By Malusi Msomi
The locally built Corolla Cross was launched last year in November and to be honest, it’s quite possibly one of my favorite cars in the local Toyota line-up. That said, we recently had the chance to drive the new GR-S model which absolutely looks the business.
The sporty looks
So what Toyota has essentially done is take a Corolla Cross Xr and given it some spice in terms of aesthetics. Unique details on the GR-S includes three bi-tone colour options with a black-roof, black 18″ alloy wheels, and GR exterior badging. The Corolla Cross is an already good-looking car but, with the GR-S treatment, it looks sportier and more aggressive.
The GR treatment extends to the cabin where you get GR Push button start, black leather seats with red stitching, and red trim on the instrument panel. It’s small details that make the GR-S interior feel more special than a standard Corolla Cross. Overall, it’s a beautiful place to be in.
In terms of driving dynamics, the ride is a bit stiff and that is because of the newly tuned suspension. With that being said, when driving spiritedly it offers a fun driving experience. Employing the same 103 kW/172 Nm 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE petrol engine in the Xr, the droning CVT transmission is a bit of a schlep, but won’t be a deal breaker for some.
The GR-S comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) which provides a comprehensive array of active safety features, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Lane Trace Assist (LTA), and Pre-Collision System (PCS). The mandatory ABS, VSC, EBD, Hill Assist Control (HAC), and Brake Assist systems are added to this, along with passive safety features like ISOFIX and a full set of airbags.
The Corolla Cross GR-S is no Supra, but is quite a fun car to drive thanks to its sportier tuned suspension. In terms of cool factor though, you will have people eying you at traffics lights and at the mall as this car looks uber cool in our opinion. The Toyota Corolla Cross GR-S is priced at R 453,200 and a comprehensive review will be conducted when we have the car on test.
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