Read Caroline’s Toyota Corolla Cross review for everything you need to know about buying Toyota’s new mid-size SUV in Ireland.

Toyota has been on a journey with hybrid technology for over 25 years since the pioneering Toyota Prius of the 1990s. The Japanese brand’s punt on hybrid has really paid off with Toyota firmly grabbing hold of the title of bestselling car brand in Ireland in 2023 and not really letting go at all.

The brand’s drive to the top has been supported by a number of bestsellers – the Yaris, the Yaris Cross, the C-HR, the Corolla, and the RAV4. There’s a Toyota for every part of the market. The brand has also successfully jumped on the trend for crossovers and SUVs.

While Toyota is only launching the bZ4X now, their first full battery electric vehicle, they have taken over the market for hybrid. For good reason – their cars are some of the most efficient on the road today.

The latest model to hit Irish shores is the new Toyota Corolla Cross, the SUV version of the popular Corolla. Priced from €38,910, it fills a gap in the Toyota range for a practical, mid-size SUV to take on the likes of the Qashqai, Sportage, et al.

The new Toyota Corolla Cross on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Toyota Corolla Cross on test for Changing Lanes!

What’s so special about the Toyota Corolla Cross?

The new Corolla has been a huge success in Ireland since it launched in 2019. With an SUV version, Toyota could really be on to another winner.

Size-wise, the Corolla Cross slots between the C-HR and the RAV4 in the Toyota range. The Toyota C-HR is the style icon of the range, but the Corolla Cross has been designed to be more practical. And it shows.

The styling is chunky and angular, with a big, impressive grille at the front and LED headlights as standard. Mid-spec Sport models add roof rails and 18-inch alloy wheels with a machined finish for a smarter look. The styling is a bit generic around the back, but there’s something reassuring about the Corolla Cross that is sure to endear it among Toyota fans.

The Corolla Cross is also quite special because it debuts Toyota’s latest generation hybrid technology. The fifth generation hybrid has lighter and more compact components, as well as a new battery – all to improve performance, efficiency and drivability.

There are two options: at launch, there’s the 2.0 hybrid with 197hp, while a cheaper 1.8 hybrid will join the range soon with 140hp.

Toyota has done a good job in the cabin of the Corolla Cross also, to make it more modern and family-friendly.

The cabin of the new Toyota Corolla Cross
The cabin of the new Toyota Corolla Cross

Inside the Corolla Cross

For a start, there’s more light and cabin space than in the C-HR. It feels roomier than a Corolla hatch thanks to the high roof line and a little extra width. Two adults or a few children will be able to sit comfortably in the back, though rear legroom doesn’t feel quite as generous as rivals.

The cabin of the Corolla Cross is a real high point as it blends modern features like a new digital instrument panel and large 10.5-inch touchscreen with a solidly built cabin that instantly feels like home. There are lots of good quality materials including copious amounts of soft dash panelling for a plush finish.

Standard features also include dual zone climate control, a reversing camera, and being a Toyota, lots of advanced safety features.

The boot is bigger than in the C-HR but is still a bit on the average side by class standards. With a spare wheel fitted, there’s 390 litres (436 litres without). However, thanks to a different rear suspension design, the 1.8 hybrid will have a slightly larger boot by about 46 litres.

The Corolla Cross is a fuel-efficient hybrid SUV
The Corolla Cross is a fuel-efficient hybrid SUV

Driving the 2.0 Hybrid

The Corolla Cross 2.0 Hybrid offers plenty of power, with 197hp available. It feels swift and responsive though it does get noisy if you accelerate hard. Like most hybrids, it’s an SUV that favours a more relaxed use of the accelerator pedal – then all is quiet and calm in the cabin, with very little transmission noise.

Built on the same platform as the Corolla, the Corolla Cross offers a higher driving position and good view out of the road ahead. It shares the same agile handling, though a Corolla is a bit more fun to drive really. Yet the handling is neutral and balanced, and the Corolla Cross offers a remarkably comfortable drive across all sorts of road surfaces.

However, it’s efficiency where the Corolla Cross leaves the competition behind. The official consumption figure is about 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres and real world economy is largely not far off that (my average over a week of driving was 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres). The Corolla Cross frequently dips into EV driving, improving the overall fuel economy. It really is impressive how this car can consistently return good values for efficiency.

Rear legroom in the new Corolla Cross
Rear legroom in the new Corolla Cross

Did you like it?

The Corolla Cross is a great addition to the Toyota range and is sure to be another success for the brand. It adds SUV charisma to one of Ireland’s favourite cars and is a straightforward, practical model within the Toyota range. Some rivals feel more spacious inside but for many this Corolla Cross will be perfectly sized. It’s a car that’s easy to live with and simple to run, with excellent fuel consumption for a powerful hybrid. Well done Toyota!

Model tested: Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0 Hybrid Sport
Price: From 
2.0-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 197hp
Torque: 190Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.6 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The new Corolla Cross has plenty of rugged charm!
The new Corolla Cross has plenty of rugged charm!