Toyota hybrid comparison: 2023 Yaris Cross vs Corolla Cross vs RAV4 review

Toyota's expansive hybrid SUV range looks a little complicated from the outside, so we put three of them together to help find the best one for you

ffd92557/230425 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid corolla cross rav4 hybrid group srawlings 6 jpg

Things we like

  • YARIS CROSS: Fun to drive, good drivetrain
  • COROLLA CROSS: Great drivetrain, fun ride & handling, new media system
  • RAV4: Excellent drivetrain, excellent fuel figures, roomy

Not so much

  • YARIS CROSS: Engine unruly, ride needs polish, expensive
  • COROLLA CROSS: Expensive, scratchy plastics, Toyota Connect pricing
  • RAV4: Price going up, some cheap plastics, lack of front centre airbag

If you’re looking at a hybrid Toyota SUV, here's the first thing to know: you're spoiled for choice.

There are no fewer than five distinct SUV models, all featuring Toyota’s famed electrified drivetrain, from the tiny Yaris Cross via the C-HR to the enormous Kluger. But we’re here to talk about three of Toyota’s most popular, putting the Yaris Cross, Corolla Cross and RAV4 together.

Read any of our reviews of these cars and you’ll get the sense that we often scratch our heads over some models, their costs and the overlap between the ranges.

A top-end hybrid Yaris Cross costs more than an entry-level Corolla Cross hybrid, while a mid-spec Corolla Cross hybrid can cost around the same as a mid-spec RAV4.

It’s complex, to say the least. But, as ever, we’re here to help you understand the range.

ffc82558/230425 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid corolla cross rav4 hybrid group srawlings 5 jpg


How much is it, and what do you get?

Looking for a deep dive?

We’ll keep things short and sharp here, but for detailed specifications, you can find our reviews for each of these cars on their dedicated model pages.

ec5a15ba/230425 2023 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid jpg

Yaris Cross GR Sport Hybrid

2023 Toyota Yaris Cross GR hybrid
Engine1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid
Electric motorfront
Power67kW @ 5500rpm
Torque120Nm @ 3800rpm
Combined power85kW
Transmissioncontinuously variable
0-100km/h10.0 sec (estimated)
Fuel consumption3.8L/100km (combined)
Boot space390 litres
Price$35,840 + on-road costs

The Yaris Cross GR Sport is a new addition to the Yaris Cross family, itself one of the newer offerings in the Toyota range.

It’s a curious specification in that it's based on the top-selling GXL but adds lowered suspension, red brake calipers, lovely fake suede on the seats and a body kit with GR badging everywhere. It looks pretty good and starts at $34,480 before on-road costs. Nothing weird about that, I hear you say.

1493161b/230425 2023 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid 3 jpg

This is the weird bit – it’s based on the front-wheel drive hybrid rather than the all-wheel drive one. While the AWD isn’t perceptibly quicker, it does have double wishbone rear suspension, which would suggest even better roadholding to go with the fancier tyres and lowered suspension.

In terms of overlapping with its brethren, the Corolla Cross hybrid range starts at $35,500 for the front-wheel drive GX while the all-wheel drive Yaris Cross Urban is $38,840 (both before on-road costs).

625f1757/230425 2023 toyota corolla cross gxl hybrid 5 jpg

Corolla Cross GXL Hybrid eFour

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross GXL eFour hybrid
Engine2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid
Electric motorfront and rear
Power113kW @ 6000rpm
Torque190Nm @ 4400-5200rpm
Electric power and torque83kW/206Nm front / 30kW/84Nm rear
Combined power146kW
Transmissioncontinuously variable
0-100km/h7.5 seconds (claimed)
Fuel consumption4.4L/100km (combined)
Boot space380 litres
Price$42,250 + on-road costs

While not an exact match for the other two, the all-wheel drive GXL is $42,250 before on-road costs or about $1800 more than the RAV4 GXL 2WD we have here.

The MY23 RAV4 price rise reverses the situation, but the difference is still pretty slim. A 2WD Corolla Cross GXL is $39,250 before on-road costs for an apples-with-apples comparison. Still, it’s pretty close, before or after the RAV4 price changes.

As with the Yaris Cross GXL, this is the spec to have, with a slightly plusher interior. Both the RAV4 and Yaris Cross have Toyota’s dire old media system (fixed for the MY23 RAV4, and not a moment too soon) but the Corolla has the shiny new one. The new system is much better and far more user-friendly than the terrible old one.

It has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a wireless charging pad too. It’s loaded with safety gear and is pretty good to drive. The GXL 2WD isn’t quite as much fun as the rear suspension is by torsion beams rather than the AWD version's more expensive multi-link setup, so the eFour is more comfortable as a result. More on that later.

8b981809/230425 toyota rav4 hybrid gxl fwd srawlings 2 jpg

RAV4 GXL 2WD Hybrid

2022 Toyota RAV4 GXL FWD hybrid
Engine2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid
Electric motorfront-wheel
Power131kW @ 5700rpm
Torque221Nm @ 3600-5200rpm
Electric power and torque40kW/121Nm
Combined power160kW
Transmissioncontinuously variable
0-100km/h8.0 sec (estimated)
Fuel consumption4.7L/100km (combined)
Boot space542 litres
Price$40,450 (MY23: $42,600) + on-road costs

The RAV4 is the 'oldest' and best-known car here, the largest of the three – and a runaway success, especially in hybrid form.

The MY23 costs $42,600 to the MY22’s $40,450 (both before on-road costs) and comes with new safety features, the new entertainment system and a few other bits and pieces to help justify its price increase. As I’ve already said, there’s not much in it between Corolla Cross and RAV4, which makes the decision difficult.

Media screen excepted, the RAV’s interior is the best of the three by some margin. The dash in particular is better to look at and use and the car has – by and large – better materials than the other two.

And it’s got a lot more space for occupants and cargo while barely using any more fuel. There are no glaring omissions in the specification list and like most GXL-type specs, are a nice balance in the same way Mazda’s Touring specs are just right.

🔼 Back to top

3b831a57/230425 2023 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid srawlings 14 jpg
Click above to see the dashboard of each model (1. Yaris Cross, 2. Corolla Cross, 3. RAV4)

Interior comfort, space and storage

RAV4 GXL FWD hybridCorolla Cross GXL eFour hybridYaris Cross GR hybrid
Boot space542 litres380 litres390 litres

Starting with the smallest car, the Yaris Cross, you’ll be surprised to learn its boot is a monstrous 390 litres.

This is bigger than many cars a segment up, including, as you’ll shortly discover, the Corolla Cross. Rear seat space is predictably tight, with 180cm tall me squeezing in behind my driving position, knees hard-up against the seat in front. There isn’t an armrest in the traditional sense, so you have to fold down the entire centre section of the rear seat to get to the cup holders.

14ee1622/230425 2023 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid 7 jpg
Click above to see the Yaris Cross with its boot loaded and unloaded
3bd81a5b/230425 2023 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid srawlings 18 jpg

Up front, the seats are fantastic and like the other two, you get bottle holders, a pair of cup holders and an assortment of trays and places to put your phone. However, the lack of a front armrest – just a small open tray at floor level – feels compromised, even around town.

The rear seats are also decidedly not fantastic but will do for kids and tolerant adults who aren’t too tall. It’s a small car, so you can’t get too upset.

I think the shifter looks cheap and there is an unsettling number of blank switches, like the window switches. There’s nothing on them and I can’t explain exactly why that’s weird, just to say that it is.

628f1752/230425 2023 toyota corolla cross gxl hybrid 8 jpg
Click above to see the Corolla Cross with its boot loaded and unloaded

Moving on to the Corolla Cross, its boot is 10 litres smaller at 380 litres, but there’s a caveat here in that it’s the eFour, which loses both a spare tyre and up to 45 litres of space to the 2WD hybrids.

Despite being a fair bit bigger than the Yaris Cross, the rear seat is adequate rather than generous (like, say, a Kia Niro or Kia Seltos) and checks out against a Corolla hatch, with which it shares a lot.

4f11820d/2023 toyota corolla cross gxl suv 46 jpg

The back seat itself is comfortable with air vents, two USB-C ports for charging and plenty of headroom and shoulder room. Like the Yaris Cross and – as you’ll discover, the RAV4 – the front seats are terrific and the rest of the cabin is ho-hum Corolla with too many switch blanks scattered around the dashboard.

Blanks don’t have to look cheap but boy do they look bad here. And there is also the return of those big chunky Tandy switches that I thought Toyota had given up on.

bc1c0a43/2022 toyota rav4 hybrid 21 jpg

The RAV4 has by far the best interior.

Much nicer materials, a more thoughtful design (the Corolla Cross is a cut and paste from the Corolla hatch and sedan but somehow less appealing) and is obviously the most comfortable for all occupants.

It has a pretty big boot at 542 easily accessed litres, too. You get a bigger boot in non-hybrid versions, but it’s not a massive difference.

Front-seat passengers get a pair of cup holders, a place to put the phone (a wireless charging pad is coming in MY23), good-sized door pockets with bottle holders and a deep console bin.

8b8d180d/230425 toyota rav4 hybrid gxl fwd srawlings 1 jpg
Click above to see the RAV4 with its boot loaded and unloaded

It also gets the Kluger-style dashboard shelf, which I really like, along with the rubberised and rugged-looking controls. Like the Yaris, the cabin is let down by the screen with its rubbish software (fixed for MY23) and the cheap plastichrome buttons down either side.

Rear seat passengers luxuriate with tons of legroom, air vents, an armrest with cup holders, two USB ports and bottle holders in the doors. There’s a stack of headroom, too. While it’s obvious the RAV4 was going to be the best here, the margin between Corolla Cross and RAV4 is wider than Yaris Cross to Corolla Cross.

🔼 Back to top

ff872554/230425 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid corolla cross rav4 hybrid group srawlings 2 jpg

What are they like to drive?

Each of them is very good in its own way. I’m particularly fond of the Corolla Cross GXL eFour because it blends a very accomplished ride with a strong drivetrain.

It’s also good fun to drive down a back road, all things considered. It isn’t upset by mid-corner bumps and takes a lot to unsettle it even in the suburbs. The strong acceleration, a rarity in this class, is also very useful and doesn’t seem to have a strong impact on fuel consumption when you get into it a bit.

Also, it probably has the best steering of the three – if that matters to you. It’s well-weighted and accurate and you don’t get any nasty shocks from bumps or potholes.

02a619c5/2023 toyota corolla cross hybrid suv bcurrall 53 jpg

The RAV4 is the next best, again with good steering and a strong drivetrain. Without the rear wheels sporting an electric motor it’s not as punchy as the eFour, but it does alright. The hybrid drivetrain behaves impeccably and it runs at the front with 2.0-litre Tiguan and 2.5-litre CX-5 variants.

Ride quality is also impressive, though not as polished as the Corolla Cross. But if we were comparing it with a front-drive Corolla Cross, the RAV would be out in front with its better setup. I really liked the RAV4, more than I remember since my last drive in one and it is holding up well against its rampaging younger sibling.

b08d09b8/2022 toyota rav4 hybrid 61 jpg

Being the “sporty” version of the Yaris Cross, the GR is great fun. The mildly obnoxious 1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid is nothing like as smooth and refined as the 2.0 and 2.5 in the bigger cars, but it does add a bit of pep to an otherwise fairly dreary segment.

The GR adds to its visual sporty appeal with lowered suspension and a GR Sport tune, meaning a little bit of aggro but not lots of it. The result is a tauter machine with a slightly more eager front end but still without a good ride. Sometimes sports suspension sorts out the ride, but that has eluded Toyota’s engineers and is a reminder that a car this small with torsion beams tends to get tossed around a bit on the bumps.

Its engine is a little intrusive when revved and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) makes sure it stays revved when you have your foot down. Being quite light, the modest power outputs are put to good use but it’s a bit noisy and unruly for a car like this.

🔼 Back to top

1487161e/230425 2023 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid 2 jpg

How are they on fuel?

Here is where things get really interesting; a sentence I’d never thought in my youth I would write about a trio of Toyotas.

These cars are unbelievably close on consumption and if you go all statistician and start adding in variables like size, weight, aerodynamics etc, it is probably even closer. But of course, we live in the real world.

Yaris Cross GR hybridCorolla Cross GXL eFour hybridRAV4 GXL FWD hybrid
Fuel use (claimed)3.8L/100km4.4L/100km4.7L/100km
Fuel use on test (at the pump)4.7L/100km4.7L/100km5.4L/100km
Fuel use (indicated)4.7L/100km4.6L/100km5.4L/100km
Fuel type91 RON91 RON91 RON
Fuel tank36 litres43 litres55 litres
Projected real-world range765km914km1018km

On the face of it, the Corolla Cross’s result is the most impressive. We have repeated this kind of number across several tests with this grade of car, in different conditions and with different drivers. It’s absurdly efficient.

The worst I’ve seen from the Corolla Cross is 5.4L/100km in a week of exclusive suburban running. I had it again for this comparison and it was back to its best at 4.7.

828689be/230330 toyota rav4 hybrid xse mstevens 45 jpg

But when you have a look at the RAV4’s number of 5.4L/100km, that’s mightily impressive. It’s a much bigger car than either of the other two and presents a hefty forward aspect to the air.

You can pack a lot more into its bigger bodyshell and quite honestly, on a long highway run, you’ll easily crack into the mid-fours. A 125km run from Katoomba (down the hill, yes) gave me a reported 3.7L/100km with the engine off for 51 per cent of the trip.

So in that context, the Yaris Cross might seem a little disappointing. In reality, it isn’t; almost nothing else uses so little fuel without an absurd level of concentration and patience. But it’s much lighter, lower and has one less cylinder to feed.

02b919bf/2023 toyota corolla cross hybrid suv bcurrall 19 jpg

🔼 Back to top

How safe are they?

All three have five-star ANCAP safety ratings.

The RAV4 is the oldest car in the group, but, like the other two, it is built on the Toyota New Global Architecture. Its rating runs back to 2019 and the car itself does not have the centre front airbag of both the Yaris and Corolla Crosses.

Standard safety in all three models
Eight airbags (Corolla and Yaris Cross)Seven airbags (RAV4)
Lane departure warningABS
Stability and traction controlsReverse AEB
Forward collision warningReverse cross-traffic alert
Forward auto emergency brakingLane-keep assist
Driver attention monitoringBlind-spot monitoring

The Corolla Cross GXL features forward cross-traffic alert, safe exit warning and a 360-degree camera, safe exit warning and reverse auto emergency braking. The RAV4 has the least safety features while the Yaris sits in the middle. Expect the MY23 RAV4 to address some of the deficiencies.

Obviously the further down the range you go in each, particularly the Corolla Cross, the list thins a little, with the exception of the two Crosses having centre front airbags for a bang-up-to-date ANCAP rating.

🔼 Back to top

ff752554/230425 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid corolla cross rav4 hybrid group srawlings 1 jpg

Warranty and running costs

All three cars are covered by Toyota’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with a further two years on the drivetrain if you service with Toyota. On top of that is an eight-year battery warranty.

Servicing comes around every 12 months or 15,000km in each and, as ever, is very good value. The capped-price servicing program lasts for the first five services. Despite recent price rises, this service schedule is still very good value when compared to just about any of each car’s rivals – with the possible exception of the Honda HR-V which competes against the Corolla Cross.

Servicing costs (per visit)
Yaris Cross GR hybrid$250
Corolla Cross GXL eFour hybrid$250
RAV4 GXL FWD hybrid$260

The new media system in the Corolla Cross includes Toyota Connected Services for the first 12 months of ownership. One imagines the same will apply to the MY23 RAV4 with its well-overdue upgrade.

If you like the Toyota Connected Services features and want to keep them after the first 12 months, you’ll have to pay $9.95 per month for remote connectivity to locking/unlocking, engine start and climate control. If you want to keep the fancy sat-nav features, that’s another $12.50 per month.

For those who don’t pay, the feature set shrinks but the sat-nav remains operable in a basic and very useable form.

🔼 Back to top

3e711a91/230425 toyota corolla cross rav4 hybrid srawlings 1 jpg


Jumping in and out of these cars over a week was illuminating, fun, interesting and thought-provoking.

Toyota understands product planning, so the fact that these three model ranges overlap more than a little isn’t incompetence. It’s very deliberate and maybe genius. You could be distracted by trying to choose between two Toyotas instead of worrying about the wealth of choice you have in the rest of the market.

Representing best value for money here is the RAV4, in MY22 or MY23 pricing. It’s a lot more car than the Corolla Cross, more comfortable for four people and accommodating of their stuff. And it’s a relaxing car to drive across your suburb or across the country.

If you need something smaller, the Corolla Cross is the most fun to drive – especially if you go for AWD – and the second-best value for money. Having the CC and RAV4 back-to-back has stopped me from scratching my head, though. If I had the space for one and the extra readies, I’d have the RAV.

ff872554/230425 toyota yaris cross gr hybrid corolla cross rav4 hybrid group srawlings 2 jpg

The Yaris Cross GR Sport is fun, while the top-spec Urban is bafflingly expensive and neither really makes a heck of a lot of sense. The mid-spec Yaris Cross GXL hybrid is the go, but then you’ve got to justify the fact it’s significantly more expensive than its rivals and still too close to the Corolla Cross. And I think, just maybe, the Yaris hatch is better anyway because the base-spec Yaris Cross isn’t a particularly nice car, hybrid or not.

None of these is cheap to buy but they’re all cheap to run and own with rock-solid residuals, pandemic or not. And you’d be mad not to buy something electrified when it's on offer.

Choosing a Toyota is rarely making the wrong choice (for most buyers anyway) so this story is all about choosing the right hybrid Toyota SUV.

Hopefully it helps you, because it certainly did me.

Strengths and weaknesses

Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport

Things we like

  • Good fun to drive, looks tough, good drivetrain

Not so much

  • Engine a bit unruly, needs more polish in the ride, expensive

Toyota Corolla Cross GXL eFour

Things we like

  • Great drivetrain, fun ride and handling, new media system

Not so much

  • Costs nearly as much as a RAV4 of similar spec, some scratchy plastics, ongoing Toyota Connect costs

Toyota RAV4 GXL Hybrid FWD

Things we like

  • Excellent drivetrain, excellent fuel consumption, roomy

Not so much

  • Price is going up, some dodgy plastics, lack of front centre airbag

🔼 Back to top


MY22 RAV4 GXL FWD hybridMY23 Corolla Cross GXL eFour hybridMY23 Yaris Cross GR hybrid
Body5-door, 5-seat medium SUV5-door, 5-seat small SUV5-door, 5-seat light SUV
Engine2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid
Bore x stroke (mm)87.5 x 103.4
Electric motorfront-wheelfront and rearfront
Power131kW @ 5700rpm113kW @ 6000rpm67kW @ 5500rpm
Torque221Nm @ 3600-5200rpm190Nm @ 4400-5200rpm120Nm @ 3800rpm
Electric power and torque40kW/121Nm83kW/206Nm front / 30kW/84Nm rear59kW front
Combined power160kW146kW85kW
Combined torquenot specifiednot specifiednot specified
Batterylithium ionlithium ionlithium ion
Transmissioncontinuously variablecontinuously variablecontinuously variable
0-100km/h8.0 sec (estimated)7.5 seconds (claimed)10.0 sec (estimated)
Fuel consumption4.7L/100km (combined)4.4L/100km (combined)3.8L/100km (combined)
SuspensionMacPherson struts front/multi-link rearMacPherson struts front/multi-link rearMacPherson struts/torsion beam rear
Boot space542 litres380 litres390 litres
Brakesventilated disc front / solid disc rear305mm ventilated discs front/281m solid discs rearventilated disc front / solid disc rear
Tyres225/60 R18215/60 R17 Bridgestone Alenza215/50 R18 Azenis FK510
Wheels18-inch alloy (space-saver spare)17-inch alloy (no spare)17-inch alloy (space-saver spare)
Price$40,450 (MY23: $42,600) + on-road costs$42,250 + on-road costs$35,840 + on-road costs

🔼 Back to top

Things we like

  • YARIS CROSS: Fun to drive, good drivetrain
  • COROLLA CROSS: Great drivetrain, fun ride & handling, new media system
  • RAV4: Excellent drivetrain, excellent fuel figures, roomy

Not so much

  • YARIS CROSS: Engine unruly, ride needs polish, expensive
  • COROLLA CROSS: Expensive, scratchy plastics, Toyota Connect pricing
  • RAV4: Price going up, some cheap plastics, lack of front centre airbag


Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.