2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Review – Basic Transport, Complete Anonymity

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Fast Facts

2.0-liter four-cylinder (169 horsepower @ 6,600 RPM, 150 lb-ft @ 4,400-4,800 RPM)
Continuously-variable automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, U.S.
29 city / 32 highway / 30 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
Fuel Economy, Canada
8.1 city / 7.4 highway / 7.8 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$27,625 (U.S) / $34,550 (Canada)
As Tested
$33,550 (U.S.) / $37,834.20 (Canada)
Prices include $1,215 destination charge in the United States and $2,030 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

There has been much handwringing lately among us keyboard warriors that the entry-level end of the new-car market isn’t well covered.

Overall, this is true – there are fewer cheap wheels than there used to be. But there are still some options for the first-time buyer or those with shallow pockets. Sometimes, though, there’s another kind of price to pay for snagging a bargain.

That price used to be quality, in many cases. Or feature availability. Thankfully that’s not usually the case anymore. Instead, you might simply find yourself blending in while feeling bored.

That was the case with the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross.

Driving it never felt like I was being punished, but I’d often get out and just realize there wasn’t much to remark upon, good or bad. The Corolla Cross just sorta worked.

Fast? No, no it is not. There’s a 2.0-liter four-cylinder underhood making 169 horsepower and just 150 lb-ft of torque, and it provides just enough thrust for commuting, though you’re going to have to plan your passes carefully.

There’s a continuously-variable automatic transmission in use here, but it’s generally unobtrusive as it goes about its business. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for $1,300 – that’s what my test unit had.

Handling is about as unremarkable as you’d expect, as well. I’ve driven much, much worse but I wouldn’t use words like “sporty” or “fun” or even a phrase like “surprisingly spry for the price point/class”. Again, there’s no penalty-box feeling at play here, but your family members won’t be clamoring for the keys, either.

The ride is acceptably comfortable for urban duty – not too stiff, not too soft. If this is your daily driver, you’ll feel just fine on the freeway haul to the office.

That feeling of “fine” extends to the bland, inoffensive exterior styling and the cabin that prioritizes simplicity over design. Fans of the old-school, rejoice – there are knobs here.

There are three trim grades to choose from, and as is often the case with test vehicles, I was sent the top-trim XLE. It was fairly well equipped with LED lighting all around, including fog lamps; satellite radio; wireless phone charging; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; three USB ports; dual-zone climate control; and heated front seats. Options included a power moonroof, an upgraded infotainment system with JBL audio, a power liftgate, and adaptive lighting. The base price was $27,625 and with the options and $1,215 destination fee, this well-equipped Corolla Cross ran $33,550.

Advanced safety aids included blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, lane-tracing assist, dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, rear cross-traffic alert with braking assist, automatic high beams, and road-sign assist.

It can be easy, especially for car enthusiasts, to hate on cheap, bland wheels. But the Corolla Cross has no pretension – it’s fairly inexpensive basic transport for those who want/need wheels without paying out the nose. It’s also fairly well equipped if you’re willing to pony up for the top trim – though even the two lower trims offer popular features.

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is boring, basic, and completely anonymous. And that’s a good thing.

What’s New for 2022

The Corolla Cross is a small crossover based on the Corolla platform and is new for 2022.

Who Should Buy It

Anyone who needs a small crossover at a value price.

[Images: Toyota]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • TheEndlessEnigma Ah GM, never stop being you. GM is working hard to make FIAT look good.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Top Gear of the 2000's was a fresh concept and very well done. Sadly to say there isn't a TV show concept that doesn't eventually exhaust fresh ideas and, as a result, begins to rehash and wear out once were fresh ideas. The show eventually becomes a pale imitation of itself, then begins to embarrass itself, it will get to a point where it jumps the shark. Top Gear began to get stale, the Clarkson, Hammond and May left and the formula failed - surprise! the presenters were part of the magic. Fast forward many years and Grand Tower is trying hard to be Top Gear but it's all very obviously scripted (it always was by felt spontaneous in its original form), Clarkson, Hammond and May are much older, tired and have become caricatures of themselves. Guys, just stop. You should have stopped 10 years ago. Now you're just screwing with your reputations and legacies.
  • FreedMike Kudos to Toyota for making a legitimately slick looking piece (particularly in metallic cherry red). But PHEVs seem like a very narrow niche to me. Yes, the concept is cool - if you play your cards right you never have to fill up with gas, and the gas engine means you don't have to worry about charging facilities - but the operative words are "if you play your cards right." And PHEVs have all the drawbacks of EVs - spotty charging availability, decreased range in cold conditions, and higher price. Personally, I'd opt for a non plug-in Prius and use the plug-in money to upgrade the trim level. It's slower, but even the base Prius performs roughly on par with a Corolla or Civic, so it's not a dog anymore. But who buys a Prius to go fast in the first place? If I wanted to "go gas free," I'd just buy a BEV. YMMV, of course.
  • Analoggrotto Anyone seeking benchmark affluence will get the EV9 by Kia the most cutting edge electric vehicle on the market bar none.
  • Fahrvergnugen Any rollback would be inevitable if Agent Orange were elected anyhow.Next stop would be coal-powered ICE. Good clean American coal. Nice coal. The BEST coal.👿🐂💩