All-new Toyota Corolla Cross makes Phl debut: Hybrid and hi-tech

The Toyota Corolla is an important nameplate for the Japanese carmaker. It’s one of the world’s bestsellers, not only for Toyota but for the rest of the car brands out there. In the Philippines, the Corolla nameplate rose to popularity as early as the ‘70s and ‘80s – and continues to be popular among Filipino car buyers until today.

In 2019, Toyota Motor Philippines introduced the first-ever Corolla Altis hybrid. The company also declared that it aims to fortify its hybrid vehicle portfolio, which, as I confirmed this year, hasn’t changed even with the current pandemic affecting the industry. 

In line with that, TMP adds another hybrid to its lineup. Meet the Corolla Cross – the first hybrid Toyota crossover in the Philippines. Sourced from Thailand, the Philippine-spec Corolla Cross is identical to what was launched in the Southeast Asian kingdom, including the specs.

Design-wise, the Corolla Cross differs a lot from the Corolla Altis, the sedan it shares the name and TNGA platform with. The front end of the crossover is more imposing, mainly because of the huge gaping grille and the bevy of undercladdings. Exclusive to the Hybrid variant are LED headlamps and DRLs, while the lower G trim gets projector halogens. The grille carries a gun metallic finish for the hybrid variant, as well, and as with Toyota hybrids, the blue accent around the Toyota badge.

Inside, the Corolla Cross Hybrid gets all the bells and the whistles, starting with leather upholstered power-adjustable seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a semi-digital instrument cluster, rear A/C vents, and a tonneau for the cargo area. Those will go for the pure combustion engine variant gets fabric seats instead. Standard on both are smart keyless entry system, push-start ignition, speed-sensing door locks, and automatic climate control. 

As for the head unit, the Hybrid variant gets a bigger 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the G trim gets a 6.8-inch with T-Link.

The hybrid system of the Corolla Cross is similar to what you’ll find in the Corolla Altis. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle engine makes 97hp and 142Nm of torque, while the electric motor makes an additional 71hp. Combined, the system makes 120hp, sent to the front wheels via CVT.

The G variant, on the other hand, gets the dual-VVTi version of the 1.8-liter engine, making 138hp and 172Nm torque.

Probably the biggest tech toy in the Corolla Cross, apart from the hybrid powertrain, is the addition of Toyota Safety Sense. The suite of features includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB).

These features work hand-in-hand with the standard hill-start assist, seven airbags, traction control, stability control, immobilizer, and reverse camera – features that are also standard with the non-hybrid G variant.

The Toyota Corolla Cross is now available at all 70+ Toyota dealerships across the country, priced at P1,285,000 for the G variant and P1,650,000 for the V Hybrid trim. Both variants are available in Metal Stream Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, and Attitude Black Mica. You can also buy it in Platinum White Pearl Mica for an additional P15,000.

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