By Cars.com EditorsSeptember 8, 2021
About the video
The small SUV class is set to grow bigger still with the new 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross. The Corolla Cross slots between the C-HR and RAV4 in Toyota’s SUV lineup. We had a chance to drive it for the first time, watch the video to learn more.
(gentle music) If you were looking or a small crossover SUV, and you went into your Toyota showroom recently, you really only had two choices. You had the RAV4, which most people think is maybe just a little bit too big.
And you have the C-HR, which most people think is actually a little too small. CHR also doesn't have much in the way of cargo space or backseat room, and it doesn't offer all wheel drive. Well, Toyota has remedied the situation with something that they say is just right. That's this. The new 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross. And it uses the Corolla name because it uses a lot of Corolla parts. It rides on a Corolla chassis. It uses the Corolla's engine and transmission. Toyota says that this combination is just right. So now we can tell you whether or not the new Corolla Cross is just right. As you can see, styling for the '22 Corolla, no, no, it's this one. Yeah, you see? The Corolla Cross looks very similar to the rest of the Toyota lineup, like that '21 RAV4. It's got what we call the generic Toyota SUV shape. It's got the same style of grill. It's got the same shape of the headlights, as many of the Toyota trucks and SUV's. Really, the only difference comes down the body side, where we've got much more sculptured fenders on the Corolla Cross than we have in just about anything else in the lineup. It's not as quirky and weird as the Toyota C-HR, but then again, you're not really looking for quirky and weird in this segment. Boring and ordinary pretty much sells. Inside, the Corolla Cross should look familiar to anybody who's spent some time in a Corolla recently, because all the shapes and materials and a lot of the equipment is the same as the sedan and the hatchback. Now you've got some decent, soft touch quality plastics in here, but you also have a fair bit of hard plastic as well. The most common element are the shapes of the vents and the multimedia system and climate controls as well. And this is the area that I'm not terribly thrilled with. You see, you've got these tiny little tic-tac buttons surrounding the multimedia screen, and they're really kind of hard to see and use as you're driving. And it's the same size buttons as well for the climate controls, and the font on them to try and tell you what each one is, is not that much of a different contrast in color than the background in which it's on. So you really have to try and pay attention to figure out what button you're pushing. I guess we should just be happy that they are still buttons and they haven't gone to complete touch sensitive stuff, like we've seen a number of the German automakers do. Overall, the interior is extremely comfortable. There's enough space in here, both in front and in back, with decent amount of leg room as well. There's no third row in the Corolla Cross. You'll have to go for a larger SUV if you want to seat more than five people. The gauge cluster has a standard 4.2 inch what they call mid display, which is a very small digital cluster on the right side of your gauge package here. Now that's in the L and the LE trims. The XLE has this, which is a much larger seven inch display and it has full color and it looks pretty good. And it's reconfigurable as well using the controls on the steering wheel. The multimedia system is a standard seven inch, but again, as you go up at the trim levels, you can get this eight inch unit, and it was much clearer and easy to use than we've seen in previous Toyotas as well. So it is now pretty much par for the course and competitive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on any of the trim levels, but wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available at any trim. This is a high spec XLE. So it's got a few goodies that don't necessarily appear in the L or the LE. You've got the Qi wireless charging for your smartphone. You've got heated seats for both driver and passenger. You've only got one USB port up front, but Toyota says the wireless charging makes up for that because there's still the same number of opportunities to charge your personal electronics. Everything in here is covered in what Toyota calls SofTex, but which the rest of us pretty much called vinyl. Believe me, you're not gonna confuse it for leather. One of the big reasons to choose the Corolla Cross over the C-HR is for the cargo space. There's a lot more of it in the Corolla Cross than there is in the C-HR. And every one of these comes with a standard 60/40 split folding rear seat back. So you can drop these rear seats and carry even more stuff. Driving the new Corolla Cross is really best described as relaxing. There's nothing exciting about it, I have to say. It does handle really well. It is very well controlled. Body control is good. It doesn't feel tippy in corners. It does understeer a little bit, but the ride quality is really quite good. Even in this model that has 18 inch wheels and lower profile tires. It's relatively quiet. You do get a bit of road noise through here. There isn't, I guess, a whole lot of sound insulation necessarily, but the bigger issue with this vehicle is the engine. It has a two liter non turbo-charged four-cylinder engine made into a continuously variable transmission. It only makes 150 pounds feet of torque. And that is really not a lot for a vehicle this size and weight. It could do with maybe another 30 or 40 pounds feet. Off the line. (engine revving) Come on, you can do it. (grunting) There we go. Yeah. There's not a lot of grunt under the hood. These ponies are really trying their best, but there just isn't a lot there. It can really only best be described as slow. Now you're not gonna be using it as a sports car anyway, but when you put two or four people in here and a lot of cargo, maybe some luggage as well, or God forbid, you're actually trying to tow something with the 1500 pound towing capacity, I don't necessarily see how that's gonna be possible. It's just not powerful enough. A little bit extra would certainly go a long way. Now, if you don't necessarily care about acceleration performance, the Corolla Cross is perfectly fine. It's calm, it's comfortable. There's plenty of headroom in here. Plenty of leg room, front and back. I have no complaints really with how it feels, how it handles. The brakes are strong as well. Dynamically, it's pretty good. It's just, it can't get out of its own way. And when you start loading it up with people and stuff, that does become an issue when you're trying to merge onto a highway, or if you're pulling out in front of a truck, that becomes a safety issue. The Corolla Cross does come with automatic cruise control. Stop and go traffic like this, actually, you can accommodate that with the cruise control that goes all the way down to zero miles per hour. So yeah, overall not bad. It's got a decent amount of room inside. It's very comfortable. It handles well, the ride is great. The only thing that's lacking is any kind of power whatsoever. However, that's really not necessarily a deal breaker for a lot of people in this category because the price is certainly right. It starts in the low twenties and ranges up to about 28,000 for a fully loaded XLE version like this one. It goes on sale in October, and if you'd like to learn more about the new '22 Corolla Cross, you can look everything up on cars.com. (gentle music)