Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Corolla Cross Hybrid

By

Automotive Contributor

Sean is an automotive enthusiast with a background in sports journalism. He is a graduate of California Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Science in Business.

, Automotive Contributor - March 1, 2024
2024 Toyota Corolla Cross front three-quarter view

Following the C-HR's discontinuation, the Corolla Cross is now the smallest and most affordable SUV in Toyota's lineup. The Corolla Cross was previously only offered with a four-cylinder gas engine, but a hybrid variant joined the gas model for the 2023 model year. Here's a brief comparison between the Toyota Corolla Cross and Corolla Cross Hybrid so you know which subcompact crossover is right for you.

Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Corolla Cross Hybrid Price

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid front three-quarter view

Both the Corolla Cross and the Corolla Cross Hybrid are offered in three trims. The entry-level Corolla Cross L starts at $25,210 and includes Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, heated mirrors, and automatic LED headlights. Upgrading to the $27,540 LE gets you keyless entry and blind spot monitoring. The top-of-the-range XLE sports a starting price of $29,435, and adds a 7" digital gauge cluster, automatic climate control, and 18" black alloy wheels.

The most affordable Corolla Cross Hybrid is a little more expensive than the Corolla Cross XLE at $29,570 but misses out on a few features like wireless charging and ambient lighting. You can add the same niceties as the upper trim gas-powered Corolla Crosses with the SE and XSE trims, which will set you back $30,890 and $32,755, respectively.

Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Corolla Cross Hybrid Specs

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Engine

Here's where the biggest differences between the Hybrid and the standard Cross. The gas-only model is powered by a 169-hp four-cylinder engine. The four-pot is good for a respectable 31 mpg city and 33 highway when equipped with front-wheel drive. Economy figures dip to 29 mpg city and 32 highway when fitted with the optional all-wheel drive. Although frugal, the Corolla Cross offers lackluster performance, with 60 mph arriving in a leisurely 9.2 seconds.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid is also propelled by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine, but it benefits from three small electric motors that drive the rear wheels. As a result, all Corolla Cross Hybrids are all-wheel drive and offer a more potent 196 hp. Its 7.3-second zero to 60 time won't have you confusing the Corolla Cross Hybrid sports car, but it's far peppier than its gas-only sibling. The Hybrid also has a decided advantage in terms of fuel economy, with ratings of 45 mpg city and 38 highway.

Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Corolla Cross Hybrid Size

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Rear Seat

Seeing as the only differences between the two vehicles are powertrain related, the Corolla Cross and Corolla Cross Hybrid have identical exterior and cabin dimensions. Both Corolla Crosses are five inches shorter than the already compact RAV4 and are nimble and maneuverable around town.

Owing to a slightly more upright design, the smaller Corolla Cross and Corolla Cross Hybrid have slightly more headroom than the RAV4 (38.6" to 37.7"). Interior dimensions are otherwise similar except that the RAV4 has almost six inches more rear legroom (37.8" to 32.0"), meaning the Corolla Cross will be on the snug side for adult rear passengers.

Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Corolla Cross Hybrid Cargo Space

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Cargo

The one difference between the two crossovers dimensionally is in the cargo area. Unfortunately for the Corolla Cross Hybrid, its added oomph from the hybrid batteries comes at the cost of some cargo room, with 21.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seats in place compared to the standard Cross' 25.5 (24.3 with AWD). With the rear seats folded, the Corolla Cross can accommodate 66.8 (65.5 with AWD) cubic feet of cargo, whereas the Hybrid can tote 61.8.

The cargo space in the Corolla Cross with the rear seats folded is comparable to the larger RAV4 Hybrid's 69.8 cubic feet, but the RAV4 Hybrid has the decided advantage with 37.5 cubic feet with the seats in place. Unless you plan on doing frequent seat-folded lugging, both Corolla Crosses offer more than adequate cargo space. Even the Corolla Cross Hybrid's smaller cargo area is solid for this segment, with competitors like the Honda HR-V offering 24.4 and 55.3 cubic feet with the seats in place and folded, respectively.

Which Is Better: Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Corolla Cross Hybrid?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Corolla Cross and Corolla Cross Hybrid are very similar vehicles. They share exterior styling, an interior, and more or less offer the same features.

That being said, the Hybrid is the far superior vehicle in our eyes. Yes, it comes at a premium over the gas-only Corolla Cross, but we think it's worth it for the way it improves on the standard Cross' weaknesses.

Although inexpensive to both purchase and maintain, the regular Corolla Cross is truly anemic to drive. Adding the Hybrid powertrain not only vastly improves the driving experience, but also comes with the advantage of added fuel economy.

The entry-level Hybrid costs about the same as a Corolla Cross XSE, and to us going with the more powerful Hybrid is a no-brainer. The standard Corolla Cross isn't a bad car, and it serves as a sensible low-cost option for buyers who just want a practical, inexpensive car they don't have to worry about.

If you care about a more engaging driving experience by even the slightest amount though, we'd recommend the Hybrid.

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Contributor

Sean is an automotive enthusiast with a background in sports journalism. He is a graduate of California Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Science in Business.


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