Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Is What the C-HR Should Have Been

Aside from the Toyota GR Yaris, it’s not too often that we anxiously anticipate the availability of a Toyota model to come to the U.S. market, until now. The 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross was just unveiled and it’s made specifically for the Thailand market, however, multiple sources think that it could be eventually headed to the U.S. Why are we kind of excited about it? It’s mainly because the Toyota Corolla Cross seems like the small crossover that should have already been released, in fact, it could be what the C-HR should have been.

The Toyota Corolla Cross is similar but different

Toyota Corolla Cross
Corolla meets SUV with the Corolla Cross, launched in Thailand today and expected to roll out to markets around the world. | Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross is a lot like the C-HR, but just a little different. According to Jalopnik, the Corolla Cross is one inch wider, two inches taller, and three inches longer than the C-HR, and it also rides on the same TNGA-C platform. In case you haven’t guessed by now, it’s basically a raised-up and more capable version of the Corolla, however, it scratches the “crossover itch” that consumers seem to have nowadays.

As stated before, Thailand will get the benefit of having this crossover added to its Toyota lineup and, what’s more, it’s going to be hybrid-powered. It will come in four different trim levels: Sport, Hybrid Smart, Hybrid Premium, and Hybrid Premium Safety. The base Sport trim level will be powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque, while the higher trim levels will be motivated by an electric motor that puts out 72 hp and 120 lb-ft and is paired to a four-cylinder engine that produces 98 hp and 105 lb-ft for a combined output of 121 hp. Interestingly enough, all trim levels will be front-wheel-drive.

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Toyota Corolla Cross Interior
Corolla meets SUV with the Corolla Cross, launched in Thailand today and expected to roll out to markets around the world.

The Corolla Cross sure looks interesting

Powertrains aside, the Toyota Corolla Cross looks like an interesting proposition if it were to come here to the states. For starters, it doesn’t look like the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, nor the C-HR, but it does look like a smaller RAV4. We like the crossover’s bold wheel arches, elongated headlights, and large and aggressive front grille and the fact that it has a Macpherson suspension upfront, but not so much that it has a torsion-beam rear suspension.

On the inside, the Corolla Cross bears a striking resemblance to the current Corolla as it uses the same steering wheel and touchscreen infotainment system, along with similar seats. According to Autoblog, the higher trim levels will get premium amenities like power front seats, a power tailgate, driver-assist features, a nine-inch infotainment system, and Apple Carplay.

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Toyota Corolla Cross Interior
Corolla meets SUV with the Corolla Cross, launched in Thailand today and expected to roll out to markets around the world.

We can only hope that is making its way over here

Ultimately, the Toyota Corolla Cross sounds promising and we could definitely use it here for our market. Although, they would probably need to put in a more powerful engine as the current specifications sound way too much like the C-HR, and we all know how slow that car is. Either way, the hybrid powertrain and higher ride height of the car might just be what the American Toyota lineup needs and what many consumers will likely want.