2023 Toyota Corolla Cross one step closer to Australia with petrol, hybrid power



Toyota’s next SUV is due in local showrooms by year’s end, with a choice of 2.0-litre petrol or hybrid power, and a likely spread of three model grades.

The hotly-anticipated 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross small SUV has been given the green light for sale in Australia, ahead of first showroom arrivals due before the end of this year.

Recent Australian government certification documents for the Corolla Cross list three, previously-confirmed powertrains for Toyota’s newest SUV: a 2.0-litre petrol engine with front-wheel drive, and a 2.0-litre hybrid system with front- or all-wheel drive.

The documents hint at the availability of three model grades: an entry-level model with 17-inch wheels, a mid-spec variant with additional features, and a flagship grade with 18-inch wheels and all available luxury features.

Prices are yet to be confirmed, however if overseas prices are a guide, expect the entry-level model to slot in at about $35,000 drive-away in petrol form, rising closer to $45,000 or $50,000 drive-away for a top-of-the-range hybrid all-wheel-drive model.

The Corolla Cross fits into Toyota’s SUV range between the Yaris Cross (about $30,000 to $42,000 drive-away) and RAV4 (about $38,000 to $58,000 drive-away), and alongside the more radically-styled C-HR (about $31,000 to $41,500 drive-away).

Government documents show the base petrol engine will be a 2.0-litre non-turbo four-cylinder shared with the Corolla hatch and RAV4, developing 126kW (vs the Corolla’s 125kW), with a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive.

Hybrid versions use a 112kW 2.0-litre petrol engine with electric motors of unspecified outputs. Overseas, this system develops 146kW combined in front-wheel-drive models.

Optioning all-wheel drive – set to be offered only on the two top model grades in Australia – adds another electric motor (31kW) on the rear axle, for a 0-100km/h claimed acceleration time of 8.1 seconds.

The Corolla Cross is the first Toyota vehicle in Australia to offer this 2.0-litre hybrid system – which is also available on UK-built Corolla hatchbacks sold in overseas markets, but has never been offered here.

Available in Japan is a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine in petrol-only 103kW/170Nm form, or as part of a hybrid system – shared with the Corolla hatch and sedan – developing 90kW. These have not been certified for sale in Australia.

The government documents provide few details in the way of standard features, however 17-inch wheels will be standard on lower model grades, and 18-inch alloys on the most expensive variants.

Toyota Australia has confirmed the “latest” infotainment software with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, plus a “raft of improved Toyota Safety Sense [advanced technology] features” as standard across the range.

All models will feature a centre airbag between the front seats – designed to prevent occupants’ heads colliding in a side-impact crash – the government documents confirm.

Available features in overseas markets include 9.0- or 10.5-inch infotainment touchscreens, 7.0- or 12.3-inch instrument displays, a 360-degree camera, panoramic sunroof and wireless phone charging.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross is due in Australian showrooms before the end of this year, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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