While we’re all busy twiddling our thumbs waiting for that GR-turned Corolla hot hatch to show up, we will instead reportedly be served a different mutation of the car with the all-new 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross.
Yeah, Toyota “turned” the “Corolla” into a “crossover,” insomuch that they took a name that sells and put it on something shaped like a best-seller in a different segment.
It’s only available in Thailand, for now, but Autoblog reports it’s destined for the U.S. market at some point as well. It was previously rumored to be assembled in the new Toyota-Mazda factory in Mexico.
The Corolla Cross itself is in fact essentially just a CH-R. It’s one inch wider, two inches taller, three inches longer, but rides on the same TNGA-C platform. It’s technically the same basic platform architecture under the current Corolla, Prius, and Lexus UX as well. Plenty of other names out there. “Corolla Cross” sounds like a weird skin worm.
Thailand gets four trims, with a base “Sport” model with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 140 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque hooked up to a CVT. The Hybrid Smart, Hybrid Premium, and Hybrid Premium Safety trims pair a 72 HP and 120 lb-ft of torque electric motor with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder tuned to 98 HP and 105 lb-ft of torque. They’re all front-wheel drive.
Pretty safe bet we’d also hopefully get a more powerful drivetrain in the U.S., but the CH-R’s 144-HP 2.0-liter four-cylinder already makes as much power as Thailand’s Corolla Cross Sport. Maybe we that’s all we’ll get, and perhaps that’s all a car like this needs!
But I don’t get it. I’m pretty sure people will buy it because it’s a Toyota that competes with the new Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, and is perhaps the sober sibling to Toyota’s own more-flamboyantly styled CH-R. Name be damned. “Crossolla” was right there, though. “Corollover.” Maybe not that one.