This Hybrid “Hatch-on-Stilts” Leads the Charge for SA’s New Fleet of Electric Cars

The Corolla Cross Hybrid combines petrol and electricity for a supercharged drive.


Calvin Fisher |

Lo, 2022 is upon us and with it a slew of battery-powered whips. Some of them are hybrids, others fully electric. A few resemble the more conventional fossil-fuel powered cars already on our roads, while others exhibit profiles more akin to what you’ll encounter in Dune.

Related: Electric Cars In SA: We Investigate The 4 Major Challenges Faced 

I love science fiction, but I’m also the owner of a 46-year-old Chevrolet 4100 LS and a 38-year-old Toyota Supra, so my passion for patina is well-illustrated. But we’ve come so far since the original Toyota Prius, and it’s time to go on a power trip.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid

If the idea of alternate fuel sources still frightens you, then the name of our debutant hybrid should soothe your soul for the most part.

Toyota, a motoring badge synonymous with everything going right for decades. Corolla, ditto, the stalwart moniker of a beloved sedan and ultimately hatchback, now suffixed with Cross. This implies that the locally built hatch-on-stilts has gotten the gravel-travel upgrade ala raised suspension plus robust rubber and plastic trim treatment. But then they go and tack that ‘Hybrid’ designation at the end and that’s when things a bit spicier.

corolla cross hybrid rear

Supercharged Specs

Under that steely bonnet resides a 1.8l Atkinson cycle petrol engine, good on its own for a competent 72kW and 142Nm. In addition to the ICE (internal combustion engine), this latest iteration of hybrid tech comes with a more compact, more efficient battery than ever, powering the tally of electric motors (53kW and 163Nm). Just like there’s an ICE mode (petrol only), there’s an incredibly silent (if short-lived) EV mode (electricity alone).

Related: Should Your Next Car Be A Diesel?

It’s total output is 90kW, yet sips fuel at an economic rate of 4.3l/100km and has an environmentally friendly carbon footprint of just 98g/km of CO2. It isn’t the plug-in variety, so recharging is performed by the petrol engine itself, and also under regenerative braking.

corolla cross parked

Leaving you to immediately reap the rewards of its more economical powertrain without any extra fuss. Then there’s the fact that the Corolla Cross itself is a well-appointed, comfortable tourer available in three grades to suit your budget.

The Hybrid model comes in Xs (R413,000) and XR (R448,300) flavours depending on the level of kit you require.

Read our rundown of the latest (and best) electric cars to hit the road next year in the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Men’s Health. Find it on shelves or subscribe to the digital edition HERE.

READ MORE ON: cars EVs hybrids Upgrades

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