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Japanese automaker Toyota makes some of the most popular SUVs on the market. It is one of the biggest players in the SUV space, but its vehicles aren’t perfect. There are plenty of rivals on the market that arguably offer more value for the money. Here’s everything wrong with the cheapest Toyota SUV and why many consumers will still choose one over competitors.

Everything wrong with the Toyota Corolla Cross

  • Lack of power
  • Barebones base model
  • Hybrid is a better deal for the money

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross is the cheapest Toyota SUV for 2023. It replaced the C-HR as the only Toyota subcompact SUV.

A white 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross driving down the street.
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Toyota

Toyota’s new subcompact SUV is getting plenty of attention, but there are a few reasons why it isn’t at the top of its segment. The first reason why some consumers may pass on the Corolla Cross is its lack of power. It uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to make 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

The Corolla Cross L is extremely barebones compared to some competitors. Its best features are reserved for its upper trim level configurations. While Toyota offers great standard safety features on all its new vehicles, the standard materials in its base models leave much to be desired for some consumers.

Additionally, many consumers will skip over the gas Corolla Cross because its hybrid counterpart is the better deal for the money. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid starts at $27,970 with the S configuration. It gets an incredible 45 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway. Aside from its incredible fuel efficiency, the Corolla Cross Hybrid also comes with great standard features like all-wheel drive and full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control.

Corolla Cross pros

  • Affordable
  • Shares many traits with the popular Corolla nameplate
  • Decent fuel economy
  • Great standard safety and driver assistance features
  • Decent cabin and cargo space for its segment

The cheapest Toyota SUV may not be the best in its segment, but it certainly isn’t the worst. It’s much more competitive than the Toyota C-HR (which recently got the axe). The Japanese automaker’s decision to introduce a Corolla-based subcompact SUV after the failure of the C-HR is a brilliant move. By giving the Corolla Cross similar traits to the Corolla, the brand is tapping into a huge international fan base and making subcompact SUV ownership a serious option to consider for millions of drivers worldwide.

The Corolla Cross has the potential to be a huge sales success as consumers become more familiar with the model. If it proves to be as reliable as the Corolla for long periods of time, then Toyota has a huge winner on its hands.

Should you get the cheapest Toyota SUV?

A white 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross subcompact SUV is driving down the road at night.
The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Toyota

If you’ve never owned or admired the Toyota Corolla, the Corolla Cross may not be the first subcompact SUV to consider. Furthermore, models like the Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona offer more value for the money. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the standard Corolla, few subcompact SUVs are better suited for you. Its balance of affordability and practicality make it a tempting option that’s surely a worthier rival than the C-HR.


What Comes Standard on the Cheapest Toyota SUV for 2023?