By Khulekani Dumisa and Otsile Kadiege
Recently we had an exclusive look at the new Toyota Corolla Cross which will be manufactured here in Mzansi. The new SUV slots between the RAV4 and C-HR and is competitively from R349,900 for the entry level 1.8 Xi grade. We are of the view that the Corolla Cross is set to be a hit locally with its keen pricing, generous standard features and importantly, its practicality.
Corolla Cross grades
Like its local stablemates, the new Corolla Cross will be available in three grades, namely: the entry-level Xi, mid-spec XS and top-spec Xr grades.
Standard specification on the Xi includes colour coding, keyless entry, power-adjustable and auto-retractable exterior mirrors, LED taillamps and automatic light control. Interior Items include four cupholders, stowage binnacles, 60/40 fold-down rear seats and steering switches. Cruise Control, air-conditioning, 12-volt power outlet, all-round one-touch power windows and a Multi-Information Display (MID) round off the spec offering.
The Xs model adds foglamps, an upgrade to LED headlamps, Park Distance Control (PDC) and rain-sensing wipers. The interior trim is upgraded to leather, while the air-conditioning switches to a dual-zone variant and the Multi-Information Display (MID) is upgraded to the TFT-type. The audio system too receives an upgrade to touchscreen ‘spec’ which brings with it a reverse camera, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality and two additional USB ports (for a total of 3). Toyota Connect is included across the board.
The top-of-the-range Xr models offer customers additional convenience and safety specification and an upgrade to 18-inch wheels.
Safety & Security
All Toyota Corolla Cross models include an anti-theft system, auto door-lock and ISOFIX anchor points. The airbag array includes driver, passenger, side and driver-knee (on Xi & Xs) while the Xr adds curtain airbags.
A full suite of active safety features are present on all models including; VSC, ABS, EBD and Hill Assist Control (HAC). The Xr model also boasts Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) – which encompasses semi-autonomous driving aids and enhanced safety-system functionality. The standout elements here are Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Lane Trace Assist (LTA) and a Pre-Collision System (PCS).
We were immediately struck by the car’s size. In terms of dimensions, it is the same length and the Corolla Sedan and a bit more compact than the RAV4. It is actually decently sized for its segment. Both driver and front passenger have decent space, the same is true for the back passengers. The boot space is also generous and at the top end of the segment with 487L.
True to Toyota form, there is no extensive list of extras. In fact, even the so-called entry level model gets a fair amount of creature comforts like keyless entry, folding exterior mirrors, LED taillamps and automatic light control, 60/40 fold-down rear seats and steering switches and cruise Control. We would just wanted it to also get a decent infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota knows this will probably not be the volume driver and that is why this is available in the Xs grade and Xr grades which are available from R390,00 and R413,000 respectively.
We drove the Corolla Cross at the Gerotek Teting Facility. What stood out was the comfort, smooth ride quality and quite cabin. Being built on the new TNGA platform, the car sits fairly low and therefore behaves more like a sedan/hatch than an SUV. There’s minimal body roll when you shuffle the car in corners and stretch it a bit. That is most welcome and the car does not make you miss its hatch and sedan siblings much when you pilot it.
The newcomer will feature a two engine strategy: a 1.8-litre petrol engine (103 kW & 172 Nm) and ultra-fuel-efficient 1.8-litre Hybrid (90 kW total system output). This in combination with the aforementioned three-grade strategy results in a five-model matrix:
> Corolla Cross 1.8 Xi – R349,900
> Corolla Cross 1.8 Xs – R390,100
> Corolla Cross 1.8 Xr – R425,400
> Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid Xs – R413,000
> Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid Xr – R448,300
The Corolla Cross is set to launch locally in November and customers can already place their orders.
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