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The new Toyota Corolla Cross says goodbye to ICE-only propulsion

The refreshed crossover further democratizes access to hybrid vehicles

No more ICE-only propulsion for the entire Corolla Cross range. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

The Toyota Corolla Cross was a game-changer for electrified mobility here in the country. It was the gateway to the wonders of HEVs for a time. At P1,680,000, it was the most affordable full-hybrid vehicle you can buy.

This bold move by Toyota Motor Philippines led to the arrival of more affordable HEVs like the Nissan Kicks, various offerings from China, and even Toyota’s own Yaris Cross.

But more than three years since it had been launched, the crossover was starting to show its age. So last February, the Japanese automaker gave it a new face and added some features to keep the compact crossover relevant.

Thankfully, we only had to wait two months as TMP launched the refreshed Corolla Cross today. So, what has changed?

Some variants got minimal exterior upgrades, while the GR-S styling was untouched. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA AND RED SANTIAGO

Outside, the midrange V and G variants get the new ‘multi-dimensional design’ and a redesigned bumper. The V model now has the same headlamp cluster as the GR-S, complete with the sequential turn signal lights.

The G trim gets the V’s older headlamp cluster, which features an LED DRL strip and bi-beam projector headlights. The sides are mostly unchanged, save for the new ‘HEV’ emblems as seen on newer Toyota hybrids.

The ‘Beyond Zero’ badge has made its way to the Corolla Cross. PHOTOS BY RED SANTIAGO

The rear end is also unchanged—for better or worse, asymmetrical badging included. Of the three variants, only the V got the refreshed taillight design. The appearances of the 17- and 18-inch wheels were also retained.

There are five color options available: Emotional Red 2/Attitude Black Mica and Platinum White Pearl Mica/Attitude Black combos for the GR-S; and Platinum Pearl White, Celestite Gray Metallic, and Metal Stream Metallic for the V and the G.

The GR-S gets a fully digital instrument cluster, while lower variants get differing combo gauges. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA AND RED SANTIAGO

Minimal changes can also be seen inside. While the V variant retains the same analog/digital combination instrument cluster featuring a seven-inch display, the G has better-looking analog gauges with a 4.2-inch TFT screen. Finally, the GR-S got the best one, featuring a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster.

The interior looks largely the same but gets several cool toys. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The other changes inside include a bigger 10-inch infotainment screen across the range. Thankfully, TMP ditched the old foot-operated parking brake for electronically activated ones with auto hold function. The GR-S also now gets a panoramic glass roof. Finally, a wireless charger comes standard across the entire range.

The most significant change in the Corolla Cross line is that it is now an all-hybrid range. This means all versions—even the ‘base’ G variant—now have the same 1.8-liter engine and electric motor combo, good for 120hp and 142Nm. Power is still sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission.

All Corolla Cross variants now have hybrid drivetrains. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

And then the good and the not-so-good news. The not-so-good one is that there has been a price increase across the range. The GR-S now sells for P1,917,000 (a P73,000 hike from P1,844,000), and the V is now P1,763,000 (a P83,000 hike from P1,680,000). The most pleasant surprise, however, is that for P1,498,000 (or P186,000 more), the G now gets hybrid propulsion.

This, yet again, makes the base Corolla Cross the most affordable Toyota hybrid you can buy—even cheaper than the Yaris Cross HEV.

The refresh made the Corolla Cross even more desirable. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

TMP once again—through the new Corolla Cross—is changing the game. Now, more than ever, Filipinos get more access to environment-friendly tools for mobility. And this is a win no matter how small it is. For us and for Mother Nature.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.