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!