By Otsile Kadiege
When it comes to SUVs consumers worldwide are spoilt for choice. Toyota South Africa recently expanded their local SUV line-up by introducing the all-new and locally built Corolla Cross. The compact SUV, which was recently launched in South Africa, enters a highly contested space with along list of contenders fighting for their share of the pie.
Eye-catching exterior and practical interior
The Corolla Cross impresses with its attractive exterior design thanks to its aggressively shaped and patterned grille flanked by eyebrow like LED headlights withDRLs, and LED fog lights. Other exterior highlights include contrasting wheelarches, faux front and rear skid plates, 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as roof racks.
Inside, the Corolla Cross has a beautifully styled and well-built cabin with a decent amount of soft-touch materials and comfortable seats, however, its 60:40 split rear seats are a touch too upright for my liking. It uses a 7-inch touch display with an intuitive infotainment system featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The latter, however, has graphics that are long in the tooth. One commendable feature is its 6-speaker audio system which trumps most of its competitors. The Corolla Cross’ 487l boot capacity was enough to load a handful of travelling bags as well as other luggage.
Living with a hybrid
With the ever-rising fuelprices in South Africa, we were lucky enough to criss-cross Mzansi in the Corolla Cross XS Hybrid, which uses both an electric motor sourced from the popular Prius and a 1.8l petrol engine paired to a 7-step CVT. As a result, the Corolla Cross delivered an impressive combined fuel consumption of 5.7l/100 km. It also has good ride quality aided by its 215/60R17 wheels, which managed to absorb pothole-riddled roads ekasi with ease. It also delivered decent oomph when we needed to get going, however, the petrol/electric concoction is let down by the CVT gearbox’s droning sound and lack of enthusiasm. That said, the latter is best enjoyed in town or when cruising on the highway.
As mentioned above, the Corolla Cross enters a tough market with a few of its competitors offering more for less, however, the brand behind the Corolla Cross certainly carries a lot of weight. It’s also a no-frills compact SUV that gets the job done at a competitive price of R349,900.
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