Cars > Peek

Toyota joins the mid-cycle refresh party with the new Corolla Cross

The compact crossover gets some new tech goodies with minor design tweaks

Like the one it replaces, the looks of the new Corolla Cross can be polarizing. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

This week has been quite busy with product refreshes. It’s evident when you check the past few stories we’ve written and published. And we didn’t even write all the PRs of refreshed models sent to us by the carmakers’ newsletters.

But there is another refreshed model, and this time it’s from Toyota. The Corolla Cross has finally got the mid-cycle redesign it badly needs.

The updates drastically change the ‘regular’ Corolla Cross appearance. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

No, the crossover is far from being ugly (but we’re still not fans of the asymmetrical rear badging). Almost four years since it was launched, something has to change. And Toyota listened.

Outside, the Corolla Cross sports a new face. The front bumper with an integrated grille makes it look modern. The headlamp cluster features a “crystalized” LED design, and the turn signals now light up sequentially.

The exterior design tweaks aren’t as apparent on the GR Sport variants. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

There’s almost nothing new on the sides, except for the new designs of the alloys. The reworked taillamps are the only things that were changed at the back. So that means the asymmetrical badging is still there.

The biggest exterior addition has to be the good-looking frameless panoramic roof. And the ditching of the “Hybrid” badges for the new HEV ones.

New interior color schemes do a lot in changing the way the cabin looks. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The interior has also been mostly untouched. Sure, the leather seats come in new colors. The hybrid instrument cluster has been replaced with a 12.3-inch full-digital instrument display. There’s now a wireless charger on the center console. 

The driver-seat adjustments can be made with the touch of a button. And finally, a bigger 10.1-inch infotainment screen sits atop the dash that still looks a lot like that in the outgoing model.

The panoramic glass roof and the electronic parking brake are welcome additions. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Thankfully, the foot-operated parking brake is no more as the refreshed model gets an electronic parking brake with auto brake hold functionality.

Even the mechanicals and the 1.8-liter four-cylinder petrol and hybrid powertrains have been retained. But we wish that the Japanese automaker had shoehorned the 2.0-liter Dynamic Force engines from the Zenix.

Existing powertrains were retained. Which are quite reliable. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

But the biggest additions are in terms of safety. The current Corolla Cross may have the Toyota Safety Sense suite of features. But the new one has more functionalities. The list includes a tire pressure monitoring system and a parking support brake.

The new, Thai-market Corolla Cross starts at 999,000 baht for the petrol base variant (P1.6 million), and tops at 1,254,000 baht (P2 million) for the GR Sport model.

The latest ADAS and tech features have been packed in this crossover. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

We can almost hear your reactions about this crossover’s styling, features, and pricing. But we will reserve our judgment until such time that we can properly review this refreshed model.

That’s because we’re pretty sure that this will hit our shores. And it’s just a matter of time before Toyota Motor Philippines clears its inventory of the current model. The question is: Will we get all the goodies that our Thai brothers got?

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.