The long-term test of the Toyota Corolla Cross with a two-liter hybrid system has shifted to its more demanding, winter part. As part of the first stop, I praised the crossover for its exemplary low consumption, I wrote that the long-term average is usually slightly above five liters, actually quite precisely in the range of 5.1 to 5.4 liters specified by the manufacturer.

It goes even lower, when I reset my consumption to zero and set out to wander through congested Prague. In this case, the electric motor will find more extensive use (in our case there are two, the second is on the rear axle and provides 29 kW, so in the tested version the Corolla Cross is a four-wheeler), the share of purely electric driving in the city thus reaches over seventy percent. And since you drive emission-free most of the time, the gas from the 43-liter tank (I never filled more than 37 liters, even when the on-board computer reported zero for many kilometers) is very, very slowly depleted. I normally drive under four liters around town.

But it goes even higher. Take the highway, cruise control at 140 km/h and you will approach seven liters. The range from six and a half to the mentioned seven is playable, you will only look above this limit in German speeds. Or on sections with a more demanding profile.

But what about a longer route? In typical Czech winter weather, first a bit of the city, then the highway, then the first-class roads and finally a bit of the highway again. With the Toyota Corolla Cross, I went on a consumption test from Prague to Olomouc!

A real stress test

I couldn’t have wished for much worse conditions. Although the temperature is slightly above zero, the wind is strong (very, very strong) and the rain is persistent and abundant. All during the entire drive from Prague to Olomouc. In fact, I don’t remember when I experienced such constant conditions on my journey to Moravia. Especially in bad weather.

That would be temperature, humidity and dew point. Are you catching up? Lately – with increasingly younger colleagues – I’ve been desperately unsuccessful in my attempts at Cimrman quotes… I’ll leave it at that.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

I could blame Toyota for a few out-of-date details and the overall rather gloomy, dark atmosphere, but from the user’s – and therefore the most important point of view – I am more and more satisfied with the Corolla Cross.

Let’s go to the consumption test. Horrible weather already caught up with me in Prague, but again I was lucky to have milder traffic. The Blanka tunnel complex and the Southern connector can obviously be driven smoothly once a Hungarian year (at most), so before entering the Hradec Králové highway D11, I wrote down a very nice average of 4.1 liters. It’s not an ordinary person, in the summer months I looked at under four liters under similarly friendly operating conditions, but as I already wrote – the weather was far from ideal this time, the winter tires certainly also had their say in the higher average.

And one more number – I completed the route through Holešovice, Smíchov and the South Junction to the D11 highway (I drove it on purpose) with more than sixty percent electricity.

The highway is the worst

This is no surprise, the hybrid is naturally the hottest on the highway. After all, like the vast majority of cars, only with hybrids and especially pure electric cars you have to expect a greater variance. I, too, went from a beautiful city consumption of just a tenth over four liters to over seven.

After approximately one hundred and twenty highway kilometers, exactly 7.1 liters, with a twenty-two percent share of purely electric driving. I completed the vast majority of the route with cruise control at 140 km/h, I didn’t go faster, I only slowed down suddenly when someone held me up for a moment.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Classic buttons on the steering wheel, that’s one of the benefits of the slightly older Corolla Cross interior. The cruise control is controlled on the right shoulder, and the adaptive function can be switched off. This should be a mandatory feature on every car!

It is a significant increase against the city, but again I remind you of the strong wind and rain. A few weeks ago, I would undoubtedly have kept below seven liters on the same route, but on the highway, on the other hand, I have already recorded averages slightly below eight liters. Not that I significantly exceed the speed limit, but D1 is simply more demanding than D11 for operation and elevation. And especially now in winter, with the unpredictable Highlands…

On the highway, you will also often enjoy a noisier engine in a trailer – typically when entering or accelerating from “truck” speeds back to 140 km/h. The definitely not negligible noise of the combustion unit under load is objectively the weakest point of the Toyota Corolla Cross.

Interhighway liner

And since there is still no complete highway leading to Olomouc via Hradec, I had to traditionally visit Vysoké Mýt, Litomyšl and Moravská Třebová. Not that I wouldn’t really like it, especially Litomyšl is beautiful, but I would really plead for the completion of D11, at this moment this highway intermezzo is often a traffic hell.

And it’s not just a delay, if you know this route, the straight section between Litomyšl and the roundabout at Svitavy is literally littered with crosses in both directions. As I wrote – long straights, heavy traffic with lines of trucks and impatient drivers, this is a step towards overtaking trouble.

After Moravská Třebová, I first have to “hike” to Studená Loučka, then descend the famous “Mohelničák” to… yes, you guessed it, to Mohelnice, where I again connect to something that resembles a highway. However, due to regular repairs and still far from 100% condition, it is by no means as comfortable as on the latest sections of D11.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

If I could really make up my mind, I wouldn’t be mad about a longer seat. Otherwise, all the praise goes to the seats. Behind the wheel of the Corolla Cross, I completed several long journeys and my back never hurt.

But you are surely interested in the average on the inter-highway section, which is approximately eighty kilometers long (I kept the speed outside the village around 100 km/h, more often a little less). To be sure, nothing much has changed about the weather, still crap. So, the on-board computer reported exactly 5.7 litres, I drove exclusively on electricity for less than half the time. So again a nice result.

I therefore managed my Moravian Anabasis, which I could have managed even blindly over the years, with the addition of the pre-Olomuk “highway” section, for a total of 5.9 liters. Sure, now is a great opportunity to bash my headline “Toyota Corolla Cross at the start of a long-term test: How to drive for five practically any time”. But I hope we can agree that this time Toyota faced a far more difficult one-off challenge with the dominance of the highway, in threatening weather and on winter tires. I definitely praise the result of 5.9 liters!

A little less praise…

So I was satisfied with the consumption, but during testing in winter conditions I encountered two weaknesses that I could not notice well enough in the summer.

First – non-illuminated buttons in the driver’s door trim. That is, with an honorable exception in the form of a button for the electric control of the driver’s window and mirrors. But when I want to let my wife into the car in the early evening, I regularly roll down other windows, unnecessarily lock the car again to finally make the Corolla Cross accessible after several more futile attempts. A very unfortunate investigation. Although the incriminated place is illuminated by a kind of ceiling maze, it is only effective in absolute darkness, if the classic Prague early evening attributes with street lighting come into play, I don’t have the slightest chance of a maze not a maze in that semi-darkness.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The digital instrument panel is of course configurable, I use this display most often. The error message about the malfunction of the parking assistant stubbornly popped up in the frame between the “alarm clocks”.

Or another incident (I know, I promised to stop annoying the Cimrmas). That’s how I once came across a decent winter blizzard, which paralyzes all kinds of driving assistants in modern cars – their radars and cameras lose their visibility due to the snow. That in itself wouldn’t bother me at all, I turn off lane assist and drive exclusively on non-adaptive cruise control.

However, Toyota decided to inform me about the malfunction of the parking assistant. Ok, thanks for the info, I’ll click on the given error message, as the pop-up message itself advises me with the arrow icon. But she reappeared after a few seconds! I tried to unclick the information a few more times, but finally gave up.

If only it didn’t flash threateningly, but it doesn’t – although you’re driving through a blizzard and you don’t even blink, the warning about the malfunctioning parking assistant constantly flashes peripherally, because that’s exactly what you absolutely need to know when driving half-blind with giant snowflakes, always know! That the Toyota sometimes (if you’ve reached the limit) won’t park itself.

But then, those are the quirks and specifics of using modern cars. Fortunately, the Toyota Corolla Cross belongs to the previously homologated ones, so it bothers its driver (except for the described experience) to a minimum. And thank you once again for the non-adaptive function of the Toyota cruise control.

As well as for the trouble-free service so far, the Corolla Cross has not wavered even a hint. Of course, in the life of a car, a six-month stoppage in the editorial office is a fairly insignificant item, but the Corolla Cross has absolutely nothing to suggest that the famous Toyota reliability should not apply to it. In tests of the latest cars, it happens to us more and more often that mainly the software “parts” get angry at least occasionally, but with the Toyota Corolla Cross, I did not solve even the slightest little thing. I have no reason not to believe that it should be different by the end of her tenure at the Garage. And have you already heard about the significant discount on this family SUV?

Motor in-line four-cylinder, placed in front across + 2x electric motor
Displacement volume 1987 cm3
Performance 112 kW (152 hp) at 6,000 rpm
Torque 190 Nm at 4,400 – 5,200 rpm.
The combined performance of the hybrid system 146 kW (197 hp)
Transmission automatic, e-CVT
Tree all four wheels
Standby weight 1 435-1 550 kg
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 7,5 s
Maximal speed 180 km/h
Consumption (combination) 5.1-5.4 l/100 km
Fuel tank volume 43 l
Wheels and tires 225/50 R18
Dimensions (length/width/height) 4 4460/1 825/1 620 mm
Wheelbase 2 640 mm
Volume of the luggage compartment 390 l