Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0L AWD-i what we like what we don't | Our proof

Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0L AWD-i what we like what we don't | Our proof

Officially presented in 2020 as a more practical and more spacious alternative to its sister C-HR, the Corolla Cross represents a car with strong contrasts that focuses heavily on substance and excellent value for money. The Japanese crossover is the perfect everyday car, thanks to the consumption of a true champion, even if some details related mostly to the experience inside the passenger compartment have left us with some perplexity.

We spent about ten days in the company of Corolla Cross with the 197 horsepower 2.0L AWD-i engine, let's see how our test went and what convinced us of this Toyota. We specify that, starting from a few weeks ago, the Toyota price list has been enhanced with a new 1.8L engine (always full hybrid) with 140 horsepower.

What convinces us

Aesthetically, Corolla is an SUV that is beautiful to look at, with attention to shape and detail, which communicates a feeling of superior value to the segment it occupies – and at what it costs. The front LED light clusters stand out and define the design of the front, large and massive, also thanks to the muscular grille. A streamlined side aesthetic, a tapered rear, in short, despite the important dimensions, it goes well with modern designs.

Maybe a bit too many inserts not in body color, which remain a habit for many Cross versions , not only of the Japanese house. However, we understand this choice on a car in this segment also intended for city use, where a small scratch or accident is always and unfortunately just around the corner.

But the contrasts already begin outside, just take a look to the rear light unit, with a few too many halogen bulbs.

What doesn't convince us

The first contrast is immediately noticeable when you get on board, because the careful design of the aesthetics, which heralds, or at least gives hope for, an equal treatment of the interiors, is immediately disillusioned. The interiors are more spartan than expected: all the surfaces are in plastic, in different colors and finishes, but there are no inserts in more precious materials. There are no creaks and the surfaces seem well put together, but perhaps we expected more.

The instrument cluster is fully digital, offers some customization, but nothing that goes beyond what is necessary. The central infotainment screen offers a resolution more than suitable for easy use, even if the touchscreen is not the best tested. The steering wheel controls are essential, and allow you to learn how to interact very quickly. Unfortunately, a wheel to adjust the volume is missing, a task left to a couple of buttons, a solution that is not new in the Toyota house and which, the writer does not particularly appreciate since the ease and speed of interaction is compromised.

There are CarPlay Wireless and Android Auto, only in the wired version, even if the switch to CarPlay from the Toyota infotainment doesn't work every now and then; by clicking on the "CarPlay" button, the screen simply does not load.

Among the largest contrasting elements are, for example, the buttons for activating the heated seats. Positioned just in front of the gearbox, are two very old-fashioned mechanical keys, with an orange LED, which you can press up or down, selecting a "high" or "low" temperature, and next to it there is a USB socket, a very spartan module inserted in a predisposition. Looking at these elements, with CarPlay above and these buttons below, it seems to observe two different eras, the past and the future, a few centimeters away from each other.

Credits: Toyota

How it drives

If we leave aside some design choices, such as the one we have just described, the Toyota Corolla drives well. The driving position is relaxed, the space on board is sufficient, even behind, even if it is not the queen of the category. Behind you travel well, even in five, but in the central area, thanks to a small rise in the tunnel area, you are a little less comfortable. Available to passengers are two USB-C sockets, another contrast to the classic USB port in front.

The engine, thermal with support from an electric unit, is capable of general 197 horsepower, while the gearbox E-CVT behaves like a torque converter, at least this is the driving sensation. The horses are not few, it accelerates from 0 to 100 in just over 8 seconds. Despite this, the Corolla does not encourage sporty use, but it's nice to know that when needed, you can count on a respectable cavalry.

The large mirror and the windshield pillar are a little bulkier than desirable. but in return the rear view is very good, aided by the video camera which offers decent image quality.

The ADAS systems, such as lane recognition, cruise control and obstacle detection work well in most of situations. Only the lane recognition is sometimes too harsh and interprets the insertion lines as a possible exit from the road, swerving unexpectedly.

The consumption is phenomenal: in urban and extra-urban mixed cycle, making good use of the hybrid, sailing and accelerating delicately, we broke through the threshold of 30 km per litre, a truly surprising result. With less careful and more relaxed driving, therefore without constantly taking your foot off the accelerator to take advantage of the dual engine, we have in any case reached 25 km per liter on many journeys. If, on the other hand, you want to be more aggressive, and with sections of the motorway at 130 km per hour, you will consume more, but you will always remain around 20 km per litre.

Is it worth it?

Toyota Corolla Cross it is a car that looks very much to substance, even if it is aesthetically beautiful to look at, with modern lines that make it seem more expensive than it really is. The greatest value of this car is undoubtedly the engine, because we haven't seen such low fuel consumption for a long time. And the two-litre horsepower, together with the electric part, is in any case such as to allow more than good shooting for the category.

It's a pity that the inside isn't as well-finished as the outside, and this is where the focus is more on the substance , although some choices remain questionable. If you want a family SUV that consumes little fuel and has everything in its place, Corolla should be among your choices. The price for the 2.0L AWD-i MY22 Lounge variant with Pearl White Leather Pack is 41,800 euros, but with some renunciations and always choosing the 2WD traction, it is possible to reduce the purchase price to 38,800 with the Trend.

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