Even the Toyota Corolla Is a Crossover Now

Toyota's best-selling model ever is no exception to the biggest trend in car making.

empty parking lot
Getty Images—Yang Xia

“Corolla Meets SUV” is a phrase we never thought we’d hear, but now that we have, it’s almost surprising we haven't heard it before. Toyota premiered its new Corolla Cross Thursday in Thailand, and says that the vehicle “enables customers to select the model that better suits their diverse lifestyles and life stages.” Regardless of how you look at its place in the lineup, the Cross mixes a Corolla and a crossover about as smoothly as anyone could expect. 

  

The ‘Rolla Cross will be built on Toyota’s TNGA-C platform, which also underpins the Prius, C-HR, Corolla, and Lexus UX. That gives us an idea of this car's size, which will be slightly smaller than a RAV4 and just a bit larger than a CH-R.  Toyota is releasing both a gas and hybrid model that have around 138 and 121 horsepower, respectively, and they will feature some sort of continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel-drive is the only option here, and while that doesn’t add up to a particularly exciting package, Toyota’s priorities for the new crossover appear to be comfort, safety and utility.

 

Though the Corolla Cross is just being released in Thailand for now, it’s hard not to see a world where we get some version of it here in the future. American motorists are nothing if not crossover crazy, and almost anything with a Corolla badge on it will sell well. Since its introduction in 1966, Toyota has sold over 48 million Corollas, making it the auto giant's best-selling model ever.

Toyota acknowledges that the Cross will be sold in other markets going forward and has even trademarked the Corolla Cross name here in the States, but though it won't elaborate on which markets will get it and when. 

To tell the truth, a Corolla crossover wouldn't be the worst car to wash up on our shores. At least it'll be reliable, and there are definitely worse-looking CUVs on sale today.

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