pizzaz reigns with The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE


I had an exceptional experience driving the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE, a vehicle that seamlessly combines the best-selling Corolla with the popularity of SUVs in the crossover segment. Toyota’s innovative approach, manufacturing the Corolla Cross in collaboration with Mazda at a joint factory in Alabama, caught my attention, and I eagerly spent time behind the wheel to explore its capabilities.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE comfortably seats five passengers, making it an ideal choice for family trips around the Washington DC metropolitan area. During my drives, I ventured as far east as Kent Island on I-97 and west on I-70 through the mountains of Appalachia to Hagerstown, continuing to I-81 in the northeast part of West Virginia.

Powering the Corolla Cross is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering 196 combined horsepower. The engine is paired with a CVT transmission, contributing to a fuel-efficient performance that boasts an EPA-rated 42 miles per gallon on the highway. Whether navigating the busy 495 or city streets in DC and Maryland, the handling of the Toyota Corolla Cross exceeded my expectations.

The technological features in the Corolla Cross are impressive, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen. The model I drove also showcased Amazon Alexa compatibility, accompanied by a high-quality JBL nine-speaker system. Testing the audio quality of a song I created with the music department at Carnegie Mellon revealed impressive results, especially in the low ends.

The XSE model I experienced included notable features such as heated seats, wireless charging capability, and Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0. The latter comes standard with auto braking and electronic parking, contributing to an overall sense of safety and convenience.

With a base price of $27,625 for the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE All-Wheel Drive, and considering additional options like the moonroof, the delivered price amounted to $32,594. For more details, visit