Toyota adds Corolla Cross to its GR Sport lineup

Updated Sep 16, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The new top-spec subcompact crossover variant looks tight.

Toyota is on a mission to aggressively market its Gazoo Racing branding down to the consumer level. It has pulled the sheets off the most recent arrival in the roster: the Corolla Cross GR Sport, with a maiden release on the Taiwanese market. 

Toyota Taiwan launches the Corolla Cross GR Sport

True to its inclusion in the lineup, the Corolla Cross in GR Sport guise will come with a host of aesthetic (and some mechanical) upgrades that set it apart from the standard model. Customers familiar with the Philippine-spec version’s angry catfish grille will note the revised fascia on the new top-spec variant. 

The bi-beam LED headlamps are still there, but they now flank a new grille that seemingly takes design cues from the Hilux. A restyled bumper pushes the foglamps further to the corners, set against larger air intakes. The aluminum-style skid plate is now echoed on the more aggressive underguards found along the vehicle’s profile. 

Corolla Cross GR Sport grille

The restyled fascia takes design cues from the Hilux

Local releases of the Corolla Cross came without roof rails, an omission now corrected on the GR Sport version, complementing the blacked-out roof and A-pillars. A piano black finish coats the exterior mirrors, and the LED tail lamps sport a darker shade while hovering above a more prominent rear diffuser. The icing on the cake is a GR Sport badge at the lower right corner of the tailgate, while the 18-inch alloy wheels have been retained. 

Inside, current Corolla Cross owners can expect the same cabin, albeit with slight design touches by way of prominent GR branding. These can be found on the sport seat headrests, multi-information display, and engine start button. While Philippine-spec Corolla Cross units get up to an 8-inch touchscreen head unit, the GR Sport variant updates this with a 9-inch infotainment monitor patched to six speakers.   

Corolla Cross GR Sport cabin

Practically everything's the same inside except for the GR branding

The Corolla Cross GR Sport will continue to offer the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of driver-assist features, including pre-collision system, automatic high beam, lane tracing assist, and adaptive cruise control. This is accompanied by the standard seven airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and stability control. 

Toyota hasn’t fiddled with the powertrain options on the Corolla Cross GR Sport, still offering a choice between a standard 1.8-liter gasoline engine rated at 140 horsepower and 172 Nm of torque, or a 1.8-liter mill paired with an electric motor for a total output of 120 horsepower. Both are mated to a continuously variable transmission.

Corolla Cross GR Sport suspension

A revised suspension should make the GR Sport variant more agile around corners

There are suspension tweaks however, with a specially tuned chassis comprising changes to the power steering, MacPherson front struts, and rear torsion beam. An underbody bracket in aluminum alloy has also been deployed to increase rigidity without putting on additional weight.   

Toyota Corolla Cross GR Sport front shot

Toyota Corolla Cross GR Sport

Prices for the new Corolla Cross GR Sport start at TWD 875,000 (almost Php 1.58 million) for the non-hybrid version, going up to TWD 945,000 (Php 1.7 million). With reports of the Hilux GR Sport and Fortuner GR Sport coming into our market soon, would it make sense for Toyota Motor Philippines to bring the Corolla Cross GR Sport aboard as well?

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Know more about Toyota Corolla Cross 2021

Toyota Corolla Cross

The local crossover segment is getting even more exciting as Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Philippines launched the all-new Corolla Cross. It is a five-seater crossover that’s available in two variants with a starting price of Php 1,285,000 for the gasoline-powered Corolla Cross while the Hybrid version is priced at Php 1,650,000. Designed as the stylish urban vehicle, the Corolla Cross combines Toyota’s signature “QDR” (quality, durability, and reliability) with style and functionality. Its hybrid electric variant further realizes Toyota’s vision of sustainable mobility and makes self-charging hybrid technology more accessible to Filipinos. The Toyota Corolla Cross was initially launched in Thailand and shared the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform with the 12th generation Toyota Corolla Altis. The new crossover is the same as the sedan it is based on that is available with a hybrid power plant.

From ₱1,285,000

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.


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