If somebody asks you to name the largest-selling motor vehicle of all time and you answered with the Ford Model T or the original Volkswagen Beetle – or, for that matter, the Ford F-Series – that’s a loud fail buzzer you hear pealing in the background, because none of those replies have been right for a very long time. The undisputed World Sales Champeen is right now standing on more than 44 million sales worldwide, across 12 generations, since its introduction as a 1966 model in its home market. The Corolla has been the world’s top-selling passenger vehicle every year since 1974, and overhauled the Beetle as the highest-production car in automotive history back in 1997. So while mortals likely take it for granted when they notice it at all, anything that happens concerning the Corolla’s long and stellar history is a very important topic back in Toyota City. This week, the Corolla saga launched its newest chapter and if you remember the Tercel nameplate, you’ll understand that this news also represents kind of a swerve in the Corolla’s forward progress.
It’s called the 2022 Corolla Cross, based on the current E210 version of the Corolla, and sharing the sedan models’ underpinnings, namely the Toyota New Global Architecture platform that also forms the basis for the Prius hybrid. It’s a compact SUV, very much aimed at such offerings as the Mazda CX-30, Nissan Kicks and Subaru Forester. The Corolla Cross will be offered in front- and all-wheel-drive models, and will span L, LE and XLE trim levels. It’s anything but deprived in the powertrain department, its standard engine running to a full 2.0 liters of displacement and capable of 169 horsepower mated to a CVT transmission. For AWD models, the Corolla Cross can disengage its rear wheels to help save fuel. Independent rear suspension is limited to AWD models, and the new vehicle has plenty of optioning choices, including towing capacity of up to 1,500 pounds.