Corolla Cross GR-S gets thumbs-up from us
The Corolla nameplate is one of the most popular in the world. A car that is so vastly recognised as much as the Beatle and the Mustang. The Toyota Corolla was and remains one of the company's top-selling models. However, as times have changed, so have the desires of the automotive customer. The crossover is now a hot topic and brands are introducing new versions on a regular basis. So when Toyota added the Corolla name to a Crossover it was bound to be the next best thing…
And it was. Since its release in 2020, Toyota has been turning them out at max capacity. From entry-level offerings to Hybrids and now even a sporty version. The Corolla Cross GR-S is a more visually appealing offering that has been given some Toyota Gazoo Racing goodies.
The GR-S version which we sampled features a few sportier touches which separate it from other offerings. The Corolla Cross has a modern and sleek design that is typical of Toyota's recent offerings. It has a bold front grille, sharp headlights, and a sculpted hood that give it a sporty and aggressive look. The side profile is characterised by a sloping roofline, prominent wheel arches, and a pronounced character line that runs along the length of the car. The rear of the car features a distinctive light cluster and a spoiler that further enhances its sporty appeal.
The interior of the Corolla Cross is spacious and well-designed, with plenty of room for both passengers and cargo. The GR Sport treatment also makes its way into the aesthetics of the cabin. You get a GR push start button, red stitching in the black leather seats, GR floor mats, a GR gear knob, and a long red pinstripe trim on the instrument panel. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the dashboard is well laid out and easy to use.
There is also a generous amount of standard features, including a 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, and a rearview camera. The Corolla Cross offers around 440-liters of luggage capacity with a 60/40 split rear bench setup, making it one of the most versatile in the segment.
The Corolla Cross GR-S employs the existing 1.8-litre petrol engine, coupled to a CVT transmission with seven pre-programmed 'steps' to simulate a close-ratio transmission in manual shifting mode. It delivers 103 kW and 172 Nm while sipping just 6.8 l/100 km on the combined cycle.
The Corolla Cross GR-S is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense , which offers a full suite of active safety aids including Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Trace Assist, and Pre-Collision System. These are joined by the obligatory ABS, VSC, EBD, Hill Assist Control, and Brake Assist systems, as well as passive safety aids such as ISOFIX and a full airbag array.
While this might not be a performance car in terms of the way in which it drives, the Corolla Cross GR-S does look edgy and it offers owners a more visually appealing vehicle that sets itself apart on the road. The motor is potent enough for everyday tasks and reliability can be felt. Is it worth the premium over a standard offering? That will be for your budget to decide. We do like it as it does feel a bit more special.
The Toyota Corolla Cross is an impressive compact crossover SUV that offers a great balance of style, comfort, and performance. Its spacious interior, advanced safety features, and smooth driving experience make it a great choice for families. At the end of the day, the Corolla Cross does what it is supposed to do. Sure, it’s not the fastest thing around but it is a Toyota, it is a Corolla and it is a crossover and you can’t seem to go wrong with any of those.