The new Corolla Cross will be available in conventional and hybrid form. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new Corolla Cross will be available in conventional and hybrid form. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Toyota Corolla Cross will join its three Corolla namesakes — the sedan, hatch and Quest — locally in November to compete in the booming SUV/crossover sector.

Anticipation has been building since the announcement a year ago that it will be built at Toyota’s Prospecton plant in Durban. The company will export the car to 43 countries in Africa.

The Corolla is a big money spinner for the Japanese brand and is sold in over 150 countries with more than 50-million units expected to be sold globally before the end of 2021.

The Cross slots in below the Rav4 in terms of height and length but it sits on a similar wheelbase to the smaller CH-R. It takes on rivals such as the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Tuscon, Mazda CX-30 and other mid-sized crossovers.

The rear styling takes some cues from the Rav4, while the front is dominated by a trapezoidal radiator grille flanked by elongated headlamps. The more upright design and dimensions of the new five-seat crossover promise an airy cabin for up to five passengers with plenty of headroom and boot space.

The interior mixes a digital instrument panel with a floating-type centre infotainment display, similar to its Corolla hatch and sedan cousins.

The Toyota Corolla Cross's cabin projects an ambience of luxury with practicality. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Toyota Corolla Cross's cabin projects an ambience of luxury with practicality. Picture: SUPPLIED

Two engine types will be on offer: a naturally aspirated 1.8l engine and a 1.8l petrol-electric hybrid. Gearboxes for both versions are expected to be CVT transmission and it’s highly unlikely that a manual version will be offered at this level — to the disappointment of some of Corolla diehard fans, perhaps, but it’s a sign of the times. It’s also offered in pure front wheel drive (FWD).

Underpinned by the lighter and stiffer new TNGA platform (GA-C), the Corolla Cross is designed with reduction of noise, vibration and harshness in mind.

Official pricing will be announced closer to the launch date, with Toyota SA providing updates over the next few months.

Expect the two models to be priced between R410-R480,000. Buyers will also be able to customise their vehicle with an assortment of exterior accessory packages catering from rugged, adventure-themed variants, to sporty urban enhancements.

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