In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Will we get the Hyundai Casper SUV?
- What’s up with the Toyota Corolla Cross name?
- You guys are no “driving experts”!
The first question comes from a fan who caught wind of the new Hyundai Casper tiny crossover.
Q (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter): Dude, did you see the Hyundai Casper SUV? When are we going to get one!?
I was disappointed with the Hyundai Venue so the Hyundai Casper looks way better and I bet it has more utility!
A: Ah, the Hyundai Casper… it’s more of a hatchback than an SUV/crossover.
Smaller than the Hyundai Venue (which is their smallest offering in the U.S.) the Hyundai Casper is a itty-bitty city car that’s about the size of a Fiat 500. That is to say, tiny.
It appears that Hyundai named the vehicle after pro skateboarder Bobby “Casper” Boyden, not the coppyright-protected fictional character. With that being said, I have to say – the damn thing is adorable. It is WAY better looking than the Venue, and its overall design looks like a hoot to zoom around in.
Sadly, we probably won’t get it the Hyundai Casper here.
As I said before, it’s more of a tall hatchback than an SUV or crossover. Currently, Hyundai announced two powertrains, but we hear there may be two others as well. There’s a non-turbo AND a turbocharged version of the 1.0-liter that might make up to 99 horsepower. Not too shabby in a car that could weight less than a ton.
There are rumors of an all-electric version, and a four-cylinder 1.2 -liter engine that could come later.
You know what there is no mention of? All-wheel drive. Yep, it appears that, just like the Venue, the Hyundai Casper will be front-wheel drive only. Bummer.
All signs point to a limited release of the Casper. India looks like its main destination, but there could be others. As I said before, don’t hold your breath waiting for one in the U.S.
The next questions/comments comes from several YouTube viewers who feel that the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross name is no bueno. Most comments are positive, but some comments question Toyota’s product specialists.
Q (Via YouTube): Madsurgin — They should have just call it a Toyota Matrix that’s what it looks like if they were kept it…
Lol, the RAV4 was the original Corolla Cross.
Toyota missed a golden opportunity to bring back the Matrix nameplate.
A: Hi folks!
Let’s look at what the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is, and why they call it a Corolla.
Since the embargo on driving impressions and pricing has yet to drop, (that happens on Sep 9th), I have to be measured on this response. What I can tell you is that it makes plenty of sense when you look at the interior design, engineering and some of the exterior design.
Why stick with the Corolla name?
If you look at the exterior and (especially) the interior of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross, you will see many familiar design cues. The front and rear design do share some Corolla design elements, just enough for your average consumer to find some commonality. The nose has the most in common with the sedan and hatchback.
This Corolla Cross also shares its TNGA-C platform with the Corolla car, C-HR and Prius – among others.
Internally, you’ll get an almost identical dashboard to the regular Corolla. The design, switch layout and function of the controls pretty much match the other Corollas. The rest of the interior is unique to the Cross, which makes sense.
Mostly Corolla and some Camry running gear
The powertrain is a mix of Corolla and, a bit of Camry too. The engine and transmission are similar to the Corolla. It’s a 169 horsepower 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. It makes 150 lb-ft of torque, and its paired with a similar Toyota CVT that’s also used in the Corolla. Once again, lots of Corolla DNA.
If you opt for all-wheel drive, you get a similar mechanical AWD setup that you can get in the Toyota Camry AWD. It can split torque up to 50%-front and 50%-rear if needed.
… but what about the Matrix, Vibe and All-Track names!?
I’m pretty sure that, with 50-million Corollas sold, Toyota wants to extend their winning streak by adding what will be huge sales of this crossover to the multitude of other Corolla sales. It’s also more recognizable to consumers. The Matrix/Vibe names go back more than a generation – and the All-Track goes back even further.
Stay tuned for a full, somewhat off-roadish review coming soon!
The last question/statement comes from a Facebook post from TFLoffroad. A nice gentleman felt we (as “professional” drivers) don’t know what we’re doing. I am using this as an example as we get these types of snarky messages all the time. This one is in reference to our off-road debacle a while back.
From Facebook: “I recommend so called experts learn to drive!“
A: Even though I have reviewed cars professionally for two decades, I am anything but a “professional” driver. So are the rest of the guys at TFL Studios.
Our job as professional journalists and entertainers is to bring you information. If we are informative and entertaining, we’ve done our job. If you’re expecting us to drive like Lewis Hamilton, go elsewhere. We do have a professional race driver who is world class. His name is Paul Gerrard, and he’s a former Stig from Top Gear America – among other racing accolades.
Now, to this individual – I opted to request he show us how it’s done. His (typical) response was, “I don’t work for free.”
I was snarky in response stating that he was kind enough to post his advice for free.
Still, this is part of a bigger misconception: some of you are judging our capabilities based on what you’ve seen from entertainers. While some of us have had a bit of professional instruction, none of us are into competitive racing on or off-road. We’re all real-world amateurs – like most of you.
Sure, we all have a bunch of experience, but we screw up like anyone else. That’s what makes us so cool.