UMW Toyota Motor will be officially launching the Toyota Corolla Cross tomorrow (March 25). Like its most recent car launches, the unveiling will take place digitally on its Facebook page, so be sure to tune in at 8 pm for the arrival of the “next big thing.” You could also watch it right here, of course.

What’s interesting this time is the fact that we get to experience the launch with “8D audio.” This effect is essentially known as a spatial sound technology, in that the sound moves around you in a three-dimensional space. It’s a neat trick, but we’ll see how that gets translated over a digital stream. But the best way to experience this is to use your earphones or headphones. That is, unless you have a 7.1 surround sound system or a Dolby Atmos supported system.

Now, the Corolla Cross will effectively replace the C-HR in the line-up, and the TNGA-C-based crossover will take on key rivals such as the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30 and Subaru XV. It shares the same 2,640 mm wheelbase as the C-HR; but it is 100 mm longer (4,460 mm), 30 mm wider (1,825 mm) and 55 mm taller (1,620 mm).


Click here to see how the Corolla Cross compares against its closest rivals

Looking at the dimensions and photos that are available online, it’s clear that rear passengers will benefit from a slightly roomier space. Despite using the Corolla name, the crossover bears no resemblance whatsoever to the sedan, at least on the outside.

It’s designed for the ASEAN region and can be had with a choice of two engines. The first is the 2ZR-FE 1.8 litre Dual VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine that’s lifted from the Corolla sedan, making 140 PS at 6,400 rpm and 172 Nm at 4,000 rpm. A CVT is standard, sending drive to the front wheels.

There’s also a Hybrid model that utilises an Atkinson-cycle version of that engine, the 2ZR-FXE, making 98 PS at 5,200 rpm and 142 Nm at 3,600 rpm. Allied to it are a pair of electric motors that deliver 72 PS and 163 Nm, resulting in a total system output of 122 PS.

The UMW group has previously indicated that the Corolla Cross will be locally assembled, which would make it the first TNGA model to be brought here in CKD form. It should also lower the price still further – helping Toyota’s case against the mighty Honda HR-V, which is also assembled here – and open the door for the Hybrid version to be introduced here at a competitive price, taking advantage of local tax exemptions.