The 2023 Honda HR-V and 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross are two of the most sought-after subcompact SUVs on the market. However, being popular doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best options available. While both brands, Honda and Toyota, are known for their reliability and value retention, they don’t excel in many areas. In this article, we will closely examine various categories to determine which vehicle might be the better choice for you.
Which Offers a More Appealing Interior?
The HR-V boasts a remarkable interior, comparable to the Mazda CX-30’s, setting a new standard for the class. It showcases exceptional design, and its knobs and buttons give an Audi-like precision. Moreover, the materials used are top-notch, and even the midgrade Sport trim, featured above, offers cushy simulated leather trim and cool-looking cloth upholstery. The HR-V also provides ample storage, making it highly functional.
On the other hand, the Corolla Cross falls short in this department. Though it does have some simulated leather on the dashboard, it generally has a plain and uninspiring interior with more hard plastic. The top trim levels offer two-tone color choices, but they don’t add much excitement. Overall, the HR-V’s exceptional interior design gives it an edge.
Which Boasts Better Infotainment Technology?
The Corolla Cross introduces Toyota’s latest infotainment system for 2023, which is quicker and more visually appealing than its predecessor. However, it does have some usability issues. For instance, it lacks physical menu shortcut buttons that make navigation easier, especially when using Apple CarPlay. Honda’s system, on the other hand, retains physical buttons and offers a better user experience. The HR-V also provides two infotainment options. The base unit, found in the LX and Sport trims, features a 7-inch screen and simpler operation. The EX-L trim, on the other hand, boasts a 9-inch screen with color graphics, a customizable home screen, and permanently docked menu icons. Both systems are user-friendly, giving a slight advantage to Honda.
Which Has a More Spacious Back Seat?
When it comes to back seat roominess, the HR-V outperforms the Corolla Cross. The HR-V offers one of the most spacious back seats in its segment, while the Corolla Cross is merely average. The HR-V boasts 37.7 inches of legroom, surpassing the Corolla Cross’ 32.0 inches. Although the Toyota has slightly more headroom, the HR-V provides a more comfortable and practical space, making it a better choice for families.
Which Provides Greater Cargo Capacity and Functionality?
On paper, the HR-V seems to have the advantage with a cargo volume of 24.4 cubic feet. However, in real-world testing, the HR-V falls short due to an angled liftgate opening that limits functionality. Although it can still accommodate six suitcases, it can be challenging to load them. We haven’t tested the Corolla Cross, but on paper, it offers 24 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat with front-wheel drive and slightly less with all-wheel drive or a hybrid powertrain. The Hybrid variant also lacks a spare tire. If you prioritize cargo space, we recommend considering competitors such as the Ford Bronco Sport, VW Taos, and Kia Seltos.
Which Vehicle is Safer?
Neither the HR-V nor the Corolla Cross has undergone full crash testing by the NHTSA at the time of writing. However, both vehicles have received the best-possible rating of Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The only area where they received a rating lower than the top mark was in headlights, which were still rated as “Acceptable.” In terms of safety features, both vehicles are equally equipped, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot warning is standard on all but the base trim levels. However, Honda’s safety system is generally better executed.
Which Offers Better Fuel Economy?
In terms of fuel economy, the Corolla Cross takes the lead. With front-wheel drive, it achieves 31 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined, while all-wheel drive versions achieve 29/32/30. The Corolla Cross also offers a hybrid powertrain, which is unique in this segment apart from Kia. The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid, seen in S and XSE trim levels, delivers an exceptional 45/38/42 with its standard all-wheel-drive system.
The HR-V, on the other hand, achieves 26/32/28 with front-wheel drive and 25/30/27 with all-wheel drive. While the HR-V falls short in terms of fuel efficiency compared to the Corolla Cross, it still performs better than many rivals.
Which Vehicle is More Powerful?
Both the Corolla Cross and HR-V are not known for their power. They are among the slowest vehicles currently available, equipped with continuously variable transmissions that contribute to loud and unpleasant droning noises. The Corolla Cross does have a slight advantage in terms of power, with 169 horsepower compared to the HR-V’s 158. However, both vehicles have sluggish acceleration times in the range of 9 seconds for 0-60 mph. The Corolla Cross Hybrid stands out in terms of power and efficiency, generating 196 horsepower and offering quicker acceleration. This powertrain combination gives the Corolla Cross Hybrid a significant edge over the HR-V and provides a compelling reason to choose the Toyota.
Which Vehicle Provides a Better Driving Experience?
The Corolla Cross Hybrid’s extra power gives it an advantage. However, when comparing gas-only versions, the HR-V proves to be a more enjoyable vehicle to drive. It offers impressive refinement for its class, with a more substantial and sophisticated feel. The HR-V effortlessly maneuvers corners and absorbs bumps with ease. On the other hand, the gas-only Corolla Cross lacks excitement and is uninspiring to drive. Even the “sport-tuned” suspension of the Hybrid variant doesn’t add much zest. However, it doesn’t detract from the overall driving experience.
Which Vehicle is More Comfortable?
As mentioned earlier, the HR-V provides a more substantial and sophisticated feel on the road. It also offers slightly more comfortable seats and a preferable driving position. However, comfort is subjective, so we recommend taking both vehicles for a test drive to determine your personal preference.
Are There Standout Versions?
Without a doubt, the Corolla Cross Hybrid stands out from the rest. Its superior fuel economy and performance make it an attractive choice not only compared to the HR-V but also among other SUVs in its segment. The Hybrid variant is exclusively available in sport trim levels, featuring a sport-tuned suspension, LED exterior lighting, and sharper aesthetics with different front-end styling. The XSE trim, pictured below, exemplifies the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s unique appeal.