LAST year Toyota released the Corolla Hybrid. It was a calculated but bold move. The previous hybrid entry, the Prius, did not sell in volumes mainly because of the pricing, resale value and even styling.
Auto experts ventured to explain that the rather regular, bordering on boring styling of the Prius did not hit home with the Pinoy car buyer. The 2018 Prius sold for P2.345M which was a bit much for the compact sedan. That amount of money price can fetch a larger diesel SUV. The Toyota Fortuner 2.8 V Diesel 4×4 AT with a special pearly white color is about P2.316M.
So only the rich and environmentally conscious bought the Prius. Even with almost the same price tag and a revitalized styling, snazzier and sportier, the 2019 Prius and Prius C sold nothing.
All that changed with the Corolla Hybrid.
As the price tag went down, and the internal combustion engine plus electric motor power train fitted on the popular sedan, nearly 100 of the “green” Corollas were sold. It also helped that the Corolla was the darling of the brand in the Philippines, lasting all 32 years since Toyota returned, but the marque existing even 20 years earlier.
Last week, Toyota introduced the Corolla Cross. An albeit fancier, sportier rendition of the Corolla in a mini-SUV silhouette with both gasoline internal combustion and hybrid engines.
It is built on the trusty Corolla platform except that, instead of a rear trunk, a hatch was put instead. The car is said to have Toyota’s signature “QDR” (quality, durability, and reliability) philosophy with style and functionality. The new car meets Toyota’s vision of sustainable mobility and makes self-charging hybrid technology more accessible to Filipinos.
“Guided by our philosophy of making ever-better cars, Toyota took the best of a trusted model, the Toyota Corolla, and turned it into a sleek and modern crossover,” said TMP President Atsuhiro Okamoto during the online launch of the new vehicle.
Commanding identity and striking design
The Corolla Cross’ exterior starts strong with its imposing double trapezoid front grille which gives the vehicle a wide and stable appearance. Exclusive to the hybrid variant are LED Light Curtain Daytime Running Lights and a subtle blue accent to the bi-beam LED headlamps which perfectly complements the blue Toyota logo. Sleek defined lines run from the side to the front of the aerodynamic cabin and the subtle “Double C” character lines along the vehicle’s side profile exudes a sophisticated impression.
“The Corolla Cross is designed to move you in comfort and style, whether you’re seeking adventure, doing business, or simply spending time with people you love,” Okamoto added.
Truly made for the urban setting, the high approach angle combines the strong stance with functionality, with great capability on speed bumps and inclines. The overall look of the vehicle emphasizes the spacious utility ready for the customer’s dynamic lifestyle, whether it be the weekday job or the weekend getaway.
Elegant interior and exceptional ride experience
Consistent with its sophisticated exterior, the Corolla Cross gets a classy minimalist interior which comes in leather for the hybrid variant. The wide and spacious cabin space gives abundant head clearance for easier ingress and the slim seatback gives ample legroom for backseat passengers. The thinner pillars and rear quarter window add to the roomier atmosphere of the Corolla Cross and provides more outward visibility.
The hybrid variant also has a retractable tonneau cover for the rear trunk space for privacy, and the spacious trunk has comfortable loading height for ease of access.
The driver gets accessibility and control all throughout the ride with features such as Smart Entry and Push Start System, power adjust with auto fold for the side mirrors, power windows, and speed-sensing door locks, and for the 1.8 V hybrid variant, rain-sensing windshield wipers and 8-way power adjust driver’s seat. Convenient steering wheel switches enable the driver to adjust Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) features and 7” multi-information display for the 1.8 V hybrid, and audio, and phone connectivity features for all variants. Apple Carplay and Android Auto is compatible with the 1.8 V Hybrid’s display audio.
Conscious performance and sustainable mobility
TMP positions adoption of hybrid electric vehicles as the perfect transition to vehicle electrification in the country. By popularizing hybrid technology and making it more accessible, TMP takes another step forward in line with Toyota’s global commitment to push for sustainable mobility as outlined in its Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050.
With its competitive price point, established Corolla legacy, and strong and sophisticated design, the Corolla Cross is the perfect road companion for customers who are looking for a stylish, functional, and efficient crossover.
The hybrid variant is powered by a 1.8L engine with Atkinson Cycle designed for the Hybrid system, and gets 1,798 cc displacement which gives of 142 max. torque @3,600 rpm, and an electric motor which helps in providing a 120hp total system max output. Three available driving modes (Eco, Power, and EV) also give the driver more control. With Hybrid technology, every trip is guaranteed to be:
- Fuel-efficient – consume less fuel whenever the engine switches to the electric motor as the vehicle’s source of power
- Environment-friendly – less fuel consumption means less CO2 emissions
- Quiet – electric motors make very little noise while running
- Comfortable – enjoy a more responsive drive and experience smoother acceleration perfect for city driving
- Hassle-free – Hybrid vehicles do not have to be plugged in as the battery self –charges as the vehicle is driven. Every step on the brake allows the car to recharge.
The 1.8 G CVT variant gets 1,798cc displacement, 138hp total system maximum output, and 172Nm maximum torque @ 4,000 rpm with the 16-Valve DOHC, 4-Cylinder, In-line, Chain drive with Dual VVT-I engine.
Agility, stability, and visibility
developed under Toyota New Global Architecture
They call it Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). The acronym is Toyota’s vision of making ever-better cars with core strength and an emphasized personality.
Boasting a 10.4m curb-to-curb turning circle and a commanding view of the road with the high seating position and thinner front pillars, the driver feels more in control with the Corolla Cross.
Similar to the Corolla Altis, the Corolla Cross has a MacPherson strut front suspension optimized for its SUV structure. The rear suspension features an all-new torsion beam design which helps improve the ride handling and reduce body roll. The MacPherson strut/Torsion Beam suspension combined with the rigid body structure of the vehicle ensures the driver and passengers maximum ride stability and comfort all throughout the journey.
Reassuring sense of safety
Drivers and passengers are guaranteed peace of mind and security with all of the available safety features in the Corolla Cross. All variants are equipped with 7 SRS airbags, Anti-Lock Brake System with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, and 3-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts for the driver and all passengers. The hybrid variant has two front and four rear clearance sonars, while the G CVT variant has 2 rear sonars, and reverse camera is available for all variants.
The 1.8 Hybrid variant also has several active safety features under Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) such as the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB). Following the Hiace Super Grandia Elite, the Corolla Altis 1.8 HV, Alphard, and Prius, the Corolla Cross’ hybrid variant is the fifth in TMP’s official lineup to feature TSS.
The 1.8 Hybrid variant also has Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). When turned on, this system detects vehicles approaching from the rear or vehicles which may not be fully visible through the side mirrors, and alerts the driver through visual and audio signals.
First revealed in its global premiere last month, the Corolla Cross is the latest addition to Toyota’s global bestselling Corolla series. Since its launch in Japan in 1966, the Corolla series has sold a cumulative total of 48 million units or more, in more than 150 countries and regions around the world.
Priced competitively at P1.65M the Corolla Cross Hybrid variant is also available through the Toyota Balloon Payment Plus financing plan in cooperation with Toyota Financing Services, Inc.
“We understand customer apprehension on hybrid technology: affordability, maintenance, and resale value – that’s why we are offering the Corolla Cross hybrid with Balloon Payment Plus – lower monthly payments, inclusive of periodic maintenance, with guaranteed future resale value.” says TMP First Vice President Sherwin Chualim.
“Owning a hybrid vehicle is made easier and more affordable, and customers are guaranteed a hassle-free experience from buying, owning, and future reselling of their vehicle.” he continues.
The new Corolla Cross is available in two variants and four colors and will be available at Toyota dealerships nationwide from August 26, 2020. (The full report of the Corolla Cross is available at www.malaya.com.ph/motoring.)