Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) just can't stop launching cars. Earlier this year, they unveiled the facelifted Wigo, and it was quickly followed up by the updated Vios. Now, it's the Corolla Cross, and it's a very important model for the country's biggest automaker.
TMP is betting big with their newest model. They want it to succeed in a segment where they haven't had a big sales hit in years, which is the crossover market. The company wants that to change with the Corolla Cross. While TMP sells Fortuners, Prados, and Land Cruisers by the boatloads, their crossovers haven't been massive sales hits. Sure, there's the RAV4, but it hasn't exactly been flying off the dealership lots due to its high pricing as the Japan-sourced model doesn't qualify for JPEPA import duties.
Of course, we'd like to drive the Corolla Cross in the real world. For now, though, the best we can do is take a look at the spec sheets. How does it stack up against its competitors? The Corolla Cross has some stiff competition ahead of it, but which crossovers is it up against? Here are the contenders.
Corolla Cross versus...
Perhaps the most obvious rival of the Corolla Cross is the Honda HR-V. The two are similar in price, engine output, and even some mechanical bits. Besides, the Honda-Toyota rivalry has been going on for nearly 30 years now, so we thought it would be nice to pit those two head to head.
But in terms of size, it's closer to a different Japanese competitor. That would be the Subaru XV, and they have a lot more in common than you think. Both aren't quite big enough to be classified to be C-crossovers, but the two are big for the B-segment. Think of these two as category busters, slotting in between two established size classes.
The Corolla Cross isn't just facing competition from its compatriots. There's the Kia Seltos from South Korea. With its competitive pricing and features, the Kia has a lot to offer in its segment and might even give the Corolla Cross a scare too.
However, if it's competitive pricing we're talking about, the Corolla Cross should keep a close eye on the Geely Coolray. This up-and-comer from China is one of the few cars we've given a near perfect score, so Toyota has a pretty tough target to beat, vehicle for vehicle.
The XV and Corolla Cross are among the biggest in its class but it's the latter that has the biggest numbers for the most part. While the Subaru pips the Toyota in length by a mere 5 mm, the Corolla Cross is the widest and tallest in its class.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the HR-V and Coolray are among the smallest. The Honda is the narrowest and shortest in height, while the Coolray is the shortest in length. As for the Kia, it happily sits in the middle of the five other crossovers in the list.
But while the XV was beaten by the Corolla Cross in terms of size, it is undoubtedly the highest off the ground. At 220 mm, it easily surpasses all the crossovers mentioned. The Corolla Cross may be marketed as a high-rider, but it's 161 mm ground clearance means its more wagon than a crossover.
As for the rest of the cars, the Seltos has 176 mm worth of clearance, while the HR-V has 185 mm. The Coolray on the other hand has a respectable clearance measurement of 196 mm.
If you're expecting the Corolla Cross to be the most powerful in the group, you'd be very mistaken. In terms of horsepower, it makes the least at 141 PS. It's barely beaten by the HR-V which has one more horsepower. It does beat the Honda when it comes to torque, but the Corolla Cross still doesn't make as much as the Seltos, XV, or Coolray.
The Coolray is the hot-rot of this spec check. It may only have a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine, but it makes 177 PS and 255 Nm of torque, leaving all the other crossovers here in the dust.
Three of the five cars in the group use CVTs or Continuously Variable Transmissions. These are the Corolla Cross, HR-V, and XV. The Seltos uses a CVT-like transmission dubbed IVT or Intelligent Variable Transmission. The Coolray is the only one here that uses gears with its 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
So the Corolla Cross has been ranked the lowest in the last two categories, but it more than makes up for it in practicality. When it comes to cargo capacity, the Toyota trounces all with 487 liters on offer. That's a whole lot more than its nearest competitor, the Seltos, which has 433 liters of cargo space.
The HR-V sits in the middle of the group with 431 liters, but we can't help but be amazed at how Honda was able to cram that much volume in the smallest car in the group. As for the XV, it's nearly as large as the Corolla Cross but its 410-liter cargo capacity pales in comparison. Still, at least it can load more than the Coolray, which comes in last at 330 liters.
The Corolla Cross starts at Php 1,285,000, which undercuts its Japanese competitors. It's Php 10,000 less than the HR-V and substantially more affordable than the XV by Php 333,000. You could argue that the XV is justifiably expensive because of its all-wheel-drive system, but it's a lot of money over the new kid on the block.
But as good as the Corolla Cross' base price is, the Kia is a lot more affordable. The base Seltos starts at 1,098,000, and it's comprehensively equipped too. But if it's the most affordable you want, the Coolray is unbeatable. It's the only one here with a starting price of less than Php 1 million at Php 978,000. No wonder we're seeing more of them on the road.
Corolla Cross: Good buy or goodbye?
You can't judge a car on spec-sheets alone. If we all based our vehicle purchases on numbers, then everyone would just get the most affordable version, the most powerful model, or whatever big number a car has impressed you the most. What these numbers do is guide you in deciding on your next car.
With that, the Corolla Cross has some class-leading figures. It's the widest and the tallest of the bunch, so you can expect it to be a spacious vehicle. The cargo capacity is also second to none, which makes it hugely practical for a family of five. Sure, it's not the highest of the ground, the least expensive, or the most powerful, but it has usability and functionality in mind.
Besides, it's a Toyota, so it's still worth checking out.