Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is definitely not cutting back on its 2020 investment plans despite the coronavirus pandemic bruising domestic auto sales and denting the economy. In fact, the local arm of Japanese auto giant has pushed through with its product launches—a refreshed Wigo last June 15, a load-carrying Hiace Cargo last July 17, and a face lifted Vios last July 25.
Then on Aug. 20, TMP pulled the wraps off its new Corolla Cross, a potential game-changer in the local market. Why? Toyota is the country’s most important vehicle brand and whatever TMP introduces, influences the entire local economy. Remember the Tamaraw FX of the early ’90s? This original Kotse ng Bayan (People’s Car) single-handedly changed the public transport scene as it became a viable alternative to either the jeepney or taxi and helped many of its owners survive the economic crisis. Additionally, the fact that most Filipinos use a Toyota to get around today, as the Vios, Innova, and Hiace almost entirely supply the country’s public and private transport fleet, is another case in point.
With the Corolla Cross, TMP will not only be introducing a crossover vehicle—and with more refined materials inside plus greatly improved headroom for everyone)–but with the driving demeanor of a Corolla Altis sedan where it is based. The two share the same Toyota New Global Architecture-C platform that promises improved ride quality, lower and wider stance, more responsive steering and lower center of gravity.
Two variants of the new Corolla Cross are available here: the gasoline-powered 1.8-liter G CVT that generates a maximum 138hp and 172Nm of torque; and the gasoline-electric hybrid powered 1.8-liter V Hybrid (also a CVT) that generates a maximum 120hp and 142Nm of torque.
With a price tag of P1.285 million for the 1.8 G CVT and P1.65 million for the 1.8 V Hybrid, the new Corolla Cross slots in between the Corolla Altis 1.6 V CVT sedan and the RAV4 LE compact SUV.
While the gasoline variant is very attractive price-wise, TMP reminds that the hybrid variant is available through the company’s Balloon Payment Plus financing plan, which features lower monthly payments, inclusive of periodic maintenance, and with a guaranteed future resale value.
This way, TMP is making hybrid ownership easier and more affordable and buyers are guaranteed with a hassle-free experience from buying, owning, and future reselling of the vehicle.
Easing the transition
By offering more affordable hybrid models here, TMP also eases transition of more car buyers away from the solely gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. TMP explained that hybrids like the new Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid offer dual advantages of gasoline and electric power including low emissions, better fuel efficiency, ability to self-change its hybrid batteries, and not needing to be be plugged in (as compared to other types of electrified vehicles).
Drivers need not worry about how far they will be travelling with a hybrid: just fill up the new Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid with gasoline and continue on their way, just as they would in any conventional car. Unlike a conventional car, the self-charging new Corolla Cross 1.8 V Hybrid uses the engine to recharge its electric batteries and keep them topped up for use. It also uses an advanced regenerative braking system to charge its batteries too, so even when decelerating or braking on a steep hill, for example, the driver is reclaiming electricity—thereby adding to the fuel efficiency of the hybrid.
Moreover, choosing the new Corolla Cross1.8 V Hybrid lets the owner enjoy added safety thanks to the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). This bundle of active safety features is designed to help protect the driver, passengers, people in other vehicles on the road, and pedestrians from harm as TSS combines pre-collision system, automatic high beam, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert, and adaptive cruise control. The hybrid variant also boasts six clearance and back sonar sensors for added safety (the other variant only has two sonar sensors at the rear).
Looking to upgrade your vehicle and downgrade your number of trips to the gas pump? The new Corolla Cross1.8 V Hybrid is indeed, the perfect choice.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.