VIDEO: Toyota Corolla Cross hits the mark
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Join us as we take a closer look at the new Toyota Corolla Cross in the video below:
Pretoria - The Toyota Corolla needs no introduction to South Africans. Since its introduction to the world in November 1966 it has become a household name and a firm favourite with local and world consumers, so much so that by the end of this year it is expected that 50-million would have been sold, making it 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 40-million milestone reached in 2012. It was Toyota's first mainstream compact car and a little known fact is that the name is derived from the ring of petals on the central part of a flower.
South Africa was first introduced to the Corolla in 1975 with the third generation E30; it was also the first model produced locally adding the liftback and fastback versions giving buyers an option of five different body shapes.
The 'boxy' fourth-generation E70 model offered seven body configurations (the most in the brand's history) with engines ranging from 1.3 to 1.8-litres. This generation helped Corolla clinch 10 million global sales in March of 1983 and remains a firm favourite with collectors and Toyota fans, affectionately referred to as a 'Baby Cressida'.
The fifth-generation brought a significant change with the switch to a front-wheel-drive platform and in South Africa introduced the Corolla hatchback badged as the Corolla Conquest. This model joined the familiar sedan alongside a liftback version, the Corolla Avante.
The fifth generation model also introduced the RSi and GLi Twincam-16 which had Mzanzi owners over the moon and also scooped the inaugural SA Car of the Year in 1986. They are still much revered to this day.
Since then there have various iterations on a tried and trusted popular recipe including the RunX and in 2006 the Prospecton Plant in Durban switched over to the 140-series of Corolla and a new global direction saw the 'divorce' of the hatchback Corolla variant, renamed the Auris and sold as a stand-alone model. This 10th-generation sedan would go on to become the Corolla Quest in SA, when the 11th-generation went on to replace it in 2014. Uniquely, the Durban-based plant produced both E140 and E180-series in the factory simultaneously.
The 12th generation Corolla slotted into the market in 2019, featuring a new design and the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform; it also marked the return of the hatchback variant. For the first time in SA, the hatch model was badged simply as Corolla (without a sub-name). This in turn prompted the switch to the 11-th generation platform for the Corolla Quest in 2020, while the Corolla sedan and hatchback models were imported for the first time since 1975.
So what do you do as a manufacturer when the world begins to focus their attention on SUVs and sedans become less commonplace?
You take a much-loved name like the Corolla and produce the new Toyota Corolla Cross, the first-ever Corolla SUV/Crossover that will be available in showrooms from November.
To add to its significance the Corolla Cross will be produced locally.
The exterior design combines the Corolla hatch and sedan models into an SUV shape that’s both good looking and practical. Large, elongated headlamps flank a 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 glass house and C-pillar trim. The rear employs large elliptical tail lamps.
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.
Using the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) showcased in the Prius, C-HR and E210 Corolla sedan and hatch models, the Corolla Cross will have an excellent ride quality, with good agility and driver feedback. Occupants will also sit in a spacious cabin that offers good visibility with a stylish and ergonomic interior design.
The petrol variant is the 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE mill featuring VVT-i and an 'undersquare' design currently used in the current generation Corolla Quest and Xs-grade Corolla sedan.
It delivers 103kW at 6000 rpm and 173Nm at 4400 rpm and is mated to a seven-step CVT transmission.
The Hybrid model employs the 2ZR-FXE engine also found in the Toyota Prius (alongside the C-HR Hybrid and Corolla Hybrid).
Using Atkinson cycle technology, the re-engineered 1.8-litre engine delivers 72kW and 142Nm in pure ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) mode. Toyota has developed a heat recovery system that uses spent exhaust gas to speed up the warming of engine coolant. This means fuel can be saved because the hybrid system is able to stop the engine earlier and more often when it isn’t needed to power the vehicle.
The electric motor provides a supplementary 53kW and 163Nm (at full capacity) - to boost overall system output to 90 kW.
There will be three variants to choose from; the Xi, Xs and Xr. Xi denotes the entry-level model, the mid-tier Xs adds additional comfort and convenience specification, while the flagship Xr grade receives upgraded exterior aesthetics, larger alloy wheels and additional features.
Safety was a big driving factor for Toyota when they designed the Corolla Cross and a full suite of active safety features including; VSC, ABS, EBD and Hill Assist Control (HAC) come as standard.
The Xr model also boasts Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) - which encompasses semi-autonomous driving aids and enhanced safety-system functionality that also includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring (BSM), lane trace assist (LTA) and a pre-collision system (PCS).
There’s also an anti-theft system, auto door-lock and ISOFIX anchor points. The airbag array includes driver, passenger, side and driver-knee (on Xi & Xs) while the Xr adds curtain airbags.
The Corolla Cross comes with a six-services/90 000km service plan, with service intervals pegged at 12-months/15 000km and a three-year/100 000km warranty. The Hybrid model carries an eight-year warranty on the Hybrid battery. Customers can also purchase additional service and warranty plan extensions from their nearest Toyota dealer.
Toyota Corolla Cross pricing:
1.8 Xi: R 349 900
1.8 Xs: R 390 100
1.8 Xr: R 425 400
1.8 Hybrid Xs: R 413 000
1.8 Hybrid Xr: R 448 300