The Toyota Corolla Cross has just made its debut, and it's a rather interesting crossover. That's because, in terms of positioning, it slots in between the Raize and the RAV4. It's not a subcompact, but it's not quite a compact either. So how exactly does the Corolla Cross fit in the Toyota's current crossover range?
The Corolla Cross measures in at 4,460 mm long, so it's fairly shorter compared to the RAV4 which is 4,600 mm long. Next to the Raize however, the Corolla Cross is a giant. Toyota's smallest crossover is just 3,995 mm long, significantly less than the Corolla Cross. However, that's not the end of the story.
Interestingly, the Corolla Cross is nearly as wide and as tall as the RAV4 at 1,825 mm and 1,620 mm, respectively. For comparison, the RAV4 is 1,855 mm wide and 1,685 mm tall. Put these two vehicles side by side and there's not a lot to separate the two. The Corolla Cross may not be a long as the RAV4, but its height and width do suggest its nearly as spacious. Interestingly, the Raize is just as tall as the Corolla Cross, also at 1,620 mm. It's much narrower though, measuring just 1,695 mm from corner to corner.
So far then, the Corolla Cross is an interesting proposition, but will it still appeal with its powertrain combinations? The Corolla Cross is available with either a regular 1.8-liter engine or a 1.8-liter hybrid. In this case, we'll take a closer look at its standard gas engine. It's good for 140 PS and 175 Nm of torque, which is just right for a car with a 1.8-liter engine.
But it's quite far behind the RAV4 as the model sold here comes with a 2.5-liter engine. The local-spec RAV4 punches out 203 PS and 243 Nm of torque. That's an advantage of 63 PS and 68 Nm of torque. The Corolla Cross is, however, much more powerful than the Raize. That's because the Raize uses a 1.0-liter engine that musters 98 PS and 140 Nm of torque, which is down by 42 PS and 35 Nm. Both the Corolla Cross and Raize use a continuously variable transmission, but the RAV4 has an eight-speed automatic.
Venturing far off-road isn't an option in the Corolla Cross though. For now, at least, there is no choice for an all-wheel drive. The RAV4 does have an all-wheel-drive available, but it's not offered here. Yes, the RAV4 in the local market is now front-wheel drive only. As for the Raize, it can be specified with all-wheel drive but the front-wheel drive is the standard layout.
One of the main reasons people get a crossover is for extra ground clearance. In that aspect, the Corolla Cross sits the lowest to the ground at 165 mm. The Toyota Raize has more ground clearance than its bigger counterpart as it's 185 mm off the ground. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the RAV4 that's highest off the ground, but not by much compared to the Raize. At 195 mm, it's just 10 mm higher than the smallest crossover in the group.
So that begs the question of this car's positioning. It seems then that the Corolla Cross then is more of an urbanite crossover that can take on the occasional rough road. The ground clearance isn't too high and there's no all-wheel-drive option. But when you think about it, how often do you take any crossover or SUV off the beaten track? Front-wheel drive should be fine for consumers for the most part.
Now, we reported that Toyota Motor Philippines is thinking of bringing in the Corolla Cross in the country. We can't help imagine that it might just tread on the toes of the RAV4. Then again, this could be an opportunity for TMP as it broadens the appeal of the Corolla name in the country. Sure, it's not exactly tall and it can't go off-road, but most crossovers here don't venture into the wilderness. Introducing the Corolla Cross here could be a way for the RAV4 to move upmarket as well (or discontinued outright).
It is, by all means, a crossover for people who want something that's relatively high off the ground and has a good degree of practicality. Should TMP price it right, they might just have a winner on their hands.