Could the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid be the ideal millennial car?

The Toyota Corolla Cross has been making waves since it was announced in Thailand in July this year. If you think of it, the Corolla Cross is the perfect overlap of a Venn diagram: the most popular nameplate (the Corolla series has sold a cumulative total of 48 million units in more than 150 countries and regions around the world) with the trending body style of a crossover. However, Toyota seems to be taking its time with the rollout of the Corolla Cross across markets.

Video Source: YouTube/Toyota USA

In July 2020, Thailand became the first country to get the Toyota Corolla Cross, and nearly a year later, U.S. has received it. However, it is powered by a conventional gasoline engine stateside.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid teased for the U.S.

Toyota teased a future variant with a blue-tinted brand badge during the 2022 Corolla Cross U.S. debut. While showing the teaser during her presentation, Samantha Goot, General Manager, Vehicle Marketing & Communications, Toyota Motor North America, asked the media to keep “an eye out for an announcement coming for the all-new Corolla Cross as early as next year.” The model in the teaser and the forthcoming announcement Goot referred to is likely the Corolla Cross Hybrid.

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid teaser
Toyota teased the Corolla Cross Hybrid at the 2022 Corolla Cross U.S. debut. Image Source: Toyota

In Thailand, the Toyota Corolla Cross’ hybrid powertrain uses the 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter four-cylinder unit (with e-CVT) that does duty on the Corolla Hybrid sedan sold in the USA. Here it makes an identical 122 PS (120 hp) and 142 Nm (105 lb.-ft.) of torque. Another reason for Toyota USA to consider it for the crossover is the hybrid system’s improving acceptance in the local market. In the first quarter of 2021, sales of the Corolla hybrid more than doubled to 7,301 units, YTD. With a fuel economy of about 40 mpg, the Corolla Cross Hybrid, with an appeal of a crossover, can easily outdo the four-door counterpart and bring many young customers to the brand.

Features & Specifications

Further, the Corolla Cross rides on the TNGA-C platform, which is already well scaled for the Corolla and C-HR. The Corolla Cross shares the 103.9-inch wheelbase with the C-HR. However, measuring 175.6 inches in length, 71.9 inches in width, and 64.8 inches in height, it is a larger and boxier SUV than the C-HR. The Corolla Cross is 3.0 inches longer, 1.2 inches wider, and 3.2 inches taller than its platform-mate.

US-spec 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross interior dashboard
The Toyota Corolla Cross offers 24.3 cu. ft. (AWD)/25.5 cu. ft. (FWD) of luggage carrying capacity behind the second row in the gasoline variant. Image Source: Toyota

On the feature front, the Toyota Corolla Cross includes nine airbags and a raft of safety aids, LED headlights, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, 10-way electrically adjustable driver seat, 7-inch MID, powered tailgate, dual-zone climate control, and an 8-inch Audio Plus touchscreen infotainment system with Remote Connect.

With its aggressive styling, higher practicality over the C-HR, and the proven hybrid drivetrain from the sedan, the Toyota Corolla Cross could be the missing link in Toyota USA’s lineup, especially one that appeals to young buyers who the carmaker is trying hard to crack. The question is, when exactly will Toyota launch the Corolla Cross Hybrid for American buyers. We reckon mid-2022 will likely be the time when Toyota makes the announcement. For those who can’t wait, the gasoline variant goes on sale this fall.