2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD Review

Is the new Corolla Cross the perfect crossover? Does it make sense to get one over a Toyota RAV4? Let's chat about this and more!

Jacob Brooke
Expert reviewer
Updated on
February 9, 2024
Saucey score


  • Awesome updated infotainment + safety tech!
  • New Generation Toyota Hybrid - still fantastic
  • Comfortable and spacious


  • A little too similar in price to a RAV4
  • Lacking some connectivity up front
  • Boot space taken up by suspension and subwoofer
Car specs

146kW (Combined)

$49,050 + On-roads


5-star ANCAP

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If you've ever wondered what would happen if you crossed a Corolla with a RAV4, wonder no more. The answer is the Corolla Cross, Toyota's latest addition to its expanding SUV lineup. But don't let the name fool you, this is not just a Corolla on stilts… We’ll be taking a look at the Atmos Hybrid AWD, the top-of-the-line Corolla Cross, which features an all-wheel drive system powered by two electric motors and a 2.0-litre petrol engine.

So how does Toyota’s brand new Generation 5 Hybrid power-train perform, when we give it some Sauce? Have Toyota finally improved on tech and comfort? And is it worth the hefty price tag of $49,050 plus on-roads? Read on as we put the all new Corolla Cross to the test!


How much does the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD cost?

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD is the most expensive variant in the range, with a sticker price of $49,050 before on-road costs. That means it will cost you around $54,000 drive-away, depending on your location and dealer.

That’s quite a hefty price tag for a compact SUV based on the Corolla hatchback platform. In fact, it’s more expensive than some of the higher-end models in the larger RAV4 range, such as the RAV4 Cruiser AWD Hybrid ($48,200), and slightly below the RAV4 Edge AWD non-Hybrid ($53,020).

The other grades of Corolla Cross on offer are the GX 2WD at $33,000 before on-road costs, and the GXL 2WD Hybrid, for $37,000 before on-roads.

What do we think of the exterior looks on the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD?

While it shares the name of the Toyota Corolla as well as it’s TNGA-C platform, in terms of looks it couldn’t be any more different. Available in 8 paint colours, our Atmos Hybrid AWD spec has the Jungle Khaki option which we think looks awesome, and is available on all grades of the new Corolla Cross.

At the front we can see a rounded design with a black trapezoidal grille that is mostly blocked off, and some super bright LED daytime running lights and headlights housed in a sleek packaging. There is also a surplus of black plastic cladding around the bottom of the vehicle, including the wheel arches and doors, and some body-coloured bumpers at the front and rear.

There is a nice sloping roofline above the factory-tinted privacy glass rear windows, accompanied by some nice blacked-out aluminium roof rails. The roof is also black apart from the massive moon roof (we have decided that a moon roof is just a sunroof that cannot be opened). A nice touch is the chrome “Corolla Cross” decals just behind the rear passenger doors on either side of the car.

Out Atmos Hybrid AWD trim comes with 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels, available on all Atmos models, and is wrapped in Michelin Primacy 4 tyres.

The rear of the vehicle is slightly disappointing, however, relative to the front. We get a body-coloured spoiler that upon closer inspection appears to be hollow, and lights seem to have been an afterthought, with all rear lights apart from the tail-light using halogen bulbs, a stark difference from the bright LED headlights at the front. There is also lots of plastic black cladding, taking up almost a third of the back of this car, though we can forgive Toyota because we get a nice automatic tailgate, as well as an incredible 360-degree parking camera system.

What’s the Interior like in the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD?

Immediately upon entering the cabin of the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross, you will be greeted by a suite of technology and luxury upgrades. Firstly, the seats are nice and comfortable, with fully directional power adjustment and plenty of lumbar support customisation, and soft leather upholstery. The new 10.5” infotainment display is crisp, clear and responsive, with an intuitive interface, DAB+ digital radio and in-built satellite navigation, as well as a couple of subscription services *shudder*, but we won’t get into that today… we also get wireless Apple Carplay and wired Android Auto.

Thankfully the climate controls are unchanged and still sit below the screen, with real buttons and analogue temperature displays. Soft touch materials are everywhere, with adequate storage in the glovebox and door bins, with cup holders in the front centre console as well as the rear doors, and a fold down leather armrest containing two additional cupholders in the rear.

Up ahead the driver gets a digital instrument cluster that is bright and easy to understand, with plenty of customisation options as well. The steering wheel is a nice leather unit with buttons to control infotainment and adaptive cruise control/lane trace assist settings. Connectivity up front is on the poorer end, with a single USB type-A port, and a 12V socket in the centre armrest storage compartment, though thankfully in the rear we get a couple of USB-C ports.

Notably in the Atmos Hybrid AWD trim we get heating for our seats and steering wheel, a decent quality 9-speaker JBL audio system with a large subwoofer in the back, and last but not least, a massive panoramic moon-roof that gives the interior a nice airy feel!

What about the back seats in the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD?

Comfort in the back is quite good, with a couple of air vents and the soft leather upholstery continuing throughout the rear seats and armrests. Leg and toe room are great and there is decent head room despite the panoramic moon roof taking some space. The rear seats are also heated as part of the Atmos trim, and we like the USB-C connectivity back here as well as the cupholders in the door which are a nice touch.

How much can the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD fit in the boot?

Sitting atop the range, the Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD actually has the least boot capacity at 380L, while the base GX petrol has the largest volume at 436L. This difference in boot space is due to the presence of hybrid battery components in the Atmos Hybrid AWD, which are stored under the rear seats. The higher-trim also has multi-link rear suspension which, aside from dramatically improving ride comfort, also decrease the boot capacity by a further 35L compared to front-wheel drive models using a torsion-beam suspension setup. Another component that takes up boot space is the extra JBL sub-woofer, included in both the AWD and 2WD trims of the Atmos Hybrid, trading 11L of boot capacity for absolutely pumping bass.

It is worth noting that the slightly more expensive Toyota RAV4 GXL Hybrid has a boot capacity of 580L, although the rear seats for the Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD can be folded down to expand storage if needed.While the exact storage capacity with the seats folded is not explicitly stated by Toyota, the boot space of other variants ranges from 425L to 436L with the rear seats in place, and up to 1170L with the rear seats folded down.

Assuming that folding down the rear seats adds about 740L of boot space for all variants, we can estimate that the boot capacity of the Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD with the seats folded down is about 1120L.

What’s under the bonnet of the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD?

Perhaps one of the biggest updates over the Corolla is the new Generation 5 Hybrid system employed by Toyota, as part of the new “Toyota Dynamic Force” engine family. The Atmos Hybrid AWD has a 2.0L 4-cylinder Naturally Aspirated engine, paired with dual electric motors that send 83kW to the front axle and 30kW to the rear, for a combined total power output of 146kW. Toyota have historically made very smooth, refined hybrid powertrains, and this is no exception, more on that in the driving section! It is paired to a CVT transmission, though Toyota fans would know that it is a Hybrid eCVT which means we get electronically varied gear ratios, which is much better than a traditional CVT setup in terms of responsiveness and engine noise.

How does the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD drive?

The effects of the aforementioned multi-link rear suspension are immediately felt in terms of ride comfort; even on a rough surface this thing blew us away completely in terms of vibration and road noise dampening and handling. It truly feels like a premium comfort in this regard. Where this thing starts to feel less suited is in cornering, though handling is adequate with some body roll, and grip is excellent with the hybrid power-train able to intelligently send power to the front or rear wheels to maximise turn-in grip.

The hybrid eCVT transmission that is commonly found in all Toyota Hybrid vehicles works flawlessly, we aren’t typically fans of CVT systems but this one had us fooled, and engine overrevving wasn’t an issue.

The electric motors really compliment the 2L naturally aspirated engine, by providing some much needed torque, making the car smooth on takeoff, and fun when accelerating out of a corner. Interestingly, Toyota claim a faster 0-100km/h sprint time on the 2WD variant of the Corolla Cross than the AWD Atmos Hybrid we have on hand, and naturally we had to test this claim!

Our first run we used a brake-boosted launch and ran into some traction issues (this car doesn’t have Launch Control) so our time was 8.79 seconds which we found disappointing, so we tried again!

The second time we eased onto the throttle a little, had no tyre slippage and remarkably the time improved to 8.14 seconds! Still a bit of a far cry from Toyota’s 7.6 second claim…

While this car certainly won’t knock your socks off in terms of straight line performance, fuel economy is simply amazing with a claimed combined cycle of 4.4L/100km, and even with launching the car and giving it some Sauce for over an hour, our fuel usage never went above 6.9L/100km, a testament to the years of engineering development and refinement behind Toyota’s hybrid engine, of which we have now entered Gen 5. It is also due to the regenerative braking - used by Toyota hybrid engines - that recharges the batteries using engine braking while driving around town, giving it such a low combined fuel usage.

The safety tech is great, which is what you would expect on a top of the range hybrid Toyota, meaning our adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist works very well, as do the pre-collision avoidance systems which don’t overly interfere with driving. The 360 degree parking cameras are very high quality and get the job done as well. Overall, Toyota have done a really great job with the technology and assistance systems in this car!

What does the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD cost to service?

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD has a capped price service cost of $230 per service for up to 5 years or 75,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.

Is the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD Safe?

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and the Atmos Hybrid AWD spec comes equipped with the following safety features:

  • Pre-Collision Safety
  • Lane Trace Assist
  • Lane Change Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • 360-degree parking Camera

Final thoughts - should you buy the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD?

Overall, we believe that the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD is an impressive offering from Toyota, with a well-rounded package of technology, comfort, and performance. Its new Generation 5 hybrid powertrain delivers great fuel efficiency while also providing a decent amount of power for a fun drive, and the all-wheel drive system offers better traction and stability on the road. 

While the price tag of this Atmos Hybrid AWD trim is on the higher side, it's somewhat justified by the advanced features and premium materials used throughout the cabin. The exterior design may not be to everyone's taste, but it certainly stands out on the road, especially in the Jungle Khaki colour! If you're in the market for a compact SUV with a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive, the Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD is definitely worth a look. It's a versatile car that can handle a wide range of driving conditions, and it offers a really competitive level of comfort and convenience. Overall, it's a solid addition to Toyota's SUV lineup and a compelling option for anyone looking for a reliable and well-equipped crossover.

Saucey score breakdown

Maintenance Costs and Warranty
Fuel (or EV) Efficiency
Interior Design and Features
Value for Money
Technology and Innovation
Is it fit-for-purpose?
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Jacob Brooke
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.
Car specs

146kW (Combined)

$49,050 + On-roads


5-star ANCAP

Buy a Car!
No Obligations, Hassle Free.

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