Everyman’s CUV, the 2024 Toyota Corolla Cross, Is a Value to Love

The 2024 Corolla Cross is mostly a carryover from the 2023 model, but it is an unrelenting value at a time when plenty of car buyers could use one.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

July 3, 2024

4 Min Read
The reliability of the steadfast Corolla, combined with HEV fuel economy and 5-door utility, makes the Corolla Cross a frequently recommended car.Toyota

At a time when the average transaction price for a new vehicle hovers near $50,000, cars with starting prices under $30,000 keep getting our attention and keeping it.

So is the case with the 2024 Toyota Corolla Cross, now in its second year of production. Some reviewers have used words like “uninspiring” and “unexciting.” Au contraire. In Major League Baseball parlance, the Corolla Cross is like one of your best, most reliable and injury-free players making the league minimum salary while your highly paid superstar sits on the bench with injuries and a bad attitude.

Powered by a 2.0L 4-cyl. combined with three electric motors providing power that adds up to 196 hp and 139 lb.-ft. (188 Nm) of torque at 4,400 rpm, the CC is more fuel-efficient and handy, thanks to its cargo area and flexibility, for daily driving and living than the Corolla sedan, which is also a frequently recommended ride, new or used, for people who need a lower sticker price and monthly payment than the average car buyer.


The three motors are spaced out: a motor that’s integrated into the eCVT in the front, one over the rear axle and another near the middle of the car. Toyota engineers are, not surprisingly, expert at packaging hybrid powertrains. The result, all controlled by software, is that the CC operates in front drive when the road is dry and solid, and power and traction automatically shift to the rear wheels when needed. The CC will also, when the software tells it to, operate as a rear-drive car.

Not once in a week of driving did we wish we had more power. The car is balanced and more than adequate for rational driving. It’s not meant to be fun, and it doesn’t pretend to be.

The CC Hybrid, which starts at $29,570 and goes up to $32,755 depending on trim and options, is not a bare-bones buy. Yes, it has an abundance of hard plastic in the cockpit that is ripe for a midcycle refresh. The hybrid features a slightly sportier suspension, though I was hard-pressed to detect it.  But it has all the driver assistance, safety features and infotainment software that a driver would want to run on an 8-in. (20-cm) screen.

A week of driving around Southeast Michigan, erranding, grocery-getting, tripping to Costco and even carrying a relative in the backseat was all done without incident, complaint or snafu. Not once did the infotainment system let me down. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SiriusXM satellite radio come standard. Wireless smartphone charging, rear-seat USB charging ports and a JBL stereo system are options in year-two of the CC Hybrid’s life.

Standard equipment on the middle SE trim includes roof rails, blindspot monitoring and paddle shifters (unneeded, but ok). All-wheel drive is standard with the hybrid powertrain, which makes it a solid alternative to a Subaru Impreza. The XSE trim adds leatherette seat upholstery, heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat. (Memo to automakers: No trim level of any car sold today should leave the factory without a power-adjustable driver’s seat.) The CC also comes with adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning.

Cargo room is 21.5 cu.-ft. (609 L) behind the backseat and 40 cu.-ft.) (1,133 L) with the back seat down. That proved handy when fetching some patio furniture boxes from a big-box store. Additionally, the CC’s ground clearance is 3 ins. (76 mm) higher than the Corolla sedan, also still a top recommendation for its track record of reliability and value.

Priced and positioned below the larger Toyota RAV4 crossover, the CC does battle against Jeep Compass, Subaru Impreza/Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona, Volkswagen Taos and Honda HR-V.

The CC is thrifty on price and thrifty in operation: 45 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 42 combined (5.2/6.2/5.6 L/100 km). That’s 12 mpg better in combined driving than the non-hybrid. And people who buy thrifty want to drive thrifty.

Gear manufacturers are forever trying to sell us stuff that is “smart.” Smart appliances. Smartphones. Smart clothing. Yes, we had a “smart” car that wasn’t very smart. But at these prices and with this kind of trust, safety, utility and value, Corolla Cross Hybrid is legitimately one of the smartest new vehicles not a lot of money can buy.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

Subscribe to a WardsAuto newsletter today!
Get the latest automotive news delivered daily or weekly. With 5 newsletters to choose from, each curated by our Editors, you can decide what matters to you most.

You May Also Like