Toyota Corolla Cross GR-Sport: What has GR done to improve it?

Eric · Sep 14, 2021 02:14 PM

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Just yesterday, Hotai Motor, the official distributor of Toyota vehicles in Taiwan, launched the new Toyota Corolla Cross GR-Sport.

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It is the second GR-Sport (GR-S) model to be launched in Taiwan, following the Toyota Corolla Altis GR-Sport that was introduced in 2020.

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Let's dive in and see what has Toyota Taiwan done to the new Corolla Cross GR-Sport.

Also Read: Toyota Corolla Cross GR-Sport launched in Taiwan, prices equal to RM 131k

Exterior – Wait, no GR-S alloy wheels?

Perhaps the most noticeable change to the GR-Sport-fied Corolla Cross is the restyled front fascia.

Toyota Corolla Cross GR-Sport: What has GR done to improve it? 01

Compared to the Corolla Cross we’re used to, the GR-Sport version gets a completely different front bumper, encompassing a sleeker gloss black grille with honeycomb inserts and repositioned front fog lights. Aggressive, it definitely is.

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The rear-end of the Corolla Cross GR-Sport is adorned by a pair of clear-type LED tail lights and a lone GR-Sport emblem at the bottom right of the tailgate.

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Silver-finished body cladding complete the looks of the Corolla Cross GR-Sport. Unlike other GR-Sport models like the Corolla Altis, the Corolla Cross does not get unique alloy wheels, instead carrying over the 18-inch dual-tone units from the Hybrid variant.

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Four colours are available for Taiwan's Corolla Cross GR-Sport: Magnetic Grey Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, and Super White. GR-Sport variants also add a dual-tone black roof.

Interior – Not much fanfare

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While the exterior changes are noticeable at a glance, it takes a bit more effort finding out the GR-Sport enhancements inside the cabin.

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Perhaps the biggest change are the GR-branded seats, now with a white insert and white stitching. There is also a GR-branded engine push start button and boot screen logo for the 9-inch infotainment display.

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Malaysia's Vios GR-S gets a lot more goodies

Sorry, no GR-branded carpets or instrument cluster to be found here.

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For what it's worth, Taiwan's Corolla Cross GR-Sport still one-ups Indonesia's range of GR-Sport models, as those are merely rebranded TRD Sportivo models and do not feature any interior upgrades.

Also Read: When a GR Yaris is out of reach - Do Malaysians want this cheaper Toyota Yaris GR Sport?

Handling – Gazoo Racing flexes their muscle

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Where the Taiwan-spec Corolla Cross GR-Sport loses out in visual flair, it gains in handling prowess.

According to Toyota Taiwan, the Corolla Cross GR-Sport benefits from a handful of handling improvements, including 30-percent stiffer shocks, a sport-tuned electric power steering system, and additional chassis bracing.

Also Read: 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis GR Sport launched in Taiwan, improved handling but no power gains

Powertrain – Sorry, no power bump for you

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Considering that GR-Sport models sit one rung below the full-blown GR models, power output remain unchanged.

The Taiwanese Toyota Corolla Cross gets the choice of two powertrains. The first is a naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre petrol engine (140 PS, 172 Nm), followed by a petrol-electric 1.8-litre hybrid with a combined system output of 122 PS.

Any luck for Malaysia?

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Currently, UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) only offers one GR-Sport-branded model – the Toyota Vios GR-Sport. While regional countries like Thailand and Indonesia have been busy expanding their GR-Sport line-up, it remains to be seen if UMWT will expand the GR-Sport range in Malaysia.

Also Read: Thais' 2021 Toyota Hilux GR Sport rocks Land Cruiser grille, better suspension and more kit!

The regular Toyota Corolla Cross is priced from RM 124,000 (1.8G) and RM 129,2660 (1.8V) here, sans insurance, road-tax, and with SST exemption, valid until 31-December 2021.

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Eric

Editor

Started from the IT industry but somehow managed to find his way into the automotive industry. If he’s not gaming, he’s constantly tinkering with his daily/weekend car.

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