The Cheapest Toyota SUV’s Cheapest Trim Sacrifices Too Much For Savings
The cheapest Toyota SUV is a newcomer to the brand’s formidable lineup. It’s a nameplate closely related to one of the most notable sedans of all time: the Corolla. The Toyota Corolla Cross has plenty to offer to consumers who desire a strong long-term value proposition. However, the cheapest version of the cheapest Toyota SUV may not be the one you want.
The base model Toyota Corolla Cross isn’t the best version
The cheapest Toyota SUV is a subcompact SUV version of the popular Toyota Corolla. Its base model L trim is the most affordable configuration. While many consumers may choose it over more expensive versions, it isn’t the best Corolla Cross model. In fact, it may be on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to Corolla Cross configurations.
|Power Output||169 Horsepower, 151 LB-FT of Torque|
|MPG||31 City, 33 Highway|
Corolla Cross L standard features
- Full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control
- Lane tracing assist
- Road sign assist
- Hill start assist control
- Smart stop technology
Every Corolla Cross model comes with plenty of standard safety and driver assistance features. Toyota is known for offering great standard safety features on new models in recent years. On the other hand, the Corolla Cross L lacks the tech and creature comforts of its upper trim levels. The quality of the base model’s interior is significantly less refined than some rivals.
If long-term ownership is what you’re after, the cheapest version of the cheapest Toyota SUV may not be the best choice for you. Instead, a snazzier trim could be just what you’re looking for. Furthermore, the brand produces a hybrid version of the Corolla Cross as well, that’s even more efficient than the gas version.
The Toyota Corolla Cross XLE provides great value
Of all Corolla Cross trims, the XLE arguably has the best value proposition of all gas models. Its performance specs are the same as lower trims, but it comes with plenty of welcome interior upgrades.
Corolla Cross XLE standard features
- Leather-trimmed steering wheel
- Wireless smartphone charging
- Ambient lighting
- Smart key system
- Heated front seats
The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE also features exterior upgrades like heated outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators. It starts at $27,715. Consumers can add all-wheel drive for a total of $29,015. Is that total price higher than what some drivers are willing to spend on a subcompact SUV? Sure. But, this specific configuration adds great long-term value for drivers who want to stick with the Corolla Cross for a decade or more.
What is the best Toyota Corolla Cross?
Bias aside, it’s tough to argue that the internal combustion engine Corolla Cross is better than the hybrid version. Toyota has dabbled in hybrid technology since the late 90s. It makes some of the best hybrid vehicles on the market. The Corolla Cross Hybrid’s insane fuel economy makes it a better deal than the gas version. Furthermore, standard all-wheel drive doesn’t hurt its efficiency much.
If you want the best version of the cheapest Toyota SUV that the brand has to offer, the Corolla Cross Hybrid is the way to go. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid SE starts at $29,290. It makes 196 horsepower and gets 42 miles per gallon combined. The Corolla Cross Hybrid SE is powerful for its size, efficient, and has great standard creature comforts.