Last summer we learned about the Toyota Corolla Cross, a crossover that sits somewhere between the C-HR and RAV4 in size and, to date, is only sold in Southeast Asia and South America. There was a rumour the Corolla Cross was coming here, a rumour that has been given weight by the fact one has just been been sighted camouflaged in the United States.
The crossover was recently seen undergoing testing, Automotive News reports, and is expected to formally debut in the U.S. by the end of 2021 or early 2022. At the moment there’s no indication Toyota will heavily modify the Corolla Cross or pivot to a different name for North America, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they messed with the moniker.
The idea of using the Corolla brand to sell a crossover, which isn’t as strong as it used to be now that most car buyers have moved away from sedans, seems a bit odd. Perhaps not as odd as, say, Ford Taurus X or Honda Accord Crosstour, but it still doesn’t seem on the absolute tip of fashion either.
The Corolla Cross is built on Toyota’s TNGA-C architecture, just like the Lexus UX. Auto News reports Toyota will build the Corolla Cross at its new Alabama plant it shares with Mazda. There’s no word yet on what powertrains Toyota will bundle here, but elsewhere, the Cross already uses a 1.8-litre four-cylinder with 140 horsepower and 59 kg-ft of torque along with a CVT driving the front wheels. There’s a hybrid option too, combining a 98-HP gas engine with a 72-HP electric motor.
The 140-HP four-cylinder produces similar power to the C-HR we already have, so don’t expect anything too exciting. Not that you would because, again, this car is named the Corolla Cross, and the letters “G” and “R” are nowhere to be found here.
The exterior generally looks like an amalgamation of Hyundai, Mazda and Subaru’s crossovers, with the same swept-back horizontal headlights and protruding hexagonal grille. That’s probably by design though, because this segment is booming. All the Corolla Cross needs to do is fit in, not stand out.