In just 99 days, one of SA's most beloved nameplates will spawn an all-new model - the much-anticipated locally-built Toyota Corolla Cross. The Corolla name has a rich and diverse history spanning 12 generations*, and while locally it has been limited to sedan, five-door hatchback and station wagon variants, globally it has been offered in a multitude of guises and configurations. With the introduction of the Corolla Cross - the world's favourite car enters new territory and signifies the first-ever Corolla SUV/Crossover. This newest iteration of Corolla will proudly share showroom space with its Quest, Hatch and latest-generation Sedan siblings.
*Take a walk down memory lane with our Corolla retrospective which follows this release.
Corolla Cross Concept
The Corolla has continued to evolve in line with the needs of the times and regions it is sold in. By adding a new model to the Corolla series to suit the growing demand for SUVs, the enhanced Corolla lineup enables customers to select the model that better suits their diverse lifestyles and life stages.
With "Corolla Meets SUV" being the key phrase for the development of the Corolla Cross, the model was designed as a new type of SUV that combines all the key Corolla credentials with utility - in a manner that exceeds customer expectations. The TNGA platform (GA-C) has enabled the Corolla Cross to achieve high-quality performance,
a comfortable ride, and outstanding quietness. In addition to its exceptional comfort, the Corolla Cross provides a spacious cabin, easy entry into and exit from the car, class-leading luggage space suitable for all scenarios, and safety equipment inherited from the Corolla series. In this way, the new model realises comfort, utility, and peace of mind for customers.
The Corolla Cross will slot in above the C-HR and below the RAV4 models, both in terms of size and powertrain configuration.
Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)
The benefits of the TNGA platform have already been showcased in the Prius, C-HR and E210 Corolla (sedan and hatch) models. TNGA provides excellent ride quality, without compromising agility and driver feedback - resulting in a car that 'just feels right. Occupants are also rewarded with a spacious cabin that offers superb visibility with a stylish yet highly ergonomic interior design.
Another hallmark of the TNGA platform is the reduction of NVH levels (Noise Vibration Harshness), thereby offering drivers and passengers a quiet, comfortable and smooth ride.
The Corolla Cross fuses the striking design language of the Corolla Sedan and Hatch models with an SUV shape to provide a harmonious design. Large, elongated headlamps flank a prominent trapezoidal radiator grille, which is further accentuated by the broad 'upswept' lower bumper. Deep vertical design lines on the outer edges of the bumper, help create a 'sturdy' frontal view.
The side profile features noticeable fender flares, creating a sense of width, and complementing the sleek glasshouse and C-pillar trim. The rear employs large elliptical taillamps with trapezoidal detailing and crease lines - to provide a sleek and sophisticated look.
Buyers of the Corolla Cross will also be able to customise their vehicle with an assortment of exterior accessory packages - catering to everything from rugged, adventure-themed variants, to sporty urban enhancements.
50 Million Corolla's Sold
The introduction of a Corolla SUV fittingly coincides with a remarkable landmark in the model's history. The humble Corolla nameplate is set to achieve 50 million global sales in 2021 - firmly cementing it as the world's best-selling car. The 10-million mark was eclipsed in 1983 with the model doubling sales to 20- million by 1994. Thirty million was achieved by 2005 with the magical 40-million milestone reached in 2012.
Corolla is sold in over 150 countries and remains the top-selling model in many markets across the world. Therefore, a special congratulatory message must go out to Corolla for providing fun, affordable and dependable mobility to millions of global citizens.