We’ve been hearing about it for nearly a year now, but after releasing several teasers for months on end, UMW Toyota Motor has finally launched the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid in Malaysia. The petrol-electric crossover sits at the top of a mildly-revised lineup that is now CKD locally assembled.

First, the most important part – the Hybrid is priced at RM136,550 on-the-road without insurance. As for its petrol siblings, the CKD 1.8G retails at RM123,000 and the 1.8V costs RM129,000. All figures include the sales and service tax (SST) exemption and a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty; the Hybrid also gets an eight-year, unlimited-mileage battery warranty that can be extended by an additional two years for RM2,950.

Power comes from an Atkinson-cycle version of the 1.8 litre Dual VVT-i four-cylinder engine, producing 98 PS at 5,200 rpm and 142 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm. It is mated to a 72 PS/163 Nm electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery to deliver a total system output of 122 PS, all still sent to the front wheels. Fuel consumption is rated at 23.3 km per litre.

Toyota says it is confident of reliability of Toyota’s hybrid system and cited a case study in Singapore that examined hundreds of Prius cars used to provide Grab services. Since being introduced in 2016, there have been zero failures in the six years the Prius cars have served, some with mileages of over 150,000 km.

The company also noted the hybrid variant of the Corolla Cross is up to six decibels quieter in the cabin during full throttle acceleration compared to petrol-only variant, while at a constant 60 km/h, it’s four and seven decibels quieter front to rear.

Other benefits touted are better acceleration times, with the sprint from 0-50 km/h taking 2.1 seconds less than petrol-only variants; 0-80 km/h takes 1.7 seconds less, while getting from 0-100 km/h takes 0.9 seconds less. No specific times were quoted, however.

As for the petrol models, they soldier on with the same engine as before, pumping out 139 PS at 6,400 rpm and 172 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. It’s mated to the usual CVT with seven virtual ratios.

The Hybrid looks practically identical to the 1.8V, save for the unique badging, blue Toyota logos and blue accents on the now-standard automatic LED headlights (the 1.8G previously had halogen projectors). It also gets the same 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels as the 1.8V, which are an inch larger than the 1.8G’s silver rollers. All models are fitted with LED fog lights and new, functional roof rails that can hold up to 70 kg.

Inside, the Corolla Cross is largely common between all three variants, coming with keyless entry, push-button start (with a blue starter button on the Hybrid), black leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a nine-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, six speakers, a 360-degree camera system and a front dash cam.

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However, the Hybrid model adds a few extra features, such as dual-zone automatic climate control (the rest get a single-zone system), an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a seven-inch digital instrument display (the petrol models make do with a 4.2-inch multi-info display instead). It also receives blue edging for the floor mats. A rear dash cam and a Qi wireless smartphone charger are optional.

Safety-wise, the 1.8V and Hybrid come with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking, lane centring assist, lane keeping assist and automatic high beam. New for the CKD models is a stop and go function for the adaptive cruise control.

This is despite the Corolla Cross continuing to utilise a foot-operated parking brake; the system will request for the driver to apply the brakes once the car comes to a complete stop. Seven airbags, stability control, a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and rear ISOFIX child seat anchors are fitted as standard.

Five colours are offered on the Corolla Cross, including Red Mica Metallic, Nebula Blue Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Silver Metallic and an exclusive Celestite Grey Metallic – the latter is shared with the Corolla sedan.

GALLERY: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid


GALLERY: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid official photos