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.
2022 toyota corolla cross review basic transport complete anonymity

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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2 of 47 comments
  • EBFlex Good. This was Ford's way of culling the number of dealers they have. It was ridiculous and the requirements were unnecessary. Yet another huge hit to Ford's pointless EV push.
  • Dukeisduke So we have to wait until 2025 for a crappy turbo four coupled with an electric motor, instead of the torquey 4.0l 1GR-FE?
  • Raven65 This was basically my first car - although mine was a '76. My Dad bought it new to use as a commuter for his whopping 15-minute drive to work (gas is too expensive!) - but it was given to my sister when she left for college a couple of years later - and then she passed it down to me when I got my license in 1981. It was a base model... and I mean BASE... as in NO options. Manual 4-speed (no o/d) transmission, rubber floor (no carpet), no A/C, and no RADIO (though I remedied that within a week of taking ownership). Dad paid just over three grand for it. Mine was a slightly darker shade of yellow than this one (VW called it "Rallye Yellow") with the same black vinyl "leatherette" seat covers. Let me tell you, the combination of no A/C and that black vinyl interior was BRUTAL in the SC summers! Instrumentation was sparse to say the least, but who needs a tach when you have those cool little orange dots on the speedo to indicate redline in gears (one dot for redline in 1st gear, two dots for redline in 2nd gear, three for 3rd). LOL! It wasn't much, but it was MINE... and I LOVED it! It served me well through the remainder of high school and all the way through college and into my first "real job" where I started making actual money and finally traded it in on a brand new '89 Nissan 240SX. They gave me $300 for it!!!. I wish I still had it. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
  • Analoggrotto Telluride is still better
  • Arthur Dailey So how much more unreliable is a 50 year old Italian made vehicle in comparison to a 5 year old Italian made vehicle? After 50 years wouldn't most of the parts and areas most prone to failure have been fixed, replaced and/or addressed?Asking for a friend? ;-)