The Crossback is a compact SUV with a huge range of very sophisticated features. It’s primarily aimed at the luxury end of the market and as such takes care to present its credentials with class.
Although there are four levels of trim available on the Motability scheme, they are all petrol-driven – by PureTech engines, known for low emissions and a pretty juicy drive, especially in urban areas. In order to claim its SUV membership it has a spacious interior, rear folding seats and a 350 litre boot.
The more you drive the Crossback the more you begin to acknowledge the trend towards autonomous and otherwise ‘smart’ features. For instance, the Crossback recognises your key and unlocks automatically, while you keep your keys in your pocket or bag (or you can share access privileges via the MyDS app).
In fact, if there’s an award for cleverest car on Motability, the Crossback would be on the shortlist. Most of the really nifty stuff is based on safety with DS Drive Assist acting in cruise control, lane positioning and traffic sign recognition capacity, as well as in keeping a safe distance from the car in front. Just to be sure, the extended emergency braking system option utilises cameras and sensors to anticipate a collision, alerting the driver before applying the brakes automatically if you’re unable to react in time.
Meanwhile DS Park Pilot will prompt you that there’s a parking space it can manoeuvre into, if the driver can’t – simply let go of the wheel and let the vehicle take over. That said, a heads-up display and Matrix LED lights will help you to keep your eyes on the road (switching from full beam to dipped headlights automatically without ever dazzling other drivers). Even so, if things do go wrong, the DS Connect Box will summon help automatically if you need it, guiding emergency services to your location.
Topping it all off, is a “completely digital cockpit”, featuring DAB digital radio, Apple CarPlayT and Android Auto, multi-function onboard trip computer and 7-inch touchscreen.
Advance Motability Payment from: £0
That said, the focus is most definitely on the driver, not only by the provision of such good all-round visibility but that, for instance, the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system is literally presented in ‘widescreen’. You could even opt to talk instead to the voice-recognition system that controls various functions from spoken instructions – where improved functionality means that the system gets to know voices and understands them better over time.
In fact, the new B-Class also adapts to your needs and habits. It’ll note your usual routes and can automatically offer a faster one to avoid traffic – and thanks to the ‘augmented reality navigation’ option it’ll overlay graphics and traffic information onto live images of your surroundings on the screen.
Additionally, graphics such as traffic lights, house numbers, street names or points of interest are incorporated into the image to help you find your way.
Safety kit includes reversing camera, Active Braking Assist with cross-traffic function, multi-beam LED lights, blind spot assist and traffic sign assist, as well as other tech that keeps an eye on lane discipline and steering – all through sophisticated radar sensors and a special 3D camera (feeding a high resolution display).
Mercedes’ Presafe system activates in the moments before and during an accident to reduce the impact of a collision. A sound from the speakers, for instance, is designed to trigger a protective human reflex – meaning your hearing briefly disengages to protect it from the loud noises of an impact (exclusive to the Driving Assistance package).
Flexible boot space can be increased to 1,540 litres by folding down rear seats (individually) and keyless entry engaged with a swing of the foot under the tailgate, means it is also hands-free.
It’s worth noting, especially if you have mobility issues or transfer from a wheelchair, that the seats in the B-Class are slightly raised up compared with other cars. This may or may not suit your entry and exit routine – although it will probably make for better visibility and comfort while driving.
Furthermore, the optional Premium Plus package includes ‘memory seats’ that will electronically adjust to your chosen configuration of seat and mirrors, etc.
Advance Motability Payment: from £999
The Corolla pulls together elements of style, handling, performance and safety to provide a confident and enjoyable ride.
It starts with the driving experience, where you’ll immediately notice that the low centre of gravity and rigid body reduce roll and accentuate a sense of overall control. Three engine options are available on Motability: 1.2 petrol, 1.8 petrol hybrid and 2.0 petrol-hybrid.
The low bonnet increases the field of vision too and combined with heated front seats with power-adjustable lumbar support enable the driver to actually relax and enjoy their journey.
Four trim levels are available on Motability and while the equipment list remains very similar between them, the vehicle itself gains in stature at the top end with the Excel trim kitted out, for instance, with 18-inch alloy bi-tone grey and machined-face alloy (5-double-spoke) wheels, rather than the ordinary 16 inch alloys on the entry-level Icon trim. Other useful features are introduced part way up the trim ladder such as voice activation (from Icon Tech and above).
The all-black interior is stylish, practical and uncluttered and designed specifically for comfort from the steering position (that Toyota says helps to avoid fatigue) through to steering wheel switches for driving, infotainment and audio controls. That said, there is also a Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with 8 inch display with Bluetooth connectivity.
Toyota’s Safety Sense pre-collision system is standard across every Corolla and includes features such as adaptive cruise control and lane trace assist on hybrids – making driving easier and safer. Indeed, even at entry-level, you’ll also benefit from features including: automatic headlights, reversing camera, lane departure with steering control, road sign assist, automatic high beam, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and vehicle stability control. Front and rear parking sensors and intelligent parking assist are added in from the Icon Tech trim.
Advance Motability Payment: from £295