Even as interest in sedans continues to wane, Toyota is keeping the Corolla name relevant with their newest small utility…the Corolla Cross.

Initially only available with a traditional gas engine powertrain, a hybrid version is finally here and we recently hit the roads in not-so-sunny Southern California for a first drive in the all-new 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.

It doesn’t look much different from it’s gas-powered sibling except for a new body-colored button nose and all black badging, a departure from Toyota’s usual chrome and blue accents for their hybrids. Plus this new Acidic Blast paint job is exclusive to the hybrid.

There are three Sport trims to choose from: S, SE, and XSE. S models come standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport tuned suspension, a smaller 8-inch touchscreen, LED headlights, and a smart key.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid sees Toyota’s improved 5th-generation hybrid system, the same one from the Prius. A 196-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is paired with 2 electric motors with standard all-wheel drive. That should improve its 0-60 time by over 2 seconds compared to the ICE powertrain.

It also improves fuel economy significantly.

“Usually when you hear the word hybrid you think ‘fuel efficiency’ and yes, this Corolla Cross Hybrid is incredibly fuel efficient. Toyota is expecting 42 miles-per-gallon combined and up to 45 miles-per-gallon in the city. That’s great! But one of the lesser known benefits of a hybrid is the fact that adding the electric motors gives you more power…and there is definitely a difference in how quickly it can accelerate and get up to speed compared to the gas engine one. And with an otherwise smooth ride, it’s a nice little utility. ”

The interior configuration is very similar to the current Corolla family. S and SE grades get fabric seats while XSE models get the upgraded SofTex coverings. Standard is the new and easy-to-use Toyota Audio Multimedia System with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Toyota Safety Sense 3.0.

The few available options are an upgraded JBL audio system, adaptive headlights, a moonroof, and two-tone exterior paint.

The all-new 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid will arrive in dealerships this June with a starting price of just under $29,000 after destination.

Adding a hybrid powertrain to the Corolla Cross gives an improved driving experience all while seeing best-in-class fuel economy for an already well-equipped entry-level utility.

We’ll have more on this compact hybrid crossover coming soon…on MotorWeek!


  • Engine: 2.0L I-4
  • Torque: 139 lb-ft.
  • Horsepower: 196
  • Fuel Economy (est.): 42 Combined / 45 City