2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Preview

Liz Kim | Jun 02, 2021
FAST FACTS
  • Based on the Toyota Corolla platform
  • Available in L, LE, and XLE trim levels
  • 169-horsepower 4-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Front-wheel or all-wheel drive
  • Hybrid coming in a year or two
  • Impressive safety and infotainment tech
  • Built in Alabama

A staple of Toyota’s lineup for over 50 years, the best-selling Corolla nameplate enjoys a well-earned reputation for reliability and efficiency. Now, the lineup expands with the addition of the new 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Celestite Blue Front Quarter View

Essentially a small crossover SUV version of the Corolla, the Corolla Cross offers more utility wrapped in styling inspired by the popular RAV4. Three trim levels, a single powertrain, and a choice between front-wheel and all-wheel drive will accompany the Corolla Cross when the small crossover goes on sale.

While details like pricing and an official release date were unavailable as this article was published, the 2022 Corolla Cross won’t arrive until Toyota’s new Alabama factory gets up and running later this year or early next. Expect Toyota Corolla Cross prices to range from the low 20s to the low 30s, which is the spectrum in which the new crossover SUV’s competitors live.

Exterior Features - Find the best Toyota deals!

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross amounts to more than just a Corolla Hatchback wearing an SUV costume. It has its own design penned atop the now familiar Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), and it clearly takes inspiration from the automaker’s popular RAV4 and Highlander SUVs.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross White Rear Quarter View

Remarkably, the 2022 Corolla Cross supplies 8.1 inches of ground clearance, giving it some off-roading capability. Add the rugged gray cladding along the Corolla Cross’s lower perimeter, and you’ll certainly be able to take it farther off the beaten path than a Corolla sedan or hatchback.

Full LED headlights with automatic high-beam operation flank a frowny-face grille. However, the Corolla Cross’s most distinguishing features are fender swells with unusual reverse sculpturing to add character. Heated side mirrors are standard equipment, but dark tinted rear privacy glass requires LE or XLE trim.

With base L trim, the Corolla Cross rides on 17-inch steel wheels. Choose the LE for painted 17-inch alloys or the XLE to get the machined-finish 18-inch wheels seen in the photos.

Interior Features - Find the best Toyota deals!

Toyota says that the interior of the Corolla Cross will be similar to the sedan and hatchback. Indeed, the photos of the interior reflect this. The dashboard is essentially identical to the hatchback and sedan regarding its design and layout, if not its detailing.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Beige Interior Dashboard

Fabric upholstery is standard in the L and LE models. Toyota’s SofTex synthetic leather comes in the top-of-the-line Corolla Cross XLE, along with 10-way power driver’s seat adjustment and heated front seats. Dual-zone automatic climate control is also exclusive to the Corolla Cross XLE.

Equipped with seating for five people, four will likely be happier aboard the Corolla Cross. All versions have rear air conditioning vents, a nice detail that helps in the sweltering summer heat.

An available power liftgate opens to reveal approximately 25 cubic feet of cargo space. You’ll get a little more with front-wheel drive and a little less with all-wheel drive because the AWD system comes with a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension design.

Under the Hood - Find the best Toyota deals!

Lifted from the Corolla’s sportier SE and XSE models, the Corolla Cross uses a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a Direct Shift continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a physical first-gear for faster responsiveness when accelerating from a stop.

The optional Dynamic Torque Control AWD system powers the front wheels and can send up to half of the engine’s output to the rear wheels as conditions warrant. The tow rating is 1,500 pounds.

Front-drive Corolla Cross models have a simple torsion rear beam suspension, while the AWD variants ride on a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension that promises subtle improvements in ride and handling. 

Depending on the version you choose, the Corolla Cross should get between 30 mpg and 32 mpg in combined driving. Toyota says a hybrid version is coming for the 2023 or 2024 model year.

Safety Systems - Find the best Toyota deals!

Every 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross comes with its Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), which includes a Level 2 hands-on driving aid pairing adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assistance. 

Safety Connect is also standard, and is free for the first year of ownership. This connected services plan includes automatic collision notification, emergency calling, and more.

If you want blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning, you’ll need to get LE or XLE trim; with the XLE, the SUV includes automatic reverse braking. Front and rear parking sensors with automatic low-speed braking are exclusive to the Corolla Cross XLE. 

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Toyota deals!

Choose the Corolla Cross L, and the SUV has a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes several desirable features. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility are standard, along with connected services including Safety Connect and Wi-Fi Connect (3 month/2-GB free trial). Satellite radio is also standard, with a 3-month free subscription.

Step up to LE or XLE trim, and the Corolla Cross gains an 8-inch display. As an option, you can add the Audio Plus multimedia system with Remote Connect (including remote engine starting) and an upgraded 9-speaker JBL premium sound system. 

Both the LE and XLE feature wireless smartphone charging pads and two USB charging ports for rear passengers.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Competitors - Find the best Toyota deals!

Rivals to the new 2022 Corolla Cross include the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Bronco Sport, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Jeep Compass, Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, Nissan Rogue Sport, Subaru Crosstrek, and Volkswagen Taos.

Those are just the larger models in the small SUV space. There are numerous others that notch down a rung in terms of size and price, including Toyota’s own C-HR (Coupe-High Roof).

Though Toyota might be late to the party with a small SUV that looks and behaves like a vehicle that offers 5-passenger utility and a modicum of off-roading capability, the new Corolla Cross is likely to prove itself a formidable competitor in the space. Not only is it a Corolla, but it effectively promises the reliability and efficiency for which the nameplate is known, infused into the type of people Americans adore.

Toyota is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of June 2, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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