2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWD – Re- Driven Redeeming Green Review

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: Toyota's smallest cute ute now adds hybrid power with zip. Starting at $29k, as tested $36k.

GREEN COROLLARY TO SMALL SEDAN SEGUE AWAY : Anticipating the impending wholesale exodus from the four door car Japanese automaker Toyota brilliantly borrowed the renowned nameplate of its theretofore world’s best selling nameplate to satiate small SUV thirst with the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross cute ute. A gas electric hybrid variant was offered in other markets at its inception. We Americans had to wait until this year for a Roadblazing.com Re- Drive of the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWD DRIVING HITS: (vs. 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross AWD in parentheses)

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWD2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0L AWD
Curb weight (pounds)3439 lbs.3325 lbs.
Powertrain – petrol2.0L 16V DOHC gas I-42.0L 16V DOHC gas I-4
Powertrain – electrifiedMG 2 PMS (front): 83 kW (112 hp), 151-lb-ft MG 3 PMS (rear): 30 kW (40 hp), 62 lb-ftN/A
Battery – electric propulsionLiIon 60 cells x 3.7V @ 4.1 Ah, 0.9 kWh capacityN/A
Drivetrain10 step CVT, on-demand rear E-Motor all-wheel drive10 step CVT, on-demand viscous clutch differential all-wheel drive
Horsepower petrol / Torque (pound- feet)150 hp / 139 lb-ft @ 4400 r.p.m.169 hp / 150 lb-ft @ 4800 r.p.m.
Horsepower hybrid (net) / Torque (pound- feet)196 hp / 139 lb-ft @ 4400 r.p.m.
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: 2.0L twin cam gas I-4 backed by front and rear axle motors and a 0.9 kWh LiIon battery + CVT
  • Peppy cute ute
    • No longer struggles to merge onto motorways
    • Excellent gas electric hybrid fuel economy
    • Drive modes x 3: ECO, NORMAL, SPORT
    • Consistent battery electric driving gently doing 45 mph and under during clement weather
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: expect a healthy 41 m.p.g, average
  • Fully independent suspension
    • Disc brakes x 4, vented front
    • 18 inch alloy wheels wearing quiet Goodyear Assurance Finesse touring tires
    • Above average ground clearance for segment
    • Accurate steering tracking
    • Surprisingly linear brake pedal action
    • Assembled at joint Mazda Toyota Huntsville, Alabama plant U.S. “Apollo” assembly line (tribute to nearby N.A.S.A. training center)
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWD2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 2.0L AWD
Fuel Economy – miles per gallon combined EPA41 m.p.g. (observed), -35% consumption vs. non-hybrid27 m.p.g. (observed)
Driving Range – highway (miles)424 miles, +6% vs. non-hybrid w/ -15% fuel capacity400 miles
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWD DRIVING MISSES:

  • Putting foot into accelerator fires up the noisy engine
    • No differential lock or off-road driving mode(s)
    • Still that CVT rev hangup
    • Smooth ride on smooth pavement
    • A bit of pitching about on bumpier surfaces
    • Engine noise noticeable under throttle
    • Anesthetized steering feedback


WHAT the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWD HAS GOT:

  • Pricing: from $29,305 (incl. destination) for a 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross S Hybrid CVT all-wheel drive. As tested high-spec 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid all-wheel drive trim priced at $36,337.
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: Acidic Blast + Jet Black two tone hue at night
  • Style: Imagine a lifted Toyota Corolla hatchback (which isn’t designated GR). This recent cute ute looks nothing like that. Instead the Corolla Cross Hybrid is a twice shrunken Highlander SUV. The hexagon grille has been widened, the chin and rear quarter hips flare, the back waist has been cinched and contrast rugged cladding runs all around.
  • Space: Compact car with impressive cargo capacity, though closer to 2nd Row legroom; Appreciably roomier in 2nd Row legroom than Toyota Corolla hatchback and cargo capacity than C-HR cute ute (discontinued for U.S.).
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: top trim is only way to front heated seats w/ power adjust driver’s side
  • Utility: 60:40 split 2nd Row folding seat backs; Power liftgate (available); Sub cargo floor management; Deep center stack bottom wireless device tray;
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWDToyota Corolla Hatchback
Wheelbase (inches)103.9″ TNGA-GAC103.9 (same as Toyota C-HR)
Headroom Row 2 (inches)39.1″ (w/ moonroof)37.5″
Legroom Row 2 (inches)32.0″ inches29.9″ inches
Cargo Capacity (nom. – max. cubic feet)21.5 cu.ft. – 61.8 cu.ft. 18.0 cu.ft. – 41.1 cu.ft.
Ground Clearance (inches)8.0″ inches5.1″ inches
Towing (pounds)1500 lbs.N.R.
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com
    • +/- Short door pockets
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: Luxurious power liftgate
  • Fit & Finish: +1 Airy greenhouse, low cowl, material color contrast, colorful instrument graphics, duct brightwork, piano gloss black switchgear bezels, solid door close thuds, even above waist panel fit, fine panel pebbling, pliable touch points, Softex seating as supple as leather, little road noise.
  • Standard Feature Set:
  • Keyless entry, Push button & Toyota connected remote ignition start
  • 1-zone automatic climate control w/ pre-conditioning
  • LED headlights, DRLs & sequential taillights
  • Full express power windows x 4
  • Cloth bucket front seats, manual adjust; Tilt + telescoping steering wheel w/ integrated controls
  • Infotainment Technology:
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: Instrument cluster and media displays of hybrid & all wheel drive power flow
  • Twin analog dial gauge cluster + 4.2″ TFT multifunction driving display
  • Toyota Conected Touch 7.0″ inch panorama center dash pod touch LCD media display w/ voice commands; Toyota Connected Services;
    • By Subscription: Toyota Connected Services; Wi-Fi (4 years trial); SiriusXM satellite radio ( 90 days incl.)
  • USB-C x 4; Bluetooth and smart phone messaging
  • 6-speaker, 240 W streaming audio with HD-radio
  • Android Auto + AppleCar Play phone app projection (wired)
  • Safety: +1 2023 IIHS Top Safety Pick; 9 airbags; Backup camera w/ predictive grid lines + front & rear warning park assist, +1 Oversized door mount wing mirrors
    • Driver assist tech: STANDARD Toyota SafetySense 3.0 = Pedestrian detection braking; Forward collision avoidance braking; Lane Departure Warning, enhanced Keep Assist w/ Trace Control + curve speed reduction; Full adaptive cruise control, LED projector headlamps w/ auto on/off; Automatic High Beams.
  • Warranty: 3 year / 36k miles bumper to bumper, 5 yrs. / 60k mi. powertrain, 8 year / 100k mi. hybrid component warranties + 2 yrs. complimentary scheduled maintenance

WHAT the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid AWD HAS NOT (or NOT PREFERRED):

  • Most operational settings including climate accessible ONLY in the central touch infotainment screen
  • Steering wheel limited telescoping range
  • -1: Hard dash top, exposed front seat rails, drivetrain noise & wind whistle from large wing mirrors permeates cabin.


  • ♦ Dual zone climate control
  • ♦ Softex simulated leather seating
  • ♦ Power moonroof
  • ♦ Heated front seats, 10-way driver’s power adjusting
  • ♦ Steering adaptive LED headlamps
  • ♦ 8.0″ Toyota Connected touch LCD panoramic infotainment display pod
  • ♦ JBL 9-speaker, 800 W, 8 ch. DSP premium audio
  • ♦ USB-C x 4, Qi inductive charging pad
  • ♦ 7.0″ inch color TFT multifunction display includes multiple styles per drive modes
  • ♦ Ambient cabin illumination (white)
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE AWD: variable, full color 7.1″ TFT instrument cluster

Roadblazing.com Says: Amortizing 8% greater price within two years, given 35% lower fuel consumption, makes the hybrid version of this cute ute a no brainer.


An automotive enthusiast since an orange toy VW Beetle ended up in his playpen and following him everywhere, George Straton has been chief editor at ChicagoNow.com/Drive-He-Said automotive lifestyle blog since 2010. In 2017 George established Roadblazing.com, dedicated to accurate automotive reviews, news and road trip stories. George is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. George also happens to be an attorney and Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers fan. Present ride: 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD Hatchback.

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