Amy Plemons is the Executive Producer of CarProUSA and an experienced car reviewer.
This week I'm bringing you a brand new vehicle from Toyota - but one with a familiar name in it. It's the entry-level 2022 Corolla Cross crossover. As the name implies it's based on the Corolla, the best-selling nameplate in history, and while there is a hatchback variant, I'm surprised we didn't see a crossover version until now.
My test model is the top-of-the-line XLE trim that offers a lot of features for the value including standard all-wheel drive. The five-passenger SUV is being built at the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama.
Toyota always does a great job with paint colors and I like the Cross in blue-tinged Celestite Gray Metallic. It looks great with the XLE's 18-inch alloy wheels. The XLE's black grille features a metallic paint surround and it's surrounded by LED headlights, along with LED daytime running lights and fog lights.
Going with an overall recent trend in SUVs, the Cross has a rugged look to it thanks to black overfenders and black rocker panels. The color-keyed side mirrors are heated and chrome on the window frame molding looks nice. In back, there's an integrated rear spoiler along with LED tail lights. On top, black roof rails.
For me, while the Cross checks off a lot of boxes in the sub-compact category, the powertrain is underwhelming. Just one is offered for 2022 - a 2.5-liter engine (mated to a CVT) that delivers 169-horsepower. Weighing in at over 3,330 pounds, the initial acceleration just wasn't there for me. (For 2023, the Cross adds a hybrid model with 194-horsepower. ) Front wheel drive is standard but this model has available all-wheel drive.
The cabin is well laid out and user-friendly. It looks nice despite the abundance of hard plastic. You do find soft touch door arm rests and a soft touch console bin cover. Gloss black trim surrounds the console and the multimedia screen. There is minimal contrast stitching on the dash with most of it reserved for the my tester's black SofTex seats.
For me a big surprise was the XLE's 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar support. The well-designed seats are comfortable, and heated, but sadly not ventilated as to be of help during our current triple-digit heatwave.
The XLE features a nice, bright 7-inch digital driver display - though the font size is on the smaller side. It's also equipped with the available 8-inch multimedia touchscreen surrounded by glossy black. The screen looks great, is responsive and love the backup camera's real estate. Toyota's multimedia system is easy to use both via touchscreen or by steering-wheel mounted controls and is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. My model is equipped with the optional AudioPlus multimedia system with a 9-speaker JBL sound system - an upgrade I'd recommend.
A narrow center console houses the leather-wrapped gear shift knob, two cup holders and controls for the electric parking brake and brake auto hold as well as button to turn off the automatic stop start.
The Cross delivers on room considering its sub-compact status. The rear seats are slightly raised and headroom is comfortable for a someone 5"5' like myself but not sure about a 6-footer. Back seat passengers have a drop down center armrest with two cupholders as well as 2 USB ports and A/C vents. The 60/40 split rear seats are easy to fold, but they don't fold-flat.
Cargo area is very impressive and an optional Tonneau cover hides valuables. The JBL sub woofer is in the side of the cargo area, so sound isn't muffled.
Standard XLE features include dual-zone climate, push-button start, a leather gear shift knob, and a tonneau cover is the cargo area to hide valuables.
The XLE adds a leather-trimmed steering wheel, wireless charger and two USB ports for rear seat passengers.
Ride and Drive
The Corolla Cross is an easy-going, comfortable daily driver with notable ride height. You get 8.1-inches of ground clearance, so visibility is great. So if you're looking for a subcompact SUV with height this one is certainly one I'd consider. I wish the cabin were a bit less noisy but that's subjective.
The Cross is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (next-gen TSS 3.0 is standard on the 2023 model year) that includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection (PCS with PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Automatic High Beams (AHB).
Additionally the LE and XLE come with standard Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is also standard on XLE. So is Rear Cross Traffic Brake.
What You'll Pay
My model adds some optional features that bump up the starting price. They include the Audio Plus system ($1,465), tilt and slide power moonroof and power back door ($1,250), Adaptive Front Lighting system with Auto-leveling ($515), carpet floor mat and cargo mat ($249), frameless homelink mirror ($175) and a universal tablet holder ($99.) My model as equipped MSRP's for $32,693.
The Corolla Cross looks great and offers a lot of nice features and technology at an affordable price point that will make a lot of folks happy, I just wish it had more power.
For more on the Corolla Cross's features, including Smart Flow, check out this video:
- What I liked most: Looks, ride height, Audio Plus/JBL, multimedia screen
- What I would change:To me the standard gas engine Corolla just isn't powerful enough.
- MSRP: Base $27,625. As equipped $32,693.
- Fuel Economy: 29 city/32 highway/30 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: @3,353 miles.
- Weight: 3,325 pounds
- Spare Tire: Temporary spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 175.6 in./71.9 in. (w/o mirrors)/64.8 in.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.4 gallons with the filler on the driver's side.
- Official Color: Celestite Gray Metallic.
- Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds.
- 2022 Corolla Cross XLE AWD: A great-looking, feature packed sub-compact SUV that's a great value.
- Warranty: 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty, 60-month/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, 60-month/unlimited mileage corrosion warranty, 2 years Toyota Care, 2 years roadside assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Huntsville, Alabama
- Manufacturer's website: Toyota