2021 Toyota Corolla Cross is a new affordable SUV likely headed to America

This new Corolla-based SUV has rugged looks and an optional hybrid powertrain.

Daniel Golson Former social media editor
2 min read

The Corolla Cross is pretty cute, in a pug-like way.


Arriving hard on the heels of the Yaris Cross that debuted a few months ago, Toyota has unveiled the 2021  Cross in Thailand. The name is pretty self-explanatory: the Corolla Cross is essentially a crossover version of the Corolla, slotting into the same equivalent size class.

The Corolla Cross' body shape is pretty similar to the with an upright appearance and a nearly identical greenhouse, but it's got a distinctive front end with angry headlights and a large, black-framed grille that reminds me of a pug's nose, albeit more flattering. I particularly like the fender flare treatment, which reminds me of boxy rally cars from the 1980s like the Lancia Delta Integrale. The RAV4 similarities continue at the rear, where the Corolla Cross has thin taillights and a bumper covered in black cladding and a faux skid plate.

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

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On the inside the Corolla Cross looks familiar too, with a dashboard largely nabbed from the regular Corolla models. The center console is more upright, and a 9-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay sits atop the dash. The Corolla Cross is available with things like power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, a 360-degree camera system and Toyota's full Safety Sense suite of driver-assist features.

Toyota says the Corolla Cross rides on the TNGA-C platform, the same TNGA variant as the Corolla sedan and hatchback, the , the and the Lexus UX. The Corolla Cross' wheelbase is identical to the C-HR's, but it's three inches longer overall and a couple of inches taller. Comparing its Thailand-market cargo numbers to the US-market C-HR's numbers the Corolla Cross seems to have less cargo space, but that could come down to different measurements -- the Corolla looks to have more cargo room than the C-HR, and certainly more space for rear-seat passengers as well.


The Cross' interior is very similar to the standard Corolla's


In Thailand, the Corolla Cross will come standard with front-wheel drive and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 140 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, nearly identical numbers to the same engine we get in the Corolla hatch and sedan in the US. There's an available hybrid powertrain with a total of 122 hp, also nearly identical to the one found in our Corolla hybrid. All-wheel drive isn't available despite the Corolla Cross' raised ground clearance and rugged looks, but Toyota boasts that it has a smooth ride and good ingress and egress.

Toyota says the Corolla Cross will go on sale in Thailand first with other markets to follow, and a Toyota USA spokesperson told us that no decision has been made yet regarding sales in America. But unlike the tiny Yaris Cross, bringing this new SUV across the pond seems like a no-brainer; Car and Driver reports the name has already been trademarked in the US and it was a part of a leaked US product roadmap. It would fill the gap between the C-HR and RAV4 in the Toyota crossover lineup, doing battle with the likes of the , and .