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Toyota Corolla Cross VS RAV4: hybrid SUV spec battle


Poised to arrive in a matter of weeks, the Corolla Cross is ready to tread on the toes of the much-loved RAV4 but is this plucky small SUV actually better on paper?

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the most popular SUV by sales in Australia but with wait times blown out to a year or more, getting your hands on one is proving to be a big issue.

Offering an almost immediate alternative is the arrival of Toyota’s all-new Corolla Cross, which is set to go on sale in October – but which SUV is right for you?

The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV in Australia but it’s not easy to get

A true verdict cannot be reached until Chasing Cars is able to put these two SUVs head to head in a proper comparison but for now we are going to compare how these models stack up on paper against criteria such as size, price, fuel economy and features.

We should preface this by saying a number of specifications are yet to be officially locked in for the Australian market but with the Corolla Cross designed for a global audience it’s unlikely we will see any major changes on local models.


The Toyota RAV4 is officially classified as a midsize SUV and the Corolla Cross as a small SUV, but this segmentation can be misleading as they are actually closer in size than you might think.

When compared to the Corolla Cross, the RAV4 Cruiser measures 4600mm long (+160mm), 1855mm wide (+30mm) and 1685mm tall (+65mm) with a 2690mm wheelbase (+50mm), making the popular midsizer only slightly larger in all dimensions.

Toyota Corolla Cross 2023 side
The Corolla Cross is on the larger size for a small SUV

However, tangible differences in interior passenger space will come to light in real-world, first-hand comparison.   

The same can be said for the size of the boot, with the RAV4 swallowing 580 litres of cargo in the Cruiser grade compared to the capacity of the Corolla Cross at 487 litres.

Fuel economy

Toyota offers both the RAV4 and Corolla Cross both front- and all-wheel-drive hybrid drivetrains, which have gained quite the reputation for their frugal fuel consumption.

Toyota Corolla Cross 2023 front
Toyota offers a hybrid option across the Corolla Cross range

The RAV4 Hybrid uses 4.7L/100km in FWD Cruiser guise, using a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine mated to a pair of electric motors, producing a total of 160kW.

Early data for the Corolla Cross says the new SUV will use between 4.4 and 4.6L/100km in FWD GX guise, courtesy of a 2.0-litre hybrid system with a total system output of 146kW.


Toyota has today confirmed that the Corolla Cross will start from $33,000 before on-road costs, with the most affordable hybrid starting at $35,500. The range tops out with the Atmos Hybrid AWD at $49,050.

Pricing for the RAV4 is broadly the same as the Corolla Cross

Prices of the RAV4 have continued to climb in recent months but a reasonably affordable $34,400 entry price is available, with hybrid models starting at $36,900. While the Cruiser is typically more popular the recently introduced Edge AWD hybrid is the true range-topper and prices accordingly at $52,700.

While the RAV4 has a larger range with five grades instead of three in the Corolla Cross, broader pricing between the two line-ups appear quite close. 


The Corolla Cross is being introduced to Australia wearing some long-waited technology upgrades for Toyota’s line-up including modern innovations such as wireless Apple CarPlay.

Entry-level models of both the Corolla Cross and RAV4 feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen, cloth seats and a long list of safety features including lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and forwards AEB with junction detection.

Toyota Corolla Cross 2023 touchscreen
A large 10.5-inch touchscreen is offered in both models

Higher grades net a larger 10.5-inch touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and leather seats with heating in the front row – though buyers of the Corolla Cross miss out on niceties such as power adjustment for the front passenger and front seat ventilation. 

The broader RAV4 range, for its part, does offer buyers more flexibility to pick between different styling options, such as the more rugged Edge grade.


When it comes down to it the Corolla Cross and RAV4 are two very similar vehicles designed to do very similar things and with the race this close it’s likely that personal preference on matters such as the appearance of each could make the decision for you.

On paper, both SUVs are very fuel efficient, practical and laden with the latest technology that will woo many Australian buyers though there is no denying the increased flexibility of the RAV4 range, its larger boot and almost unrivalled resale value.

Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 rear
The increased likelihood of actually getting your hands on the Corolla Cross makes it the winner this time

While demand for the Corolla Cross will likely be high, Toyota’s new SUV is unlikely to immediately reach the absurd year-long turnaround time of the more familiar RAV4 (well at least initially) and that matters for a lot in our eyes.

So until we can get our hands on these two SUVs for a true comparison test, it’s the Corolla Cross that looks to be the winner for now.