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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid detailed: Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona small SUV rival gains new, more powerful hybrid powertrain

The Corolla Cross will sit alongside the C-HR small SUV in Toyota’s line-up

The new Toyota Corolla Cross small SUV will be offered with a new hybrid powertrain when it eventually hits Australian shores.

Toyota revealed the European version this week, after already showing versions of the crossover that will be sold in Japan, Thailand and the United States.

While they share the same body, there are subtle styling differences. The European Corolla Cross follows the styling cues of the US model, for example, with a larger grille and more subtle front apron.

The Corolla Cross will go on sale in Australia in the second half of next year, more than two years after the model was revealed.

The Australian-market Corolla Cross gains a new 2.0-litre hybrid setup that makes its debut in the small SUV. This will exclusively be offered with all-wheel drive, and it includes a second motor on the rear axle producing 30kW.

It is also paired with a lithium-ion battery, marking a shift away from the nickel-metal hydride battery in the Corolla Hybrid small car. Toyota says the battery is more powerful and 40 per cent lighter than before.

Total system output for the AWD Corolla Cross Hybrid is expected to be 146kW, making it one of the most powerful petrol or hybrid small SUVs on the market. It matches the power output of Hyundai’s warmed-up turbocharged Kona N-Line, and is more powerful than the Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI Sport.

This helps propel the Toyota from zero to 100km/h in 8.1 seconds.

Front-wheel drive variants will be available in petrol and hybrid guise. While Toyota Australia is yet to confirm it, the FWD hybrid is likely to use Toyota’s ageing 1.8-litre naturally aspirated Atkinson cycle engine also found in the current-generation Corolla hatch and sedan.

The Corolla Cross small SUV will slot into Toyota’s growing SUV line-up under the RAV4 and above the Yaris Cross, sitting alongside the C-HR.

Built on the GA-C version of Toyota’s TNGA architecture, its 4460mm long, 1825mm wide, 1620mm high and a 2640mm wheelbase put in smack bang in the middle of Toyota’s key SUVs. It’s slightly longer than Nissan’s upcoming new-generation Qashqai, but the Corolla Cross is narrower, it sits lower and has a shorter wheelbase than the Nissan.

Other rivals include Honda’s forthcoming new-gen HR-V, the Kona, Subaru XV, Mazda CX-30, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen T-Roc and Skoda Kamiq. Both the Qashqai and the HR-V will be offered with hybrid powertrains when the new versions arrive next year.

The only other specifications Toyota Australia is giving away at this stage is the fact that it comes with the latest multimedia system, including wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.

Full specifications and pricing will be revealed ahead of the launch in the second half of next year.