Toyoya has launched the new Corolla Cross in Japan. Prices start from the equivalent of around £13,000 for the cheapest 1.8-litre variant, climbing to around £21,000 for the range-topping hybrid model.
While this launch doesn’t bear much relevance to the UK at the moment, there’s a chance the Corolla Cross could break out of its Asian homeland and into the European market, where it’ll become yet another rival for the Nissan Qashqai, SEAT Ateca and Peugeot 3008.
Toyota still hasn’t confirmed whether the Corolla Cross will make it to Europe, but the firm’s line-up is becoming increasingly international – especially when it comes to SUVs.
For example, the Toyota Highlander (which was traditionally a model reserved for Japan, Australia and the United States) was recently introduced to the UK. The current-generation Camry was also brought back to Britain after a 14-year hiatus.
Our spy photographers recently spotted a camouflaged version of the Corolla Cross undergoing testing in the United States, suggesting an imminent launch for the region – and if Toyota adopts the same strategy as for the Highlander, then the UK might not be far behind.
The company’s new European boss, Matt Harrison, has also hinted that a new SUV the size of the Corolla Cross is on its way to Europe. Last year, he told us: “The way we see the segments expanding, some are so big frankly that you can’t cover them with one product.
“You need a couple of entries, at least, within the segment. C-HR is a good example; with C-HR, we’re successfully delivering eight per cent segment share with a product that is an emotional choice. It’s chosen for style, design and driveability rather than outright practicality.
“But there’s a whole huge chunk of the C-SUV segment that we don’t really appeal to. We’re playing at the top end of the C-SUV segment and fishing into the premium segment, almost. So we see further opportunities with SUV products, frankly.”
The Corolla Cross could be the model to plug that gap, sitting alongside the C-HR as a more practical alternative and a go-between for it and the larger RAV4. As such, by the time it reaches the UK, it’ll need to have a starting price of around £24,000. Here’s everything we know about the Corolla Cross so far:
New 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross: platform and powertrain
The Corolla Cross is based on the same GA-C platform as the Corolla hatchback, which is available with a choice of two 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engines in Japan.
The cheapest £13,000 option has no electrical assistance, while more expensive variants get the same 120bhp hybrid powertrain found in the Toyota Prius. If the SUV does make it to the UK, it’ll likely only be available with the hybrid system.
Japanese buyers can have the 1.8-litre hybrid with an electrified rear axle, too, bringing four-wheel drive, while the Malaysian version of the car is available with a 181bhp 2.0-litre petrol hybrid powertrain. Every engine offered on the SUV is also mated to a CVT gearbox.
The new SUV measures 4,460mm long, 1,825mm wide and 1,620mm tall. There’s also enough space inside for five adults and a boot big enough to hold 487 litres, which places the Corolla Cross well ahead of the C-HR’s 377-litre capacity. The tailgate can also be specified with a kick-sensor under the rear bumper.
New 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross: design and interior
Toyota seems to have used the smaller Yaris Cross as a starting point for the Corolla Cross’s design. Judging by the similarities between our spy shots and Toyota’s official images, the car’s styling won’t change for its western debut, either.
The Corolla Cross shares the same tall radiator grille, slim headlamps and profile as the Yaris Cross. Even the cladding around the SUV’s wheel arches and sills is familiar, but it’s still a radical departure from the Corolla hatchback’s styling language.
Specifications differ according to region, but the most well-equipped versions of the Corolla Cross come with a wireless smartphone charger, electric seats, automatic air conditioning, a 4.2-inch digital display for the gauge cluster and a nine-inch infotainment system, which also appears to be shared with the new Yaris Cross.
Toyota has also fitted a 100-volt accessory socket with an emergency power supply function to the Corolla Cross, which it says can be used to power household appliances such as a kettle in the event of a power cut. There’s also a host of assistance technology, such as hill-hold assist, parking sensors and function which mitigates unintended acceleration.
What does the new Toyota Corolla Cross have to beat? Check out our list of the best SUVs on sale now…