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With their relatively low prices, small SUVs are appealing to budget-minded automotive shoppers. In times of high inflation, shoppers are also increasingly drawn to hybrids to save money at the pump. However, there’s only one affordable subcompact SUV that’s a hybrid: the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross, which has high fuel economy ratings.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross is the only affordable hybrid subcompact SUV

Subcompact SUVs are all the rage these days. Popular choices include the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, Chevy Trailblazer, Kia Seltos, Kia Soul, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Venue, Nissan Kicks, and Volkswagen Taos. However, in the United States, none of these small SUVs offer hybrid models. While some, such as the HR-V and Kona, offer hybrids in international markets, they don’t have one in the U.S.

For American shoppers who want an affordable non-luxury subcompact SUV with an efficient hybrid powertrain, the only option is the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross. The Corolla Cross Hybrid starts around $27,970.

While the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek offers a hybrid model in America, it’s relatively expensive. It starts at $36,845, which is out of the price range for most budget-minded SUV shoppers.

The higher price is mostly due to its more complicated plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system. There are also luxury subcompact hybrid SUVs, but those are expensive, too. The most affordable one is the 2023 Lexus UX, which starts at $36,490.

The Toyota Corolla Cross gets great gas mileage

A blue Toyota Corolla Cross subcompact SUV is driving.
The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Toyota

The most obvious benefit of the 2023 Corolla Cross is its high fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of up to 42 combined mpg. This is actually higher than Toyota’s earlier estimate of 37 combined mpg when it first announced the model.

Toyota has long been the automotive industry leader for hybrid vehicles. It started with the Prius more than two decades ago—and has since expanded to its SUV lineup, including the 2023 Corolla Cross. It debuted for the 2022 model year with only a fully gas-powered model, but in 2023, the affordable small SUV goes hybrid.

The end result is drivers can save a great deal of money at the pump over the long haul. Considering that fuel is one of the biggest costs of vehicle ownership, the high gas mileage is quite appealing. Additionally, there’s the convenience element of not having to stop at gas stations as often as most other SUVs.

The 2023 Corolla Cross is also the best-performing model in the lineup

In the past, hybrids had a reputation for not being fun to drive. They were great for gas mileage but not so much for performance. However, that’s changed—as shown by the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. It’s the best-performing model in the lineup. 

With its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors, it generates 194 hp, compared to 169 hp for the fully gas-powered model. The Corolla Cross Hybrid also delivers respectable acceleration. It has a 0-60 mph time of 8.0 seconds, while the fully gas-powered model clocks in at 9.2 seconds.

For those who desire a budget-friendly small hybrid SUV, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is a solid pick. It’s the only affordable non-luxury subcompact SUV that offers a hybrid powertrain; and it gets there without sacrificing performance.

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