Toyota is finally filling a void in its North American lineup between the city-oriented C-HR small crossover and the hugely popular RAV4 compact SUV. Initially revealed in Thailand last summer, the Toyota Corolla Cross will land in Canada in the third quarter of this year as a 2022 model.
Sharing its TNGA-C platform with the Corolla sedan and hatchback, it’s a proper sub-compact SUV that will directly challenge the Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, Nissan Qashqai and the like—all high-selling vehicles at the moment.
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Under the hood is the Corolla’s available 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which produces 169 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission. The Corolla Cross comes standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is optional.
Maximum towing capacity is rated at 1,500 pounds, but fuel consumption numbers will be announced at a later date (Toyota's estimates are 7.4-7.8 L/100 km). Incidentally, unlike the Corolla, no hybrid variant of the Corolla Cross is planned, at least for now.
Spread across three grades (L, LE, XLE), the exterior design is essentially identical to the model released overseas, with enough unique styling cues to stand out from other Toyota products. Customers have a choice of 17- and 18-inch wheels.
Inside, both a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen are available. Same thing for wireless smartphone charging and an upgraded nine-speaker JBL audio system. The Corolla Cross is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Safety is covered by Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a suite of advanced driver-assist features including a precollision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning with roadside detection, lane keeping assist, automatic high beam assist and adaptive cruise control. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert can be found on select models.
Production of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross will begin in a few months at a new joint-venture factory operated with Mazda in Huntsville, Alabama. Canadian pricing has yet to be disclosed, but should start at around $26,000.