After some teasing, UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) has now confirmed the Corolla Cross for Malaysia, with a virtual launch set to take place on March 25. We don’t have pricing information for now, but it should be competitive as UMWT has plans to assemble it here. At the very least it should be more affordable than the now-discontinued and fully-imported (CBU) C-HR it replaces.
First making its global debut in Thailand last July (with an Indonesian debut taking place later on), the Corolla Cross is built on the TNGA-C platform that is also used for the latest Corolla, C-HR as well as the Lexus UX.
The model occupies a grey area when it comes to sizing, as its more of an oversized B-segment or a small C-segment SUV, similar to the C-HR. In the realm of properly-sized, C-segment SUVs, UMWT offers the RAV4 that takes on the CR-V, so this Corolla Cross is targeted at the HR-V (and other B-segment SUVs), especially for ASEAN markets.
With that in mind, we roped in several B- and C-segment SUVs to compare the upcoming Toyota SUV to, so you can have some idea how it stacks up when it eventually goes on sale. The list includes both Proton’s B- and C-segment SUVs – the X50 and X70 – as well as the Honda HR-V, Kia Seltos and another SUV that occupies said grey area, the Mazda CX-30.
As UMWT has yet to confirm or even provide official specifications of the Corolla Cross for our market, we’re pulling details from the Thailand market, where the model is offered as a hybrid or with a standard petrol engine. We reckon the latter to be more likely in the interest of pricing, so we’ll be sticking to that in our comparison.
The Toyota SUV’s unique sizing is most evident when we look at its length (4,460 mm), which sits right in between the true B- and C-segment SUVs listed. Curiously, the CX-30 has a more substantial wheelbase (2,655 mm) compared to the rest, beaten only marginally by the X70 at 2,670 mm.
Compared to the C-HR, the Corolla Cross shares the same 2,640 mm wheelbase, but is 100 mm longer overall, allowing for more boot space (487 litres compared to the C-HR’s 388 litres). The figure also bests the other SUVs in the table, save for the larger X70 that has 515 litres.
In Thailand, the Corolla Cross is powered by a 1.8 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 138 hp and 177 Nm of torque. Compared to other SUVs in the table, the Toyota model beats the Seltos and is a close match to the NA version of the HR-V, but otherwise loses out to the Proton duo and the CX-30 with a 2.0 litre NA mill.
A CVT is standard for the Corolla Cross and NA version of the HR-V (the hybrid model gets a seven-speed dual-clutch), while others sport either a six-speed auto or 7DCT. Furthermore, front-wheel drive is the norm for most of the models, with the CX-30 being the only one with that gets an all-wheel drive variant.
In terms of suspension, the Corolla Cross adopts the usual MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear, the latter being less sophisticated compared to its other TNGA-C siblings with double wishbones, although this could make it cheaper to build. Torsion beam is a commonality across all the models we listed, with the exception of the X70 the gets a multi-link setup.
Given that UMWT offers things like autonomous emergency braking on its entry-level models, the Corolla Cross will likely get the system, along with many others. Referring to Thailand’s specifications, the available systems are more than a match for SUVs mentioned here, even exceeding certain models.
We’ll have to wait for the launch on March 25 to find out exactly what equipment UMWT specifies for the Corolla Cross, so stay tuned. As far as early impressions go, would you be interested? If you are, you can proceed to register your interest.
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