2021 Toyota Corolla Cross is a new compact SUV with an optional hybrid engine.

Toyota is set to supercharge its domination of the SUV sphere and possibly even change the way Australians buy small cars with the all-new Corolla Cross – a hybrid in more ways than one – when it in late 2022.

Built on a variation of the TNGA-C platform that underpins the Corolla as well as Toyota’s current small SUV, the C-HR, it’s fair to view the Corolla Cross as a restyled and raised Corolla wagon, and is thus constrained by size and shape to the small-car field. The clue is in the name: Cross for crossover. It will be the second Toyota ‘Cross’ car, after the all-new Yaris Cross launches in August.

Vitally, the Corolla Cross will be built from launch in Thailand alongside the existing Corolla sedan, instead of in Japan like the Corolla hatch and much-larger RAV4, where manufacturing costs are higher. This should help keep prices extremely competitive – lower even than either the C-HR, which (like the RAV4) also features more expensive and sophisticated independent rear suspension instead of a torsion beam arrangement as per the Corolla Cross.

At present, the only powertrain announced for the Corolla Cross centres around a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine/CVT combination, offered in either 103kW/177Nm 1.8-litre naturally aspirated petrol or 72kW/142Nm petrol-electric version, with the latter adopting a 53kW/163Nm electric motor for a combined maximum output of 90kW. Both are front-wheel drive only.

Toyota can price and position the Corolla Cross as a high-riding crossover family car starting at under $30,000, it should enjoy the same, enthusiastic buyer response that the RAV4 does, while still being ‘Corolla’ enough for small-car buyers seeking a compact and practical runabout to buy.

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