still, it’s a pretty good overall package. Not least in terms of slightly better ground clearance, higher seating position, and all-wheel drive.
It really has never been better. In markets where electric vehicles don’t dominate, that is, largely in the rest of the world, this overall package should be a hit.
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Toyota Corolla Cross
Engine and performances:
- Engine: Hybrid 2-liter petrol + electricity
- Power: 197 hp / 620 Nm
- Acceleration from zero to 100 km / h: 8.1 seconds.
- Maximum speed: 185 km / h
- Consumption (WLTP): 0.52 l/mile
Measurements, weight and volume:
- L x W x H: 446 x 183 x 163 cm
- Boot: 435 / 1,359 liters
- Weight: 1,505 kg
- Trailer weight: 750 kg
- Roof load: 75 kg
price: From NOK 443500
car test price: 483,700 Norwegian kroner
Video: This is why the new Toyota electric car disappoints:
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