2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Consumer Reviews
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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
September 9, 2021

Buying tip

Keep it simple: a front-drive Corolla Cross LE ticks all the right boxes.

With the 2022 Corolla Cross, Toyota borrows from its bestsellers as it downsizes its latest crossover-SUV hardware.

What kind of car is the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross? What does it compare to?

The Corolla Cross is the newest, smallest Toyota crossover to sport available all-wheel drive. Larger than the front-wheel-drive Toyota C-HR and taller than the Corolla sedan that lends its name to the effort, the 2022 Corolla Cross also borrows its looks from another Toyota—the bigger and bolder RAV4. Compare the Corolla Cross with the Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, and Hyundai Kona.

Is the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross a good car?

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It’s sluggish off the line, but rides pretty well and has excellent safety features. The five-door crossover Corolla Cross—sold in L, LE, and XLE trims—earns a TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross?

Everything, despite the name and the body. The Corolla Cross shares an architecture with both the Corolla sedan and the RAV4 crossover SUV, but it’s a new and smaller vehicle that leans on the bigger RAV4’s shape to draw in eyeballs. It’s a sharp, squat-looking crossover with smartly angled pillars and wheel wells that could do worse than to mimic one of Toyota’s top sellers. The interior takes the same tack, with a familiar layout capped by a touchscreen perched on the dash. 

The Corolla Cross taps the Toyota parts bin for its 169-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 and CVT. Performance is mediocre at best; the CVT pushes the engine into a noisy part of the powerband but doesn’t offset it with speed. We prefer the less complex front-drive model and its more absorbent ride, though all-wheel-drive models get a multi-link rear suspension that controls ride motions more assertively.

Some 5.9 inches shorter than a RAV4, and 175.6 inches long in all, the Corolla Cross is just 2.0 inches shorter in wheelbase, which means front-seat passengers have good space, while rear-seat riders will have less leg room than in the RAV4—six inches less. The Corolla Cross’ seats need more lumbar support, but the upright driving position and plentiful head room make it an easy fit for four tall passengers.

All Corolla Cross crossovers have a driver-assistance suite with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitors come with the LE and XLE. No crash-test results have been reported.

How much does the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross cost?

The $23,410 Corolla Cross L gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, cloth upholstery, and power features. We’d pick the $25,760 Corolla Cross LE, with its 8.0-inch touchscreen and wireless smartphone charging. 

Where is the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross made?

In Alabama.

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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Styling

It’s a scaled-down RAV4; we approve.

Is the Toyota Corolla Cross a good-looking car?

It is, given its intentional knock-off of the RAV4’s shape. We give it a 6 here, with a point above average for its exterior.

It uses that family resemblance to draw in eyeballs and the look translates well on its shorter body. It’s a sharp, squat-looking crossover with smartly angled pillars and wheel wells. The cues that set it apart include an upturned “mailbox” grille, more pronounced and curved fenders, and slimmer LED lighting; they don’t cut quite the rakish appearance of the RAV4 but they’re far from the car’s economy-car roots.

The interior takes the same tack as the RAV4, with a familiar layout capped by a touchscreen perched on the dash. It’s neatly arranged, with a compact binnacle of gauges and a stand-up touchscreen as the only breaks in a slim dash that appears to be pinned or suspended by a pair of air vents. Gray and black are the order of the day, except on the Corolla Cross XLE, which wears warm beige synthetic leather.

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5

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Performance

It’s no Cross fitter.

The Corolla Cross puts its foot down on the first part of its name, not the second. It’s resolutely average—and fine—at what it does, which makes it a 5 here.

Is the Toyota Corolla Cross 4WD?

All models can be upgraded to all-wheel drive.

How fast is the Toyota Corolla Cross?

The Corolla Cross taps the Toyota parts bin for its 169-hp 2.0-liter inline-4. With 150 lb-ft of torque, and a curb weight of between 3,125 lb and 3,325 lb, it’s not going anywhere quickly. 

You’ll want to put your foot in it and keep it there, but this engine puts out notable noise off the line and its CVT holds it in its midrange. The CVT drop-ships power to the front or all four wheels, and can be held manually at specific ratios with a shift mode, but it begs for relief as it struggles uphill with just a driver on board. This is pure economy car motivation, despite the rugged good looks.

The Corolla Cross can tow up to 1,500 lb, technically, and has ground clearance of up to 8.2 inches, a half-inch less than a RAV4. 

Front-drive models have ostensibly a less advanced twist-beam rear suspension, compared to the more sophisticated rear multi-link suspension on the AWD versions. The twist? It’s the twist. The front-drive models let the Corolla Cross relax into its commuter chores, while the heavier and more complex setup exerts more control over wheel motion—which, combined with the bigger 18-inch wheels, isn’t always the best solution on urban streets. We’d skip the basic all-wheel-drive setup and the added cost and complexity. Given that preference, the Corolla Cross rides well on the highway, especially with the smaller 17-inch wheels on the L and LE versions; AWD versions lock their knees more, and skitter over bigger pavement ripples.

The Cross’ electric power steering doesn’t have a lot of feedback and it’s very light at parking-lot speeds, but on interstates it builds enough weight to keep the car centered. On tight corners, where it’s brought along a head of steam, it’s relentless with its understeer, and doesn’t have the power to do anything about it. 

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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Comfort & Quality

The Corolla Cross fits four plus stuff.

The Corolla Cross gets a point for lots of cargo space, but its seats need some attention before we can give them the nod of approval. It’s a 6 for comfort and utility.

At 175.6 inches long in all, the Corolla Cross is a half-foot shorter than a RAV4; it’s just 2.0 inches shorter in wheelbase, at 103.9 inches. That translates into plenty of space for front-seat passengers. Head and leg room abound, but the cloth-trimmed front seats in the L and LE models have manual adjustment via fragile-feeling levers—and they lack good lumbar support. With tilt/telescope steering it’s simple to find a good driving position, but the lack of low back padding only gets fixed in the XLE, which gains power adjustment, synthetic leather, and lumbar support.

The back seat can fit two large passengers; head room ranks highly, but knee room spells out the key difference between the Corolla Cross and the six-inch-longer RAV4. The Cross’ 32.0 inches of rear leg room and 52.5 inches of rear shoulder room don’t leave much space for long-legged people or for a third passenger.

The Corolla Cross sports at least 24.6 cubic feet of space behind the second row seat, and at least 65.0 cubic feet when the rear seats fold down, depending on the presence of a sunroof and all-wheel drive.

The Cross’ friendly and simply arranged interior strikes a good balance between affordable and inoffensive. Bottom-end versions have climate control readouts without numbers for degrees; the tailgate opening has plenty of untrimmed metal to show; and blank plates stand in on the dash for options not purchased. It’s thrifty, but not cheap.

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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Safety

Crash-test scores aren’t in yet.

How safe is the Toyota Corolla Cross?

We can’t assign a rating without data from the IIHS and the NHTSA. But the Corolla Cross does have a wealth of standard safety gear, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high beams. LE models add blind-spot monitors and XLEs get parking sensors and rear cross-traffic braking.

We’ll update this section when safety scores are published.

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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Features

Toyota nails the basics, and skips the extravagances.

Toyota stocks the 2022 Corolla Cross with ample standard features, and it has good infotainment as well as great value. It doesn’t have many options, and its warranty is just average. It’s an 8 here.

The base $23,410 Corolla Cross L sports a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats, and LED headlights. All-wheel drive costs $1,300. (All prices include $1,215 in destination charges.)

Which Toyota Corolla Cross should I buy?

That’s a bargain, but we’d spend a little more for the Corolla Cross LE. At $25,760, it adds an 8.0-inch touchscreen, roof rails, keyless start, and wireless smartphone charging. It can be configured with a sunroof and JBL 9-speaker audio. 

How much is a fully loaded Toyota Corolla Cross?

It’s $27,540 for the XLE, which gets synthetic leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat, a center armrest, 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, and a tonneau cover. Options include adaptive headlights, a power tailgate, and JBL audio.

Toyota’s 3-year/36,000-mile warranty now includes 2 years/25,000 miles of service.

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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Fuel Economy

The Corolla Cross earns good, but not great gas mileage ratings.

Is the Toyota Corolla Cross good on gas?

Front-wheel-drive models are EPA-rated at 31 mpg city, 33 highway, 32 combined. With all-wheel drive, numbers drop to 29/32/30 mpg. Based on our recommended model, that’s a 6. 

It’s worth noting those figures aren’t much higher than a much bigger RAV4 or Honda CR-V; it’s also worth noting that Toyota has a hybrid Corolla Cross in the pipeline, likely for the 2023 model year.

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6.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 6
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