Toyota Corolla Cross SUV set for launch outside Asia
Toyota could soon bring its new Asia-specific C-segment SUV and more practical C-HR alternative to the USA. Could Europe follow?
Called the Corolla Cross, it’s already on sale in Asian markets. It’s now been spied testing in the United States, suggesting a market launch there is closing in.
There’s no confirmation yet whether the Corolla Cross will be sold in the UK or Europe, but Toyota’s line-up is becoming increasingly international, especially when it comes to SUVs. For instance,tthe recent launch of the full-size Highlander in the UK saw a popular badge in North America make its debut in the UK.
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.”
To place it amongst its rivals, the newcomer will need to have a starting price of around £24,000. In Malaysia, prices for the SUV start from the equivalent of £22,000.
The Corolla Cross shares its mechanicals with the Corolla hatchback, using the same GA-C platform and four-cylinder petrol-hybrid powertrains. Toyota wouldn’t need to alter the SUV’s engine range for the UK market, either, with buyers getting the same 120bhp 1.8-litre and 181bhp 2.0-litre units, both of which send drive to the front wheels via a CVT gearbox.
The SUV measures 4,460mm long, 1,825mm wider and 1,620mm tall. There’s enough space inside for five and a boot big enough to hold 487 litres, which places it well ahead of the C-HR’s 377-litre capacity. The tailgate can also be specified with a kick-sensor under the rear bumper.
The Corolla Cross shares elements of its design with the smaller Yaris Cross – and it’s styling won’t change for it’s western debut, based on these US spy shots. It has the same tall radiator grille, similarly slim headlamps and a kindred profile. 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.