Over the years, classic models such as saloons or five-door compact cars have been transformed into SUVs to better satisfy the public. This also happened with the Toyota Corolla, which spawned the Toyota Corolla Cross offshoot (not sold in UK), a compact SUV, at the end of 2021. Honda entered this segment in 2023 with the ZR-V with a full hybrid drive just like the direct competitor model from Toyota. So, it's time for a comparison.

Design and dimensions

The Toyota Corolla Cross has nothing in common with its two offshoots in terms of design. It was developed with the aim of optimising the interior space and conveying a muscular but not heavy look. With a length of 4.46 metres, it looks more like a Yaris Cross on steroids. With a generous radiator grille, horizontal front and rear lights, eye-catching plastic protective mouldings on the profiles and a slightly inclined rear window.

The Honda ZR-V responds with even softer lines and sleeker shapes, but with no lack of accents in the right places. All spread over a length of 4.57 metres. The general layout is the same as that of its competitor, with a nose that incorporates horizontally positioned headlights, plastic covers (in this case polished to lighten the overall impression) and a traditional rear end that is a far cry from the world of coupé SUVs.

Foto - Toyota Corolla Cross - Prova

Toyota Corolla Cross

Honda ZR-V (2023) messa alla prova

Honda ZR-V

Model Length Width Height Wheelbase
Toyota Corolla Cross 4.46 metres 1.8 metres 1.62 metres 2.64 metres
Honda ZR-V 4.57 metres 1.84 metres 1.62 metres 2.65 metres

Interior

Rationality and technology: this is how you could summarise the interior of the Toyota, which keeps things fairly simple in terms of style and materials. In the centre of the dashboard is the freestanding 10.5-inch screen of the infotainment system, which has just brought out the new version of the software with still very simple graphics in the Cross. It can receive over-the-air updates and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, also wirelessly. The instrumentation is digital and is displayed on a 12.3-inch screen.

Space is good, even if you have to sacrifice some boot space if you opt for the all-wheel drive version (433 versus 390 litres). The design of the load compartment is pragmatic and the loading height is low enough. The backrests can be folded down in a 60:40 ratio. However, the load compartment is not completely flat. The rear passengers sit comfortably and have plenty of space in all directions. Even in the centre, where they don't have to struggle with the transmission tunnel. The air vents and two USB type C sockets are also located in the centre.

Foto - Toyota Corolla Cross - Test

Toyota Corolla Cross - the interior

The dashboard of the Honda, whose interior features many soft-touch materials, has a similar layout to that of the competitor, with a central monitor in an elevated position and software that is simple and very complete in its graphics, with the various connectivity systems also working in wireless mode. The digital instrumentation provides a wealth of information, which is complemented by the head-up display projected directly onto the windscreen.

The boot offers a minimum volume of 390 litres and, as with the Corolla Cross, has a low loading sill so that loading and unloading does not require any particular effort. Here, too, the seats can be folded down in a 60:40 ratio, creating a generous amount of space (albeit with a flat loading area). The rear seat bench is comfortable, but not completely flat in the centre. There are ventilation slots and two USB type C sockets.

Honda ZR-V (2023) im Test

Honda ZR-V - the interior

Model Instrument cluster Infotainment display Boot volume
Toyota Corolla Cross 12.3" 10.25" 433 - 1,402 litres
390 - 1,402 litres (iAWD)
Honda ZR-V 9" 10.2" 390 - 1,312

Drivetrains

The Corolla Cross and the ZR-V offer two different types of full hybrid. The former relies on the classic Toyota drivetrain, in which the combustion engine and electric motor sometimes work alone, sometimes together. In other words, the classic parallel hybrid. The Corolla Cross is also available in two configurations: with the 1.8-litre with 140 PS or the 2.0-litre with 197 PS, the latter also in the AWD-i version with all-wheel drive and a second electric motor on the rear axle. 

The ZR-V, on the other hand, uses the same drivetrain as its siblings. It consists of a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with Atkinson cycle and two electric motors, which together produce 184 PS. In this case, however, the electric motor and combustion engine work in sequence: you only ever start electrically and the combustion engine is used to charge the battery. If you press hard on the accelerator pedal or exceed 50 mph (80 km/h), the petrol engine switches on while the electric motor runs "freely" without moving the wheels.

Foto - Toyota Corolla Cross - Test

Toyota Corolla Cross

Honda ZR-V (2023) im Test

Honda ZR-V

Model Full hybrid
Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 140 PS
2.0 197 PS
2.0 197 PS i-AWD
Honda ZR-V 2.0 184 PS

Prices

In Germany base prices for the Toyota Corolla Cross start at €36,190 for the 1.8 with 140 PS and range up to €42,390 for the 2.0 AWD-i with 197 PS. In the highest equipment line "Lounge", a minimum of €47,090 is then due in conjunction with the all-wheel drive.

The Honda ZR-V starts at at a price of €43,900 in the "Sport" equipment line and rises to €46,400 in the top "Advance" equipment line at . Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, 9-inch infotainment, digital instruments, keyless system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, emergency braking and other safety and driver assistance systems.

Model Minimum price Maximum price
Toyota Corolla Cross €36,190 €47,090
Honda ZR-V €43,900 €46,400