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Car Review: Toyota Corolla Cross 2021

The Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 is one of those cars that you would describe as a ‘head-turner’ without having to think too much about it. It will also get you a lot of questions at the mall parking lots or “nice car” comments when driving in city traffic. I am still debating whether to describe it as handsome or beautiful – it is evident the designers at Toyota took a lot into consideration when coming up with the physical features of this car.

The car combines key attributes that Toyota SUVs are known for; Strength and functionality. The one retailing in Kenya comes in two variants, the 1.8L Limited CVT and the 1.8L Executive CVT.

The Corolla Cross features the current version of Toyota’s infotainment interface, which isn’t particularly modern but is fairly straightforward in its operation. This same setup is used in several current Toyota models, which offer 7.0- and 8.0-inch displays. It also boasts of Bluetooth, USB, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connections.

The car is fitted with a wide grille at the front from which the headlights flow. This look makes the car present itself as bold and maybe mildly aggressive, but in a very cute way.

At the front of the car, the driver’s seat is both height and reach adjustable. Has an adjustable steering, and a foot rest. The gear lever, hand brake handle and steering are all covered with leather. The car is also fitted with cup holders both at the front and in the rear.

When compared against its sedan sisters, the Corolla cross gives the vibe of a car that takes you around for your day to day errands in well-paved city streets as well as comfortably handle your off-road weekend adventures. The car gives quite an impressive 161mm ground clearance and runs on size 215/60 R17 tyres. It is 4460mm long, 1825mm wide, and 1620mm tall, and has a 103.9-inch wheelbase and a 487-litre boot.

Both versions are fitted with very spacious interiors. With more headroom and legroom available for passengers seated at the back.

In terms of power and transmission, the subcompact SUV offers a 138-hp 1.8-litre four-cylinder that is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. The same setup is offered in both the Corolla sedan and the C-HR SUV.

The new Corolla Cross is built based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The goal of TNGA is to dramatically improve the basic performance and marketability of Toyota vehicles by redeveloping powertrain units and vehicle platforms and reconceiving overall vehicle optimization.

For safety features the car boasts of ABS system, cruise control, hill-start assist control, high position brake lamp and door unlock alert.

The car is currently available for viewing and test drives at Toyota Dealerships countrywide. The retail price is Sh. 4.5 million and Toyota has partnered with various banks offering up to 95% financing.

Images courtesy of Toyota Kenya



  • Kevin Mwai Reply

    February 16, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Good writing. Excellent review. I will definitely test drive this next month.

    • Denis Nyakach Reply

      February 16, 2021 at 9:24 am

      Indeed a cross. Coming from a point in time when Toyota Corolla was the in-thing, before the Axios, the Rush, et al, Corolla was a household name. Am glad it’s coming back all supped up. And now this will give stiff competition to the other sedans and SUVs of its class. The leather interiors, the Apple and Android connection support is good coz it caters for everyone. The price point is okay, since this is new from the shop.
      Definitely my kinda vehicle 😊

  • Peter Outa Reply

    February 16, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Wow, didn’t even know there was a model like this in the market. I noticed you have a Toyota centre in Lodwar. Maybe you should bring it over we test drive it. From the reviews this can be a great car to have on this side as the road conditions have greatly improved and it looks like that car that will turn heads as i drive to Lake Turkana for the weekend.

  • Annie Reply

    February 16, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Awesome car, makes you want to buy a Toyota this instant!


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