Toyota’s 2022 Corolla Cross is a potent little SUV

With the compact SUV market on fire, it’s of little surprise to see Toyota make a move with its new 2022 Corolla Cross. This all-new SUV based on the popular Corolla brand, slots itself right between the C-HR and Rav4 in terms of size. 

The Corolla Cross has a very distinctive design from other Toyota vehicles. Little details such as the Cross logo on the headlights, tail lights and even on the c-pillars. In all, there are over 20 hidden icons of the log scattered throughout the Cross. 

Bright LED lighting comes standard on all trim levels, while the XLE trim features LED fog lights as well. Other standard features include a rear spoiler and LED taillights. Toyota has done a nice job with the body lines of the Corolla Cross with good-looking fender wheel arches, sort of an urban edge and roof rails for mounting various rack systems. In all, there are seven available exterior colors to choose from. 

Powertrain and towing:

Power delivery comes by way of a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder engine that churns out a paltry 169 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, the available automatic transmission is a CVT (continuously variable transmission). CVTs deliver what is perhaps the most excitement-numbing power distribution. 

Towing capacity isn’t too shabby at 1,500 pounds and the EPA provides a fuel economy rating of 32 miles per gallon combined city/highway for the front-wheel-drive model and 30MPG combined for the all-wheel-drive. There is a Hybrid version in the works, however, as of press time, we don’t have the release date.

If you opt for the AWD version, Toyota uses its latest Multi-link dynamic torque control that puts anywhere from 10-percent, up to 50-percent power to the rear wheels. All current models ride on 17-inch wheels. Steel wheels for the L model, and alloy on the LE and XLE trim levels. 

Inside and seating:

All of the seats are comfortable, however, only the driver gets the 10-way power adjustable seat. Even the front passenger is kicked to the curb with only manual adjustments. Opt for the XLE trim and you’ll get heated front seats as well. 

We like the JBL infotainment system with the optional 8-inch (LE and XLE trim) screen. It provides very good audio playback through nine-speakers — one of which is a subwoofer in the rear compartment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, on all trim levels. 

Plenty of USB ports are available with 3 standard USB ports and 1 USB-C port on the LE and XLE trim levels. Additionally, there’s also a 12-volt power port as well. 

On the road, you’ll quickly discover its lack of power, off the line. However, at freeway speeds, it fares much better. The Corolla Cross handles itself rather well around corners and has minimal body roll. On most all kinds of street situations, you’ll find that it handles itself very well and rather predictably. Assuming you get a good set of winter tires, you should have little issues getting around with the AWD version, all year long. 

Overall, Toyoyta has a great little SUV on its hands that offers excellent safety, decent economy and is chocked full with enough features and solid handling to make it a worthy competitor. 

Pros :

• Budget-friendly SUV

  • All-wheel drive available on all trims
  • Many standard active safety features
  • Solid fuel economy
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard

Cons:

  • Base L trim is basic inside
  • Engine is under powered
  • Exterior design plays it (very) safe
  • Competes in a hugely competitive segment

Competes with:

Subaru Cross Trek
KIA Seltos
Hyundai Kona
Toyota CHR
Honda HRV
Mazda CX30
Buick Encore
Ford Escape

Car Coach Rating: 

Performance: 7
Handling: 9
Safety: 10
Visibility: 7
Seating: 7
Technology: 7
Features: 9
Design: 9
Quality: 9
Value: 10

Total Score: 84

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