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Is the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross a Good SUV? Here Are 6 Things We Like and 4 We Don’t

toyota-corolla-cross-xle-2022-01-angle-exterior-front-gray 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross | Cars.com photo by Melissa Klauda

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is the latest subcompact SUV to hit dealer showrooms in a category that is all the rage these days. Strong sales in the class can be chalked up to affordable prices and cabins big enough for four or five passengers, along with ample cargo capacity and available all-wheel drive.

While there are plenty of models to choose from and more on the way, some, like Toyota’s own C-HR, are focused more on style than substance. Designed more to stand out visually in a crowded field than for actual utility, the C-HR scrimps on interior room, cargo capacity and a lack of available AWD. Toyota is aiming to change that with the Corolla Cross, a scaled-down version of a more conventional SUV.

With its boxier shape, raised roof and all-important available AWD, the Corolla Cross fills a void in the lineup made more significant as compact models like the RAV4 have grown.

Related: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Review: Safe, Simple, and Slow

The Corolla Cross is an appealing, if not particularly exciting, model and is more than likely destined for success. Toyota’s reputation for reliability will inevitably help boost sales. But not all is perfect with the newest of smaller SUVs.

For Cars.com’s complete evaluation of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross, hit the link above to read Aaron Bragman’s review. For a quick look at six things we like and four we don’t, read on.

Things We Like

1. Friendly Pricing

toyota-corolla-cross-xle-2022-08-angle-exterior-gray-rear 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross | Cars.com photo by Melissa Klauda

With a starting price of $23,410 for a base L trim with front-wheel drive, the Corolla Cross is competitively priced. For that, you get a well-equipped subcompact SUV with a generous list of tech and safety features. Mid-level LE models start at $25,760, and even a fully loaded XLE comes in below the $30,000 mark; AWD adds $1,300 to any trim (all prices include destination charges).

2. Right-Sized Package

One reason for the increased demand for subcompact SUVs is that compact models have gotten bigger over the years. The RAV4 has grown to nearly mid-size dimensions, along with many of its competitors. The Corolla Cross meets the needs of buyers who want an SUV that’s big enough for five passengers with decent cargo capacity, while still being affordable and easy to maneuver and park.

3. Welcoming Interior

toyota-corolla-cross-xle-2022-18-cockpit-shot-dashboard-front-row-interior 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross | Cars.com photo by Melissa Klauda

Open the door, and you’re greeted by a well-built and roomy — if not exactly luxurious — interior with comfortable seats and simple controls. Legroom and headroom are more than adequate for four adults, although it might be tight for five with three across in the rear. There’s plenty of headroom even with the optional moonroof, and visibility is notably good all around. A decent list of standard features includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in all trim levels.

4. Roomy Cargo Space

toyota-corolla-cross-xle-2022-42-folding-seats-interior-rear-cargo 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross | Cars.com photo by Melissa Klauda

Upright dimensions make the Corolla Cross look not unlike a scaled-down Highlander three-row SUV, and that pays off in considerably more cargo capacity than the more stylized subcompact alternative, the C-HR. The more traditional SUV profile makes the cargo area in the Corolla Cross more usable, and a standard 60/40-split, folding rear seat increases versatility.

5. Comfortable Ride

The Corolla Cross rides comfortably for a vehicle with such a short wheelbase, absorbing bumps with well-damped body motions that lend a taut and controlled feel. Its handling is neutral and predictable, if not overly sporty. Its brakes feel strong, with a firm and easy-to-modulate pedal. The cabin stays reasonably quiet underway, although there is some road noise.

6. Lots of Standard Safety Equipment

Every Corolla Cross comes with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 bundle of driver-assist features including adaptive cruise control, a precollision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, road sign assist and automatic high beams. A blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on all but the base L trim.

Things We Don’t Like

1. Slow Acceleration

toyota-corolla-cross-xle-2022-05-exterior-gray-profile 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross | Cars.com photo by Melissa Klauda

Neck-snapping acceleration is not typically high on the list of priorities for subcompact SUV buyers, but this thing is notably slow by any measure. Powered by a 169-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission, a floored throttle seems to yield more noise than forward progress; and smooth highway merging can be both challenging and nerve wracking.

2. Cost Cutting Shows

While the Corolla Cross is well-equipped for the price, and the interior is pleasant enough, a closer look reveals evidence of obvious cost cutting to keep the price down. There’s a fair bit of hard plastic used on the dash, console and other common touch points, and base trims use a conventional twist key rather than the increasingly common push-button start.

3. Ergonomic Issues

toyota-corolla-cross-xle-2022--21-center-stack-display--front-row--infotainment-system--interior.jpg 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Another example of cost cutting is in the lack of increasingly available wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, something the young buyers inevitably in the Corolla Cross’ target demographic may want. Other issues include tiny buttons for some climate controls and multimedia system buttons that are hard to use on the fly, as well as standard digital instruments that are also on the small side. A larger digital display is available on upper trims, but even that looks busy and is fussy to use.

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4. Kind of a Snooze

As competent and value oriented as the Corolla Cross may be, look elsewhere if you’re looking for an engaging driving experience from behind the wheel. Like the Corolla sedan on which it’s based, the Corolla Cross is more of a vehicular appliance than a sporty ride. That isn’t likely to slow sales, but competitors including the Mazda CX-30 and Chevrolet Trailblazer offer better performance.

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