Remember the ad as a kid – C-O-R-O-L-L-A’ing along, the Corolla is iconic on the roads in Australia, as is the Toyota Brand. But today, a “small’ car is a broad category.

Smaller SUVs – or high-riding hatchbacks – have outsold regular passenger cars for some years now in Australia. Which is why we’ve awarded our Best Small Car award to such a vehicle. 

Again, having not driven too many in this category, I sought guidance from respected members of the Motoring community who share our values, and came to this conculsion.

The Toyota Corolla Cross is essentially a high-riding Corolla hatch with a slightly bigger body, and is a rival to the likes of the Subaru XV, Hyundai Kona, and Mazda CX-30, among others.

It wins our praise for its incredible fuel efficiency (the hybrid versions sip about 5L/100km (or better) in real-world testing, which is roughly half what its rivals consume in the same stop-start city driving.

Its tall driving position, roomy cabin, and comfort over bumps have widely earned praise for the Toyota Corolla Cross.  And while the waiting list for one of these isn’t quite as long as it is for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, a lot of buyers are switching over. 

Before the Toyota Corolla Cross went on sale, we wondered if there was room in the market for this car (between the Toyota CH-R and RAV4). Now we can’t imagine a Toyota showroom without it. 

This is a deserving winner of the EFTM BEST Award for BEST SMALL CAR 2023.