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The Toyota Corolla Cross entered the competitive field of subcompact SUVs for the 2022 model year. Previously, the brand’s subcompact SUV offering was the quirky CH-R. The Corolla Cross is a more traditional and boxy SUV with a familiar name and broader appeal.

What drivers like about the Toyota Corolla Cross

A recent survey revealed what Toyota Corolla Cross owners like about this SUV. The annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study asks owners to rate their cars in 10 categories to measure what’s important to the drivers.

The results show that Corolla Cross owners’ favorite thing about the car is the exterior styling. This speaks to the growing trend of rugged and boxy SUVs being a styling trend across the industry, even if they’re not that capable off-road.

The second favorite category for the Toyota Corolla Cross is the driving feel. This is a bit surprising since the 2022 Corolla Cross only had one engine option. It’s a rather sedate 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, only making 169 hp. It’s often considered a weak point in expert reviews of this SUV, but the owners seem to like how it drives.

The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is the sporty option

If Toyota Corolla Cross drivers like the driving feel of this SUV, then they’ll love the Corolla Cross Hybrid, which is new for the 2023 model year.  On top of improving the combined fuel economy from 30 mpg (with AWD) to 42 mpg, the Corolla Cross is rated at 196 net hp. This is a 15 percent increase in horsepower over the non-hybrid Corolla Cross.

The hybrid also boasts standard all-wheel drive (it’s optional in the non-hybrid) and a sport-tuned suspension. The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is no Supra, but these improvements certainly improve the driving feel, which is apparently important to the owners.

This all adds up to an SUV that’s more efficient and more powerful with a small price premium. The Corolla Cross with AWD starts at $24,910, and the hybrid begins at $27,970. That means the fuel savings should make the price difference of the hybrid pay for itself fairly quickly.

One small disadvantage of the hybrid is cargo space. The hybrid has 21.5 cubic feet of cargo room, while the non-hybrid has up to 24 cubic feet.

Unsurprisingly sporty styling

Going back to the No. 1 favorite thing about the Corolla Cross, exterior styling, the hybrid has some advantages there, too. The Corolla Cross Hybrid has a sporty front fascia and different wheel designs than the regular Toyota Corolla Cross. It also has black Toyota badging rather than the typical blue emblems you see on hybrid Toyota models.

The hybrid also has four two-tone paint options that you can’t get on the non-hybrid. It’s available in Blue Crush Metallic, Barcelona Red Metallic, Sonic Silver, or Acidic Blast with a Jet Black contrast roof. These premium paint options add $500 to the price tag, which is worth it for drivers who are buying the Corolla Cross because of its styling.


3 Reasons to Choose the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Over the Corolla Cross