Perhaps the most noticeable change to the GR-Sport-fied Corolla Cross is the restyled front fascia.
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.
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.
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.
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
While the exterior changes are noticeable at a glance, it takes a bit more effort finding out the GR-Sport enhancements inside the cabin.
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.
Sorry, no GR-branded carpets or instrument cluster to be found here.
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.
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.
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?
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.