Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power?

Sanjay · Jul 18, 2022 01:34 PM

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 01

In an earlier iteration of this comparison, we pit the two range-toppers together: how the hybrid 2022 Honda HR-V RS fares against its rival, the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid (link here). But then again, there's a market for their cheaper counterparts too, and that's a question we'll try our best to answer in this piece.

2022 Honda HR-V price in Malaysia
Variant Price
1.5 S RM 114,800
1.5 E RM 129,800
1.5 V RM 134,800
RS e:HEV RM 140,800

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 02

Meanwhile, here's prices for the Toyota Corolla Cross range in Malaysia.

Toyota Corolla Cross price in Malaysia
Variant Price
1.8 G RM 128,303
1.8 V RM 134,429
Hybrid RM 139,991

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 01

Pretty tight stuff right? Let's get to it then.

Powertrain: Turbo or NA?

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 02

There’s three different flavours of the HR-V, each taking a different tact to the 1.5-litre, inline-four engine.

The base S variant gets its engine from the City (121 PS and 145 Nm too), while the E and V now bring turbo power to the HR-V for the first time in Malaysia. With an output of 181 PS and 240 Nm, it’s also the most powerful B-segment SUV you can buy.

Also read: 2022 Honda HR-V launched in Malaysia - from RM 115k; up to 181 PS, choice of 1.5L NA, Turbo, or Hybrid; Sensing as standard

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 03

The Corolla Cross' 2ZR-FE unit is a long-serving engine

Meanwhile for the Corolla Cross 1.8 G and 1.8 V, both variants maintain non-turbocharged engines. Under the hood of those is a 1.8-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, making 139 PS and 172 Nm.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 04

Both cars have a CVT-type automatic transmission and drive the front wheels (FWD). For the HR-V, its transmission for the NA and hybrid variants are shared with the City, City Hatchback, and Fit, while the gearbox in the Turbo is also found in the CR-V and Civic; though all of them are tuned to meet the HR-V's specific requirements.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 05

The HR-V's turbo engine is a milder version of the Civic's 182 PS mill

Though the Corolla Cross seems to have an edge over the HR-V 1.5 S in terms of outright power, the scales are tipped to the HR-V's favour once the added shove of a turbo comes into play. Perhaps Malaysians are power hungry; this combination is the most booked of all.

Also read: 1-year wait confirmed for all-new 2022 Honda HR-V; 20% hybrid, 75% turbo out of 20k bookings received

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 06

The 1.5 E variant

But then again, you might be paying for more in fuel in the HR-V whichever way you cut it: how the non-turbocharged engine handles the HR-V's weight remains to be seen, as optimistic as the 5.9-litre/100 km claimed fuel consumption sounds (NEDC test cycle).

The turbocharged engine naturally uses slightly more fuel, quoted by Honda as 6.5 litres/100 km, also on the NEDC test cycle. 

Interior: HR-V is neater, Corolla Cross is comfier

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 07

As far as features are concerned both cars are on similar levels, but with the HR-V having an ‘S’ variant there’s an even cheaper option to look towards.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 08

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 09

This variant gets fabric seats (manual adjustment for the driver), urethane steering wheel and gear knob, and single-zone air-cond (dual-zone auto air-cond is reserved only for the HR-V RS and Corolla Cross Hybrid).

Also read: Honda Malaysia: Cost of raw materials rising but no increase in prices, for now

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 10

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 11

Ringgit-to-Ringgit though the more comfortable option at the bottom end of the range is the Corolla Cross 1.8 G. For RM 128k, you get leather seats (the driver's seat is 8-way power adjustable too), leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear armrest, and 7 airbags.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 12

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 13

The RM 129k HR-V 1.5 E (Turbo) gives you fabric seats (manual adjustments for the driver's side), urethane steering wheel, and 6 airbags.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 14

A better match to the RM 134k Corolla Cross 1.8 V is the similarly-priced HR-V 1.5 V. This variant gets leather seats – with electric adjustments for the driver – and leather touchpoints. No matter the variant, the Corolla Cross has the HR-V beat in its amazing front seats that we daresay are among the best in the market.

They're very, very supportive (but not in the overly tight, figure-hugging way) that makes long distance journyes effortless and short distances, plain enjoyable. 

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 15

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 16

The cabin feels airier too, because of the Corolla Cross' conventional, higher roofline. Even for 175 cm-tall me, ekeing out 2 tennis balls' worth of head- and legroom is easy. 

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 17

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 18

Apologies, we didn't have tennis balls with us during our review of the Thai-market HR-V, but notice how close the headliner is to Adrian's head. Legroom is superb though

In this way the HR-V feels slightly claustrophobic. Its sloping rear (meaning shorter roofline too) and smaller rear windows makes the cabin feel a little tinier than it really is.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 19

Diffusion mode aircond; standard on all variants of the HR-V

But then again, the HR-V claws back a point with its nifty air diffusion air-cond. Turn the knob to the top-most position (Diffusion mode), and the vent now works like an air curtain to reduce heat entering from the side windows. This also eliminates the odd feeling of having the air blasted directly to your face.

Also read: Honda explains how the 2021 Honda HR-V's A/C vents work like an air curtain to keep you cool

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 20

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 21

Speaking of which, both cars also have rear air-cond vents across the range, with 2 USB ports situated just below them.

Infotainment: Honda does it better

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 22

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on a clear touchscreen are things every variant of the HR-V and Corolla Cross get, and that's something we approve. The less someone has to touch their phone while driving, the better.

That's about the only thing that equalises the two cars because the HR-V's headunit is much better than it is in the Corolla Cross. It's snappier, and even when LaneWatch takes over navigation for a moment, you can turn it off and look at where you're going again.

Also read: Why your next car should come with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 23

In the Toyota meanwhile, the 9-inch touchscreen headunit is a little slow, and frequently gets caught out when you ask a lot of it.

Then, the biggest dealbreaker we have with this is how its turning cameras override your navigation at lower speeds for much too long – and the kicker is you can't turn it off. The headunit being tad slow to respond also means you can lose crucial moments of navigation.

Practicality: Honda's on the winning side

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 24

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 25

Neither cars at this level are hybrids, so there's no battery pack under the boot floor. Because of that Honda can stuff a full-size spare tyre there, one better than Toyota's smaller-sized temporary tyre.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 26

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 27

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 28

Beyond that both cars have a reasonably-big boot, with 440 litres of cargo space in the Corolla Cross. Honda Malaysia has yet to disclose the exact volume for the HR-V, but we say you won't be complaining of it lacking anyway, what not with its multi utility seats.

Plus, though the Cross has a bigger boot in theory, the HR-V's wheel wells are flatter; giving minimal intrusion in the boot, which means real-world cargo space between these two cars are really not too big.

Also read: Just how practical is the 2022 Honda HR-V? Let us show you in 22 photos

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 29

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 30

Expansion of the Corolla Cross' cargo space is via 60:40 split-folding rear seats, which is pretty standard and not too conducive for loading tall items.

Safety: HR-V better equipped with EPB, LSF

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 31

Standard Honda Sensing ADAS on the HR-V wins it more points over the Corolla Cross, as the latter only bundles in Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) features in the 1.8 V and Hybrid variants.

Not only that, every variant of the HR-V gets an electric parking brake (EPB). Leave aside questions of having auto brake hold, the EPB itself allows for true stop-and-go adaptive cruise control (ACC) functionality.

Pair that with Low-speed Follow (LSF), and you have a car that's easier to drive in traffic jams. The HR-V also adds on Lead Car Departure Notification (LCDN), which is an audiovisual indicator that tells you to get off your phone and start driving, because the car in front has left.

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 32

That's contrary to the Corolla Cross, as with only a footbrake to facilitate things, it can only come to a complete stop, but it is not able to resume moving on its own. Drivers will have to manually accelerate before ACC resumes.

Also read: From foggy roads to congested cities, Honda Civic’s Sensing is one of the best

HR-V vs Corolla Cross ADAS
Sensing TSS 2.0

Forward Collision Warning (FCW)

Collision Mitigating Braking System (CMBS)

Lane Keep Assist (LKA)

Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)

Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Auto High Beam (AHB)

Adaptive Cruise Control w/ Low Speed Follow (ACC, LSF)

Lead Car Departure Notification (LCDN)

Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS)

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)

Lane Departure Alert (LDA)

Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)

Automatic High Beam (AHB)

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) & Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

On the passive safety front the HR-V gets 4-6 airbags, hill descent control (HDC), and stability control (VSC). The same are offered on the Corolla Cross Hybrid, but that has 7 airbags across the range.

Aftersales: Both are equals

Battle for Malaysia's king of SUVs: 2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross; NA or turbo power? 33

Both the 2022 Honda HR-V and Corolla Cross are covered by a 5-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

Conclusion: One clear winner? Not so easy...

No matter at which price point you're paying, the fight between the Corolla Cross and HR-V is a super close one. For every one thing the HR-V does right, the Corolla Cross seems to answer; and vice versa.

The HR-V can nick more sales via the cheapest 1.5 S variant, because that also offers the basics (ADAS, a fuel-efficient powertrain, if only the cabin trimmings are a little basic) at a price point the Corolla Cross doesn't compete in (RM 115k).

Also read: Review: Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 V - HR-V contender brings value to the masses, but the cabin...

When all's said and done however the Corolla Cross still holds the upper hand (for now) in terms of how well it tackles Malaysian roads, and the comfort it gives. We're yet to drive the Malaysian-spec HR-V but its rival has set a very high bar to, um, cross.

In case you're beyond questions of NA vs turbo, check out this post where we pit both electrified options you can get for RM 140k: the HR-V RS e:HEV vs the Corolla Cross Hybrid.

Also read: For RM 140k, should the 2022 Honda HR-V RS e:HEV or Corolla Cross Hybrid get your money?

Sanjay

Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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