The Toyota Corolla Cross. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Toyota Corolla Cross. Picture: SUPPLIED

The new car to be produced in SA at Toyota’s Prospecton plant in Durban is the Corolla Cross.

The compact SUV, based on the new generation Corolla sedan and hatchback, will start local production in October 2021 and will slot in under the Rav4 and above the C-HR in Toyota’s local line up.

It will be the latest entrant in SA’s highly competitive compact SUV market, taking on rivals such as the Ford Kuga and Volkswagen Tiguan.

It will be built in right- and left-hand drive models for the local market and export to the rest of Africa. The vehicle will be assembled on Toyota’s passenger car line alongside the Corolla Quest.

In a R2.43bn investment that will create 1,500 jobs, it will be built in right- and left-hand drive models for the local market and export to 43 countries in Africa. The vehicle will be assembled on Toyota's passenger car line alongside the Corolla Quest.

The Corolla Cross made its world debut in July 2020 and is built on the same TNGA platform that underpins all body variants of the modern Corolla, but boasts a higher ground clearance.

The TNGA platform is more rigid than its predecessors and has a lower centre of gravity, making modern Corolla variants more  agile driver's cars, says Andrew Kirby, CEO of Toyota SA.

“It combines everything you love about Corolla with the utilitarian and rugged aesthetics of a segment-leading SUV,” says Kirby. “Overall, expectation is that the Corolla Cross will not only contribute significant sales towards the Toyota brand, but also accelerate growth mini-SUV segment, increase overall size of the passenger market in South Africa and give momentum to electrification technologies.”

There will be a 1.8l petrol-electric hybrid model with a rated economy of just 4.3l/100km; it will be the first hybrid vehicle produced by Toyota SA.

The cabin features include a floating touchscreen. Picture: SUPPLIED
The cabin features include a floating touchscreen. Picture: SUPPLIED

It will also be offered in a 1.8l petrol version with outputs of 103kW and 177Nm, with claimed fuel consumption of 6.5l/100km. 

Toyota has yet to confirm prices and specifications, but the Corolla Cross sold overseas offers features such as a floating 8-in infotainment system, seven airbags, stability control, electric windows, active cruise control, automatic LED headlamps, a reversing camera, and a digital speedometer.

Safety features such as a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert are also available on the overseas models.

droppad@arena.africa

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