2021 Toyota Corolla Cross: Not a Saloon, not quite an SUV

Any new Toyota is always going to be the talk of the town. And this 2021 Corolla Cross SUV is no exception. Aimed at the ‘modern SUV’ market segment, we try to make sense of the Corolla based crossover and who will it suit.

Not a Saloon

Malaysian buyers prefer high riding vehicles compared to traditional saloons, and the Corolla Cross caters to that. It rides 161mm higher than the regular Corolla, and compared to the Civic, it’s wider and taller. It does however lack in length, and therefore lower wheelbase length. The boot space also suffers at 440 liters. The Civic has a boot space of 519 liters in comparison

Not quite an SUV

However if you were to compare it to full sized SUV, the Corolla Cross cant hold a candle against them. The Proton X70 in Premium 2WD will walk all over this car, with a much bigger cabin, way bigger boot space at 515 liters, and a whole lot more power. Its the same case if you stack it against the Peugeot 3008 or the Mazda CX-5. We will go deeper into the comparison in our next feature.

Considerable amount of features.

There’s adaptive cruise control, Pre-Collision System (active braking), automated tailgate, automatic headlamps, a 9 inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Blind spot monitoring and tyre pressure monitoring system. The Civic has to make do with a 7 inch touchscreen.
You can even opt to spec your car with Digital video recorders too for the front and back. The car comes with 7 airbags, which is one more than the Civic. The Corolla Cross scores a 5 star rating in the ASEAN NCAP test.

Although lagging a little with tech

We find the Corolla Cross lagging behind in key technology. In the age where almost everyone is fielding a turbocharged powertrain, its quite disappointing to find a 1.8 liter Naturally Aspirated engine under the hood. We would be very surprised to see it clock consumption figures that are better than the direct injection turbo SUV’s.

Even the instrument display is analog, when even Perodua Ativa is offering a full digital display. You will have to make do with the 4.2 inch display for aditional information. It would be interesting to see how the Adaptive cruise control function is monitored in this setup.

Should you go for it?

We have yet to drive it, therefore we cant quite come to conclusions yet. However at RM134, 000 for the highest spec, its cheaper to buy than most C segment sedans and SUV’s. Only the Proton X70 undercuts it considerably.

It makes a compelling case against the Civic, for those who want something along the same price, that rides a little higher. And of course, for those who choose to avoid the X70. Until we test it ourselves, we can only say it’s worth checking it out if you’re in the market for a C segment car / crossover. What are your thoughts on the Corolla Cross? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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