Toyota is capitalizing on the growing popularity of crossovers by expanding the global Corolla lineup to include such a model. Meet the Corolla Cross, which Toyota unveiled in Thailand. While the automaker remains mum on the model’s future in the U.S., we see great potential for the Corolla Cross on our shores.
In terms of size, the small crossover slots between the subcompact C-HR and the compact RAV4. Oddly enough, it bears little resemblance to the rest of the Corolla family. With sharp headlights and more rounded proportions than the RAV4, the design is pleasing, albeit conventional.
Like the RAV4, the Corolla Cross is designed with practicality in mind. The automaker promises large door openings for easy entry and exit, an elevated driving position, and a spacious interior. Toyota is aiming for class-leading luggage space in the Thai market. Comfort and convenience features include a 9.0-inch touchscreen, a power moonroof, rear USB outlets, LED headlights and taillights, a foot-activated liftgate, and more.
The Corolla Cross offers two powertrain options in Thailand. The first is a 1.8-liter engine that produces approximately 138 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. A four-cylinder gasoline-electric hybrid unit, meanwhile, makes approximately 120 hp. Front-wheel-drive and an automatic transmission come standard with both powertrains.
Given how much American customers love crossovers, we think the Corolla Cross would make an excellent addition to Toyota’s U.S. lineup. But there’s no way of knowing whether it’s headed our way. Toyota USA wrote in a statement that, “The Corolla Cross revealed in Thailand . . . is an exciting new Toyota product that will be available in select markets around the world. At this time, no decisions or announcements have been made with regard to this vehicle coming to the U.S.”
The Corolla Cross debuts just a few months after Toyota introduced the more boldly designed Yaris Cross crossover SUV. That model, sadly, is not coming to our market. Let’s hope the Corolla Cross has a different fate, as it could serve as a nice alternative to the quirky, but somewhat flawed, C-HR. We imagine it’ll also sell like hotcakes.
|Toyota Corolla Cross||Toyota RAV4||Honda HR-V|
|Curb weight (lbs.)||2,921||3,370||2,906|
|Hybrid curb weight (lbs.)||3,053||3,710||n/a|
*Chart compares the Thai-market Corolla Cross to the U.S.-market RAV4 and HR-V
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