2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Preview – Corolla of The Future Arrives – And We Want It

By Steve & Tamami Laser

We’re amazed at the wide variety of crossovers that Toyota is introducing for global markets. The new crop includes the Raize (built by Daihatsu), the Yaris Cross, the new Harrier, and the latest, Corolla Cross, revealed this week in Thailand (below). Only one of these is coming to the U.S. market for now – when Harrier gets its name changed to Venza.

We certainly have more than enough Toyota crossovers and SUVs to choose from in America, with the C-HR, RAV4, new Venza, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser. Yet we think there’s room for another.

We like the C-HR, and we also like the RAV4, especially the latest variants including the Prime PHEV. However, we see an opening between C-HR and RAV4 where the new Corolla Cross could fit beautifully.

While Corolla Cross looks like a smaller RAV4, we think it’s a smart move to call it a Corolla. Toyota has sold more than 48 million Corolla cars across the globe since its intro in Japan way back in 1966, so the name has universal brand recognition.

The new Corolla Cross rides on the TNGA (GA-C) platform, and initially offers a choice of two powerplants. The 1.8 Sport employs a 2ZR-FBE 1.8-liter 4-cylinder DOHC gas engine teamed with a “7-speed” CVT-i transmission with Sequential Shift.

Self-charging Corolla Cross Hybrids feature a 1.8-liter 2ZR-FXE Atkinson Cycle gas engine, E-CVT transmission, two high-voltage electric motors, a Power Control Unit, and Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack. Hybrids also include driver-selectable EV, Sport, and Eco modes.

Corolla Cross has a roomy five-passenger interior with available “Terra Rossa” leather-trimmed seats (above), a power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, and split-folding and reclining rear seats. With a maximum capacity of 487 liters, the cargo compartment can be accessed via an available power tailgate including a kick sensor for greater convenience.

Available high-tech goodies include a 7.0-inch Multi Information Display, and 9.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth®, USB and Apple CarPlay™. T-Connect by Toyota mobile app offers Find My Car, TheftTrack, SOS, Geo-fencing, Telematics Care, and Concierge Services. Toyota Safety Sense available features include a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist.

Customers in Thailand can opt for accessorized special editions with themes like “Adventure Style,” (above) including aero parts and dress-up items, and “Urban Sport Style” with a sporty motif. Individual Corolla Cross Genuine Accessories are also available.

The new Corolla Cross is manufactured by Toyota Motor Thailand with production slated to start this month at the Gateway manufacturing plant.

Toyota Motor Corp. says that the Corolla Cross will be launched “in a growing number of other markets, going forward.” The Australian market has been confirmed; could America be next?

Note: Features, specifications, and launch timing for Thailand market Corolla Cross models is subject to change without notice

News source and photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Thailand, Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Corp.

Story (commentary) © 2020 CarNichiWa.com