PLANO, TX – After selling almost 50 million Corollas worldwide since launching in Japan in 1966, Toyota is expanding the shape and definition of what a vehicle with the name looks like.
The company unveiled the new Corolla Cross here today as a new entry in the rapidly growing compact CUV segment.
“The 2022 Corolla Cross is a smart, refreshing and well-balanced addition to the lineup,” says Toyota Marketing general manager Sam Goot.
While they share a name, the Corolla Cross doesn’t look much like the Corolla sedan. The black grille is larger and positioned more horizontally in the CUV than the sedan, and the driving position is obviously higher.
Black accents and cladding give the Corolla Cross a tougher look, and the integrated rear spoiler and LED lighting put the design squarely in the melting pot that makes up today’s compact CUV style from most automakers.
Based on the Corolla sedan and riding on the TNGA-C platform, the Corolla Cross will come in three trims (L, LE and XLE) and all three can be had with front- or all-wheel drive.
A 2.0L 4-cyl. and CVT taken from the sedan will produce 169 hp and get an estimated combined 32 mpg (7.3 L/100 km) with FWD. The AWD car comes with a fully independent suspension, while the FWD version uses a new torsion beam system in the rear. The Corolla Cross will be able to tow up to 1,500 lbs. (680 kg).
No hybrid model was disclosed today, but Goot showed an image of a Toyota logo with blue accents, which is what Toyota uses for its hybrid models, and said more announcements will be coming on that front next year.
The Corolla Cross will offer a laundry list of features that entry-level CUV buyers want, but not many of them are standard in the base L trim.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and Toyota Safety Sense advanced active safety systems are standard, but everything else – such as 10-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat (pictured below); power lift gate, 8-in. (20-cm) multimedia touchscreen; roof rack and activity mount; all-weather floor mats; nine-speaker JBL sound system; wireless device charging; and blindspot monitoring – requires an option package or a non-base trim level.
Toyota will announce pricing details closer to launch, but Goot says the numbers will work in the marketplace.
“We are confident the pricing is going to be right there for our target buyer, which is the younger, active buyer,” she says. “As for the standard equipment versus available equipment, this is going to come very well equipped at the standard level. It is going to be a fierce competitor.”
Toyota already has a compact CUV, the C-HR, but Goot says the two vehicles will live in harmony in the lineup. “They have a little bit different buyers, and this will have all-wheel drive capabilities that the C-HR doesn’t, but the C-HR isn’t going away, she says.”
Toyota expects roughly a third of its Corolla sales will be Corolla Cross sales, at least initially, Goot says, and the split between FWD and AWD likely will be around 50/50.
The 2022 Corolla Cross (pictured below) will go on sale later this year, and Toyota says it expects to sell around 100,000 units in 2022.
Through the first quarter, Toyota sold 72,520 Corolla sedans in the U.S., making it the nation’s most popular Upper Small Car, as tracked by Wards Intelligence.
But the C-HR has struggled to keep pace in the Small CUV segment, with only 10,401 U.S. deliveries in the first quarter, lagging well behind the Subaru Crosstrek, Nissan Kicks, Kia Sportage, Chevy Trailblazer, Ford Bronco Sport, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass.