The Toyota Corolla Cross didn’t must be a Corolla. It might have been any variety of all-new crossover or compact SUV models from Toyota that bore little relation to the long-running compact. The Cross would have most likely been a well-liked alternative within the U.S. it doesn’t matter what the badge known as it, as a result of crossovers are simply that well-liked.
In Japan, the Corolla Cross will get a giant “C” badge up entrance, shared throughout the total JDM Corolla lineup and giving the crossover a little bit extra connection to the Corolla household. That badge, together with a few distinctive styling bits we don’t get, makes all of the distinction. The U.S. will ultimately get the identical styling on the 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid, however common Cross fashions simply don’t look as cool as their JDM counterparts.
For the Japanese market, the modifications to the Corolla Cross principally come right down to an even bigger badge, smaller grill and barely completely different lights. Right here’s what the present Corolla Cross seems to be like in Japan:
In comparison with how the Corolla Cross seems to be within the U.S.:
The U.S. market automotive’s bland look belies the spirit of the little crossover. When I drove the car, I bought the sense that it’s an awesome commuter — if a little bit sluggish on Texas highways, that are admittedly stuffed with speeders who journey in clumps.
The Corolla Cross was nice round city. My foremost gripe was that it seems to be uneventful. It’s simply one other Toyota crossover with no discernible character. The grille is just too huge; the bumper has complicated creases; the fog lights are simply little dots that appear like googly eyes.
The Japanese Corolla Cross, nevertheless, undoes all that. The acquainted oval Toyota badge is changed by that bizarre superhero “C,” and the massive grill is decrease down so it’s not the principle focus. The automotive seems wider in consequence, with the fog lights higher positioned for a extra evenly-proportioned entrance finish. The headlights themselves are a bit sharper, sportier.
Possibly it’s that “C” badge, however the Japanese automotive seems to be extra distinct than our U.S. model. Volkswagen did one thing comparable with the Jetta in China, however that was about establishing a separate model overseas. Toyota doesn’t go fairly that far in Japan with the Corolla, however the Cross remains to be identifiable as a part of a definite lineup inside the broader Toyota secure — not not like the Toyota Crown. I’m simply shocked at how these little modifications add as much as make the J-spec Cross really feel like a totally completely different car.