If you’re of the mind that Toyota’s Corolla Cross Hybrid is just too nice for its own good, then maybe the new Nightshade special edition can change your mind. You know what we’re getting at, right? The Cross has every sensible box ticked with its 42 mpg economy, practical interior, attractive price, and strong list of safety equipment. But it’s seriously lacking some sparkle.
The Nightshade treatment doesn’t add any sparkle under the hood though, where you’ll find the same 196 hp (200 PS) electrically-boosted four-cylinder drivetrain delivering the same 8-second zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) time. But it does add some much-needed interior and exterior pizazz to the SE-grade Corolla Cross it’s based on.
The main talking points are the 18-inch gloss black wheels, black-accented head- and tail lamps, and the black and red interior trim that’s further accented by red stitching. Buyers get the choice of Jet Black, Barcelona Red with a Jet Black roof, or Celestite Gray with a Jet Black Roof, each design configuration ramping up the cool quotient with blacked-out badges, black handles and mirrors, and a matching rear lip spoiler.
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Standard equipment includes a roof rack, frameless Homelink mirror, and carpet floor mats, plus the updated wireless phone charger that’s now fitted to all SE and XSE models, but not the entry-level S. The base car still has a reasonable amount of standard kit, however, bringing an 8-inch touchscreen, LED lights and smart key access to the table. SE adds privacy glass, roof rails, paddle shifters, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, while XSE ups the wheels to 18 inches, as well as heated front seats, with the driver’s having power adjustment.
The 2024 Corolla Cross Hybrid should be rolling out of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama, about now before arriving in dealerships this fall. And while Toyota hasn’t revealed prices, we’re only expecting a small increase over the 2023 lineup, which starts at $27,970, versus $23,610 for the non-hybrid version. The SE currently stickers at $29,290, and given the $1,000 premium for Nightshade versions of other Toyotas such as the Corolla Hybrid sedan, we’re expecting the 2024 Corolla Cross Nightshade to come in at just under $31k.