The Toyota Corolla has been a heavy weight in the compact sedan class for decades thanks to its stellar reliability and value. Now Toyota has expanded the Corolla family with the addition of the Corolla Cross, which joins the sedan and hatchback models. Today’s car buyers crave crossovers and SUVs, so it only makes sense that Toyota add a crossover version of the Corolla to make it even more appealing.
The 2022 Corolla Cross takes everything that we already like about the sedan and hatchback versions, but thanks to its higher ride height, more spacious interior and larger cargo space, it’s the most practical version.
Today’s Corolla is more stylish than Corolla’s from the past, but we still wouldn’t say that the entire family is very exciting to look at. That’s the same for the Corolla Cross, which has much more conservative styling and the smaller C-HR. Its sculpted body does give it a little appeal, but if you’re looking for something sportier or stylish, you’ll probably feel a little underwhelmed by the Corolla Cross’s styling.
Inside the interior looks very similar to the Corolla sedan with its minimalistic design. Everything is laid out well, but just like the exterior, the overall design feels pretty basic. The digital gauge cluster looks dated and the infotainment system runs Toyota’s last generation system, which isn’t very impressive. The 2023 Honda HR-V, one of the Corolla’s main rivals, has a more upscale feeling interior.
Our other complaint about the interior is the shortage of rear legroom. With two averaged sized guys in the rear, those in the front kept getting kneed during our drive. At the end of the day 32.0-inches of rear legroom is not going to win over your taller friends, but at least there’s more rear legroom than the hatchback. In front there’s also not a lot of storage for your gear thanks to the narrow center console. At the rear, there’s 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space with FWD and 24.3 with AWD.
For the 2022 model year, the Corolla Cross is only available with one engine, a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that’s mated to a CVT. The powertrain generates 169 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Around town the engine struggles to get the Corolla Cross moving and it’s even worse when you’re trying to merge onto a highway. With the pedal smashed to the floor, all you’re greeted with is noise from the engine, without much speed. Fortunately the 2023 Corolla Cross will be available with a more powerful hybrid powertrain.
The front-wheel drive version is rated at 31 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. The all-wheel drive version is only slightly less fuel efficient at 29/32/30 mpg.
Moving past the unimpressive powertrain, the Corolla Cross handles pretty well with minimal body roll. All-wheel drive versions get a multilink rear suspension, but front-wheel drive versions get a torsion beam suspension. Unfortunately the steering is also a too light to inspire any sporty driving. If you’re looking for a fun to drive small crossover, you’ll want to check out the Mazda CX-30.
The 2022 Corolla Cross is available in three trim levels: L, LE and XLE. The pricing starts at $23,780, with the fully loaded all-wheel drive XLE being priced at $29,210.
At the end of the day, the Corolla Cross is the perfect companion is you’re looking for a reliable, practical and value oriented small crossover. But if you want all that and some excitement, the Corolla Cross comes up short. It doesn’t stand out in any specific area, its styling is easily forgotten and the interior feels far too basic.