Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better?

Jason · Jan 8, 2022 02:00 PM

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 01

  • XU80 Harrier is almost twice the price of a Corolla Cross V

  • Both sit on TNGA platforms, albeit different set up

  • Is the Harrier twice as good as a Corolla Cross?

We at WapCar.my are huge fans of the XU80 Toyota Harrier, and for good reasons. It is one of the best packages around in the premium SUV sphere. It's gracefully elegant inside out, and boasts wonderful road manners. Almost the perfect combo. Almost.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 01

Why? We recently spent considerable time in the Toyota Corolla Cross, the question among the team is this, is the Harrier (priced at RM 249,706, SST exemptions included) really twice as good as the Toyota Corolla Cross (RM 129,000, V variant, SST exemptions included)?

Thus, this is the question we will attempt to answer today. Let's jump right in. 

Also read: Review: 2021 Toyota Harrier 2.0 Luxury - Do you really miss the turbo?

On paper - Harrier is well-specced, but cheaper Corolla Cross is generous for the money

XU 80 Toyota Harrier vs Toyota Corolla Cross
Spec Comparison
Feature Harrier Corolla
Cross V
LED
Headlamps
Yes Yes
A/C Dual-zone
automatic
Single-zone
automatic
Reverse
camera
Yes Yes
Electrochromic
panoramic roof
Yes No
Electric
steering adjustment
Yes No
Boot opening w/
kick sensor
Yes Yes
Android Auto/
Apple CarPlay
Yes Yes
Qi wireless
charger
Yes No
Sound
system
6-speakers 6-speakers
TPMS Yes Yes
Airbags 7 7
ACC Yes Yes
FCW Yes Yes
AEB Yes Yes
LKA Yes Yes

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 02

As you can probably tell, the Corolla Cross, at its asking price, is a close match for features compared to the Harrier. Of course, the Harrier has some additional niceties like the panoramic glass roof, electric steering adjustment and wireless charger, but at no point do you feel shortchanged of features in the Corolla Cross.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 03

A full suite of ADAS, 7 airbags and also an easy access boot opening, all are standard not only in the Harrier but also the Corolla Cross, V variant. Well done, Toyota.

Exterior - Harrier is all class, Corolla Cross ruggedly handsome

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 04

Make no mistake, the XU80 Harrier possesses an exterior that puts many SUVs to shame. It's classy, elegant, svelte. In this regard, yes it does look the more expensive car than the Corolla Cross. On the back of this, you'd feel that the asking price for the Harrier is justified, and you'd not be wrong.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 05

Harrier's exterior design is unmistakably premium

We've acclaimed the Harrier's shapely looks time and again, and probably will continue to do so for some time. If we're being honest, you could probably stick a Lexus badge on a Harrier and people would genuinely believe that it is one.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 06

However, the Corolla Cross is far from a poor relative. Its just that, it carries itself in a slightly different manner, preferring to take on a more sturdy and resilient image compared to the Harrier, and it does so rather well.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 07

It carries an air of a mini-RAV4, with its rugged plastic cladding round the body, and in the range-topping (for now) V variant, is dressed up with diamond-cut 18-inch wheels. Its handsome in its own way, balancing curvy lines with a hint of robustness.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 08

Obviously, we prefer the Harrier's exterior any time of day, but you won't feel like you're slumming it were you to schlep around in a Corolla Cross. It's still an attractive shape, if a bit more anonymous. 

Also read: Subaru XV facelift vs Toyota Corolla Cross in Malaysia: Practicality isn't the only yardstick

Interior - Harrier strikes gold, Corolla Cross' strikes Achilles heel

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 09

Brilliant interior, with premium touches

It's when you dive inside that you find the biggest gap between the two cars. You step into the Harrier and all at once, you understand where the money has gone to. From the material qualtity, to the cabin architecture, this is one of Toyota's most beautifully-wrought cabin. Extra points go to the electrochromic, panoramic glass roof.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 10

Harrier's electrochromic glass roof is pretty cool

All the major touchpoints and trim feel classy, premium and upscale. Again, if you do a blind test, this could well pass off as a Lexus interior. It really is that good. Dislikes? The central infotainment touchscreen looks and feels cheap, at odds with the rest of the interior. And a pretty bland sound system. 

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 11

Nothing wrong here, but also nothing particularly special here

In comparison, the Corolla Cross' interior comes off a little bit.... ordinary. There's absolutely nothing wrong in terms of quality, or fit and finish. It just lacks that little bit of joie de vivre that the Harrier carries off so effortlessly, that sense of occasion. 

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 12

The right word to describe the Corolla Cross' cabin would be, solid. It gets the job done, gives you everything you need, but nothing more. If a fancy cabin is what you're looking for, perhaps it's better to stump up for the Harrier.... at double the price. 

Also read: Power has never defined the Toyota Harrier in over 23 years - Here’s what it stood for

Driving experience - Harrier ebbs and flows, but Corolla Cross almost as good

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 13

If the Harrier's interior shows the Corolla Cross a clean pair of heels, then the driving experience really makes you question why the Harrier is that much more expensive. In our review of the Harrier, we waxed lyrical about the it way rides and handles. Not many SUVs, let alone cars possess the exquisite talents of the Harrier.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 14

That's before you jump into the Corolla Cross. Despite employing a simpler torsion beam set up at the rear, it rides with the same graceful composure as the Harrier in almost every situation. What's more, the Corolla Cross also handles almost as well, possessing a really feelsome steering, responsive chassis and assured footwork.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 15

Harrier's double wishbone rear suspension is magic

Yes, the Harrier has that final bit of fluidity (courtesy of a more sophiticated double wishbone rear) still that gives it a slight edge, but is that edge worth another whole Corolla Cross? Definite nope to that question. Point is, the Corolla Cross has 80 percent of the Harrier's road manners and refinement levels. That will seal the deal for many. 

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 16

Harrier's 2.0-litre is smooth, but a bit lethargic

In the same measure, we also groaned about the lack of poke in the Harrier. With only 173 PS, 203 Nm, the Harrier isn't going to win any traffic light contests. Power delivery is smooth, but a powerhouse, it is not. 

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 17

Seeing that the Corolla Cross has an even lower output (139 PS, 172 Nm), we should be equally disgruntled, right? Well, the starling lack of grunt is more of a problem when you shell out RM 249k, as compared to RM 129k, don't you think? Plus, the Harrier is 200 kg heavier, offsetting whatever power advantage it has. 

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 18

Furthermore, despite the gap in perceived quality, there's really nothing in it when it comes to driving position. That the Corolla Cross' driving position is on equal terms with the Harrier speaks volumes of Toyota's TNGA platform. The fundamentals are nailed to perfection here, in both cars.

Also read: Pros and Cons: 2021 Toyota Harrier – Lacks power but that’s beside the point

WapCar's Opinion

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 19

Harrier bird motif has moved to the door trim, still classy

Can you really say you'd prefer a Harrier over two Corolla Crosses? No, we wouldn't either. As lovely as the Harrier is, there are some things that grate at us. Sure, there are details in the Harrier that elevates the sense of occasion, but in the most tangible metrics, the Corolla Cross is a match for it, or just slightly behind. Half as bad, it certainly is not. 

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 20

The XU80 Harrier's best angle

So no, the Harrier isn't twice as good as the Corolla Cross. Yes, the Corolla Cross does show its price point in certain areas, but punches above its weight where it matters, which is in the ride quality and roadholding department. Specs are a match for the Harrier as well. 

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 21

However, purchase decisions are not always made with pure numbers. Objectively, the Corolla Cross is better value, but your heart might still want the Harrier, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. The heart wants what it wants.

Half the Harrier's price, is the Toyota Corolla Cross only half as good, or better? 22

At the end of the day, this is more of a testament of how good the Corolla Cross is, instead of how the Harrier is double the price. If you've been thinking of getting a Corolla Cross, then consider this the push you needed to get over the line. Oh, there's a hybrid one coming too.

Also read: 2022 CKD Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid launching in Malaysia on 14-Jan, from RM 137k

Jason

Road Test Editor

Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.

Comments

Up to 20% higher than average trade-in price

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8G

Upgrade

Add your car

Service powered by carsome

Latest Cars