2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Review Philippines

Taller should be better in most cases, and the market is trending away from the low-to-the-ground sedans. Cars with ground clearance were very commonplace, and one nameplate stands above the rest in terms of recognizability and popularity. 

The Corolla name evokes a sort of reliability and youth to it, but the name has undergone two things in the Philippine market hybridization and crossover-ification – if that is even a word. So did some height and an electric motor do good for the 2021 Corolla Cross Hybrid

4.0 / 5
2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Review
Engine Output (HP), Acceleration, Transmission, Handling
Exterior & Interior Design, Quality, Fit and Finish, Ergonomics
Ride Comfort
Cabin Comfort, Suspension, NVH Insulation
Safety and Technology
Convenience Technologies, Active and Passive Safety Features
Value for Money
Amount of the vehicle you get for the price, Fuel Efficiency
What You Will Like
  • Whisper-quiet engine and electric motor
  • Comfort and great NVH insulation
  • Stellar fuel economy in the city
What You Won't Like
  • Interior is a little cramped
  • Design is not too inspiring
How We Do Our Reviews

Looking at the outside, the Cross looks less like the sedan and more like its own model. You get hints of Fortuner with the headlights and those rounded edges. Then moving over to the back, it gets a little plain-Jane. Seems like the rear was a bit uninspired and an OCD trigger thanks to the placement of the Corolla badge. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 18-inch wheels

It doesn't seem like the prettiest thing on the planet, that much is certain, however, we would be daft to ignore the attractive 18-inch wheels that sit on 161 mm of ground clearance – more than enough height to tackle most tasks in the city and a little out of it. 

Let's face it, we think that the best angle is its front. The rear isn't too magnetic if we're being honest and the side profile is nothing to really write home about except for the wheels. Function-wise, it gets the job done and the lights get bright and the front catches our eye. That's enough for most people and is certainly enough for us. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Interior Dashboard

This is essentially a carryover from the Toyota Corolla Altis, so it still gets good marks in terms of style, minus an electronic parking brake. A bit weird considering that most cars come with electronic parking brakes at a certain level and price point. Apart from that, it's essentially a Corolla Altis' interior with new infotainment, which we will touch upon later. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Steering wheel

The space inside is good enough for your average Filipino. However, the width is a bit sparse. Two people can fit in the rear seats comfortably, but a third would be a little bit of a squeeze, especially if an individual is a bit heavier-set. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Cargo Space

Cargo is pretty good all things considered. It's not an SUV, but it gets pretty close with that 440L of boot space. There is a bit of a lip, but it's enough for most things like groceries and other items. Although, the rear seats don't fold flat and you get a bit of a hump, but that's alright if you're not too particular. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Rear Quarter Rolling

Riding in the Corolla Cross is a very pleasant experience. You may be looking at a semi-independent suspension setup but it is one of the smoothest we've felt. The longer suspension travel and the unibody chassis helps a lot with the great ride. It really is one of its strongest features. 

Couple that with the fact that the engine and motor are dead quiet when it starts up and runs is just the cherry on top. You also get amazingly low levels of NVH which make for a very quiet ride. Sure, it's not like a Rolls Royce, but the Cross gets above-average marks with is in this area. 

Unlike the other Corolla in the lineup, the Cross has a better 8-inch infotainment system that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which is more capable and smoother than the other standard system in the other model. It's great to see that Toyota has also designed this head unit with slimmer and more functional bezels that even have tactile controls for intuitive use. The sound system performs fine with 6 speakers, but we expect that given the stellar NVH insulation of this model. 

Apart from that, you do get Toyota Safety Sense which is a very good addition and one that we cannot stop using on the highway. Longer trips are made easier and smoother thanks to the radar cruise and so is the low speed follow when things do start to slow down on the highway and to make sure that you’re not running into anything while in reverse, you get parking sensors all around the car, and even a backup camera, which is as expected.  

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Steering Wheel

Now the tech in the Corolla Cross and the safety are two in one, and do mesh well together to create an experience that is safer than most. Though, we will still have to say that the Corolla Cross is a pretty safe automobile, especially when kitted out in its highest-end trim level. 

The Toyota Corolla Cross Comes equipped with Driver, Front Passenger, Side, Curtain Shield, and Driver Knee airbags ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist Control, Emergency Brake Signal, Toyota Vehicle Security System  Front and rear parking sensors, Toyota Safety Sense which includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) Automatic High Beam (AHB) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) With Steering Assist Lane Departure Alert (LDA) Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and finally ISOFIX Tethers. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid exterior rolling philippines

When you get behind the wheel of the Corolla Cross, the car behaves as if it is one of the more refined models that we’ve tested so far. The Hybrid system of Toyota, which has been refined for years and years thanks to the Prius and other models, just made the experience so much better. Stepping on the accelerator pedal is a trip as the motor is strong enough to get the car up to speed smoothly and with ease. Once you are going fast enough and want to go faster, the gasoline motor opens seamlessly without any harsh vibrations. Though, that’s its greatest point in a straight line. It’s not particularly fast, and it does struggle to get up to 100 km/h in a snap, it does so at a reasonable pace. Just don’t expect to be winning any drag races or roll races in it. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Gear lever

We will, however, state that the handling of the Corolla Cross in the city is quite good thanks to the chassis and suspension system really helping the car compensate for its added height. There is a slight amount of body roll given that it is a crossover, but less than most other competitors in the market now. The steering is very light and the car is compact enough to fit through tighter roads and traffic situations. It’s a relatively easy car to drive with a rather commanding presence of the road, but it doesn’t have an intimidating stance, to begin with, which means that ingress and egress will be easier than your typical SUVs. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Driving mode selector

Then there is driving it with Toyota’s Safety Sense, which is a trip and a great experience, especially on long drives. It’s a few button presses away from being active, but once it is setup and you get over the slight learning curve to get it to work the way you want to, it’s one of the easiest cars to drive in a manner of speaking. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid badge

With it being a hybrid, you can expect stellar fuel economy figures, and you do get it. The electric motor is very good and helps you save fuel and extend the range of your car. in Bad traffic, we were able the keep the car at 16 km/L, while that is impressive, it seems that the Corolla Cross at a faster-paced city drive, expect a figure of up to 22 km/L. Sadly, we were expecting a bit more running at 90 km/h on the highway because we only got 23.5 km/L with 1-2 passengers inside. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Grille

So it’s a pretty good car that drives really well even semi-autonomously on a long trip. It’s not going to blaze a trail down the highway, but it is a very sensible choice that is built to the task of being a not-so-fussy or glamorous choice for those looking to get a hybrid car into the fold. 

Though at a price of P1,650,000, the Cross is a bit on the expensive side of things, though if we put it side by side with the Corolla Altis sedan, however, with a price tag of P1,580,000, then the Corolla Cross starts to look like a nice deal. Would we recommend it though? For customers looking for a car that loves the Corolla Altis Hybrid and wants more ground clearance and space, this is pretty much the perfect car for that. 



1.8 L

Fuel Type



120 hp @ 5,200 rpm




Name Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid CVT
Body Type Crossover
Price ₱1,680,000
Transmission Category CVT



Economy & Environment


Safety & Security




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