We are still waiting for news of the Toyota Corolla Cross. Although, is it really expected?
In the course of 2021, scoop hunters find in Europe a camouflaged copy of the Toyota Corolla Cross, a compact SUV unveiled in Thailand in July 2020 and normally reserved for emerging markets. So why hide an already known model? Could it be that Toyota is planning to import it to us? The answer comes a few months later: yes, that’s why he was on our continent. At the beginning, Toyota specifies that it will land on our roads in the fall of 2022. Then, finally, it is decided that priority be given to the second C-HR of the name since the current version is still selling rather well and that it there is no urgency. Knowing that the presentation of the new generation is not planned before next summer, marketing should take place later. In other words, between the announcement of a marketing in France and its arrival, it could have passed about two years. It’s long, very long, especially for a model that is clearly not going to revolutionize the genre.
It’s not the only model to be late on the French market, but…
No, the Corolla Cross isn’t the only model we’ve been waiting for a long time. With the health crisis and the shortage of materials of all kinds, many manufacturers have had to review their production schedule. The beginnings of the Peugeot 308 were stormy, by this we mean late, those of the SW break variant even more so. Its twin, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer, is still not on the market although it was presented in December 2021. Another vehicle that is slow to arrive, and it is a Toyota, well, well, the bZ4X SUV. We imagine that the Japanese manufacturer also wants to put priority on its zero-emission model, a question of image.
However, one cannot help noticing that different decisions have been taken elsewhere in Europe. Among our Belgian neighbours, our colleagues were able to get behind the wheel of the Corolla Cross at the end of last year. And orders were opened around the same time. Customers can already ride it. Recently, the range has even been expanded. The latest-generation 2.0 197 hp hybrid engine on board the restyled Corolla that we recently tested is added to the smaller 1.8 petrol 140 hp which it also benefits from. In short, the career is launched. We are still patient.
Arguments from another time
And if waiting for an Astra break or a bZ4X means, one wonders more what can really bring the Corolla Cross in the Toyota range. The Japanese brand sees it as a rational model whose dimensions, halfway between those of the C-HR (too small and not really habitable) and the RAV4 (today too bulky), make it a model at the same time more family-friendly than the first city but also more accessible than the second. In short, a perfect compromise.
But with its all-purpose style, it will struggle to get noticed against very sharp competition on this point: Peugeot 3008, Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage play almost everything on their style. Inside, same topo, it takes up the environment of the Corolla. However, if the dashboard of the compact had seduced at the time of its release (it was in 2018!), we are now more modern. And the finish doesn’t seem quite as slick as on its main rivals. As for the habitability argument, it only holds half. Admittedly, the trunk is larger than that of the C-HR. In any case, on paper, Toyota announces 75 liters more than the C-HR. Correct, no more. But the real catch is that with a wheelbase modeled on the smaller of its two siblings, the rear space couldn’t be decently giant. Our colleagues felt cramped there.
Speaking of which, the first tests are not particularly conclusive. Yes, its hybrid chain is powerful and efficient, like any Toyota it should be. Yes, it seems comfortable and not generally clumsy on the road. In a category where image matters a lot and where a minimum of family virtues is expected, this Corolla Cross has few arguments to make. The price maybe? In Belgium, it is no more affordable than the competition… And if in the end we simply waited for the new C-HR to arrive and then period?
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