South Africa

Happening no more: Three-row Toyota Corolla Cross scrapped

It remains to be seen whether the reported long wheelbase Urban Cruiser will go ahead as its alleged debut is forecasted to happen in 2025.

Toyota has reportedly shelved the planned introduction of no less than two SUVs in India in a project supposed to have kicked-off in 2026.

Over before it could start

Earlier this year, it was reported that the automaker would be introducing a three-row version of Corolla Cross by 2026, and by the latter stages of next year, an extended wheelbase Urban Cruiser Hyryder, sold without the hybrid denoting suffix in South Africa.

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At the same time, a third model, also due in 2026, had been projected above the normal Urban Cruiser as the direct replacement for the previous generation Urban Cruiser derived from the Suzuki Vitara Brezza.

Corolla Cross the key

While it remains to be seen whether the cancellation does extended to the three-row Urban Cruiser, Autocar India claims the project, known as project 340D, had been called off due to apparent “technical and commercial viability” concerns of the planned products supposed to have been modelled on the Corolla Cross.

Last year, it was indicated that the planned new model wouldn’t be an Indian-market adapted version of the Yaris Cross sold in Indonesia, but rather a completely different product assembled at the newly opened Bidadi Plant in the state of Bengaluru.

Subsequently, a report from Autocar India in January this year named the incoming model as the Corolla Cross and its market introduction would be happening in 2025 once the mentioned second factory became operational.

Toyota halts three-row Corolla Cross and Urban Cruiser indefinitely
For the time being, a three-row version of the Urban Cruiser still seems on the cards for introduction next year. Image: Toyota

By the same token, the rumoured three-row model then emerged as the segment filler between the planned long wheelbase Urban Cruiser and the Innova Hycross that sits atop Toyota’s unibody SUV/crossover range in India.

The project said to have been developed in-house by Toyota with no input from alliance partner Maruti Suzuki, its apparent end will leave the marque to focus on increasing production of the Urban Cruiser and its twin, the Suzuki Grand Vitara, in order to justify the reported $400-million investment set aside for a third plant, also located in Bidadi.

When asked about the decision to call the project off, an unnamed Toyota spokesperson told the publication, “As this pertains to our future corporate strategy and product plans, we would like to refrain from making any comments.”

Urban Cruiser Taisor going ahead

The halting of project 340D will, however, have no impact on Toyota’s more immediate product unveiling, the most important being the long delayed Urban Cruiser Taisor based on the Suzuki Fronx.

A model that will be stationed below the Urban Cruiser Hyryder when it debuts “in the first half” of 2024, the Taisor could well make South African landfall in the same capacity as it will in India i.e. below the “regular” Urban Cruiser in place of the original.

As it stands though, this is purely speculative and will only be revealed in greater details within the next few months.

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