UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) has revealed the brochure for the new Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid, giving us a detailed look at what car buyers will be getting ahead of the model’s official launch on January 14, 2022 at 9pm. We’ll still have to wait until Friday for final pricing, but as we were told back in October last year, the hybrid SUV has an estimated pricing of RM137,000 on-the-road without insurance.
The new hybrid variant (1.8 Hybrid) will be locally assembled (CKD) in Malaysia, and so will the existing, petrol-only options (1.8V and 1.8G) that were previously fully imported (CBU) from Thailand. This will make the Corolla Cross the first TNGA-based model to be assembled in our country, specifically at UMWT’s Bukit Raja plant.
In terms of specifications, the Corolla Cross Hybrid is powered by a 2ZR-FXE 1.8 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine that provides 98 PS at 5,200 rpm and 142 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm. Drive is sent to the front wheels via an e-CVT and the mill works together with an electric motor rated at 72 PS and 163 Nm, providing a total system output of 122 PS. UMWT quotes a fuel consumption of 23.3 km/l.
The electric motor draws power from a 6.5 Ah nickel-metal hydride battery, which is positioned under the rear seats to maintain same 440 litre boot space as the regular petrol variants. Given the presence of the battery and its positioning, the Corolla Cross Hybrid tips the scales at 1,430 kg (+25 kg from the petrol-only variants) and its fuel tank is 36 litres instead of 47 litres.
The battery and the rest of the hybrid system (inverter and power management control unit) come with an eight-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which can be extended for another two years for an additional RM2,950.
UMWT says it is confident of reliability of Toyota’s hybrid system and cited a case study in Singapore that examined hundreds of Prius cars used to provide Grab services. Since being introduced in 2016, there have been zero failures in the six years the Prius cars have served, some with mileages of over 150,000 km.
The company also noted the hybrid variant of the Corolla Cross is up to six decibels quieter in the cabin during full throttle acceleration compared to petrol-only variant, while at a constant 60 km/h, it’s four and seven decibels quieter front to rear.
Other benefits touted are better acceleration times, with the sprint from 0-50 km/h taking 2.1 seconds less than petrol-only variants; 0-80 km/h takes 1.7 seconds less; while getting from 0-100 km/h takes 0.9 seconds less.
Design-wise, the new hybrid variant looks like any other Corolla Cross, although it does get some subtle cues to set it apart from the petrol-only variants. These include “Hybrid” badging on the fenders and tailgate, while the Toyota logos (including the one on the engine cover) and bi-LED headlamps have blue accents on them.
It’s the same story on the inside, with notable hybrid touches being the blue engine start button, specific floor mats and new controls to engage EV-only mode and to cycle through the available drive modes (Sport, Eco, Normal). The instrument cluster also comes with a larger seven-inch screen with hybrid-specific displays compared to the 4.2-inch unit in the petrol-only variants.
The rest of the equipment list is similar to the 1.8V, with standard items being 18-inch alloy wheels, the aforementioned bi-LED headlamps, front and rear LED fog lamps, automatic wipers, LED taillights, a powered tailgate with hands-free operation and functional roof rails that support up to 70 kg.
The 225/50 Toyo Proxes CR1 tyres are new as part of the localisation process and are claimed to offer better performance, fuel economy and refinement compared to the Michelin Primacy 4 rubbers fitted to the previous, petrol-only CBU cars. On a related note, the first batch of CKD cars will have USB-A ports for the rear, but this will be switched to USB-C from February onwards.
Other features include a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, six speakers, black leather upholstery, an eight-way powered driver’s seat, rear air vents, keyless entry and start, a panoramic view monitor, the Vehicle Telematics System (VTS), security and solar film as well as a front digital video recorder (DVR).
However, the 1.8 Hybrid gains extra kit over the 1.8V, including dual-zone climate control (the 1.8V and 1.8G only have single-zone) and an electrochromic rear-view mirror. Things like a rear DVR and wireless charger (installed in the cubby ahead of the gear lever) remain as optional add-ons.
As for safety and driver assist systems, the 1.8 Hybrid gets the 1.8V’s Toyota Safety Sense suite, which includes a pre-collision system (automatic emergency braking), lane departure alert with steering assist, dynamic radar cruise control and lane tracing assist.
We’ve also been told that DRCC is now an all-speed system, so it technically supports low-speed follow, which is something not found on the CBU models from Thailand previously. It should be noted that the Corolla Cross Hybrid still uses a foot parking brake instead of an electronic parking brake. In practice, DRCC can bring the car to a stop, but the driver will then be asked to hold the brake pedal while stopped.
All Corolla Cross variants come with seven airbags, VSC, traction control, hill start assist, a tyre pressure warning system, ABS, EBD, brake assist, Isofix child seat anchors, six parking sensors (two front and four rear), automatic high beam, a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.
The 1.8 Hybrid comes with a five-year vehicle warranty and will be offered in five colours, including Red Mica Metallic, Nebula Blue Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Silver Metallic and an exclusive Celestite Grey Metallic. Once again, the launch of the Corolla Cross Hybrid takes place this Friday night, so stay tuned for official pricing. With these specifications, what are your thoughts on the upcoming 1.8 Hybrid option?
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