2022 Toyota Corolla Cross: Jalopnik First Drive

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

slowly but surely, Toyota Corolla Cross Will occupy the streets Pardon the trivial turn of phrase in America. That’s all in this new case corollaThere is no better way to explain the matter. The emphasis here is on “slow”, because corolla cross Almost unbearably slow. Despite its lack of speed, I can easily see this thing flying through dealer lots. Okay, maybe rolling off a lot instead.

To be fair, the car warns you about its limitations. this is corolla Cross, after all. I suspect that most drivers shopping for a Corolla are doing so because they’re in the market for a fast, compact sedan or hot hatch. Corolla hasn’t been so much interested in these segments, and Cross isn’t here to change that. Oh, and in case you’re wondering — like I was — the Corolla isn’t a cross. Foreigner, not according to Toyota.

(full disclosure: Toyota flew me to the Lone Star State’s capitol city, Austin, to meet the newest member of the Corolla family. The carmaker put me in a nice hotel, fed me during my stay and gave me an afternoon to drive a few routes in and around the city to see what the Corolla Cross could and couldn’t do. )

Toyota says this new Corolla is an “entry-level SUV”. Carmaker Corolla sees cross slotting right in the middle C-HR And rav4. The ride height of the Corolla Cross is longer than the two. The Cross has a ground clearance of barely more than eight inches, and the first thing you notice when you get into the car is that height. The other thing is the great interior, but I’ll spin back.

First let’s talk about the specs. The Cross will be available from Toyota in the usual trims, hence L, LE and XLE. All trims are available with either front- or all-wheel drive. This is right; you can finally buy one all-wheel drive corolla! Whether you opt for FWD or AWD, you’ll get the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder motor that makes 169 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. Toyota said this is the same engine that Corolla SE and above. Cross FWD gets 32 miles per gallon combined, while AWD drops to an estimated 30 mpg combined. This is only an addition of a fifth of a gallon of gas. for every hundred miles you drive.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

The Cross gets MacPherson strut suspension up front, regardless of the drivetrain, while the Cross FWD gets a torsion-beam setup at the rear. The Cross AWD gets a more attractive multi-link rear suspension. On top of that, the AWD also gets torque vectoring that transmits up to 50 percent of its power to the rear wheels. Given that the difference between front and all-wheel drive isn’t much money, I’m going to say stick with all-wheel. Because even though both FWD and AWD models make similar power, the latter drives better and feels like it’s moving with a little more urgency.

Trust me, you want all the urgency you can afford in this Toyota.

Corolla Cross is slow. It’s so slow that I had to adjust my driving. I’m not saying I can’t”drive 55Or that I tried and failed to hunt the Corolla. I just like to drive inside pockets; I like to be among small groups of cars that pile up on the road, rather than hunker down on my side. I try to maintain a matching speed for people nearby. That means I have to overtake some cars and slow down for others. It’s easy to slow down in a cross, speeding is not.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

Engine in the cross struggles to move the smaller crossover Forward at any pace “leisurely.” Remember, this is the biggest engine corolla sedan lineup, but the heaviest Corolla Cross weighs 175 pounds more than the heaviest sedan. You will feel the difference. Again, I don’t drive fast, but a few moments on the road require speed. Think highway on-ramps or red-light right turns where you may have to merge quickly.

Such a right turn convinced me that Cross could use a little more power. A cab over truck was coming down the road I wanted to turn. Me and Cross were sitting in front of a red light. The cab-over truck had a green light and was making its way down one of these 55 MPH roads, where everyone 60 drives by. The truck was so far away that in a speeding car, I would have turned without hesitation. Not in the cross.

Even with generous distance, the Corolla Cross would probably have been unable to overtake the truck from a stand-still. So, I just sat there, relaxed and waited for the light to recover once the lights were on. I suspect the CVT doesn’t like the combination of the engine and the added mass of the Corolla Cross.

I’m not saying that Cross won’t cruise comfortably at speed. It’s pretty comfortable on the highway, and once you’ve gathered speed, it’s fine. It’s also quieter than it has any right to be as anything “entry-level”, and the suspension in the AWD model is good. It rides smooth. The cross absorbs bumps and uneven lanes, and road noise is exceptionally low. It’s a great highway car, not a fast one.

Back in town, the Corolla Cross is overjoyed. In fact, it could be happier than its sedan counterpart. Due to its high ride height, driving the Cross through Austin’s narrow streets was a breeze. Ground clearance and visibility from the spacious greenhouse help you survey the entire road around you, or keep an eye on traffic, curbs and pedestrians.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

On top of that, the turn radius is great. The Corolla Cross is an excellent car for Austin, with its parking garage and hilly, winding roads. And it was on my drive right before Labor Day weekend, so you can bet I hit a lot of traffic. The Cross is a good place to spend time stuck in gridlock.

Its interior is luxurious even in L trim. When you go up to the XLE, like in the picture above, it’s absolutely lux. What the Cross lacks in strength, it makes up for with ease. The XLE has an 8″ touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models. The XLE also gets a wireless charging pad and even a USB-C port. Driver aids in the Toyota Sense Suite are standard across all trims as well. There are also rear A/C vents, which are great for travelers in places with ridiculous heat and humidity like Austin.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

I’d say it’s the better appointed model in the Corolla family, and it really doesn’t lack much comfort even when compared to its Lexus counterpart, UX.

The soft-touch material in the cabin of the UX is good, but the difference between the cabin in the Corolla Cross and the UX is not huge. If you want the Lexus badge, then go ahead and splurge, but the Cross XLE does very little. Toyota figures the Corolla Cross is probably going to go up against cars like Honda HR Vhandjob subaru cross track, and hyundai Kona. I’ll throw in the kia Seltos, too, and will be shocked if drivers leave in search of a Corolla sedan or hatchback and drive home in the cross.

I wonder what the Corolla Cross would be without the Corolla badge to fall back on though. Toyota could have given it any other nameplate, and it will probably still be a hit for a lot of drivers.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

I will, of course, take a cross L, with AWD the most important option. The upgrade doesn’t cost much, running only $1,300. option i want Really There will be a hybrid drivetrain. If I buy a car that drives like a Cross, I get some MPG in return. Toyota has neither confirmed nor denied that it is coming. The carmaker originally said to keep an eye out, but if there is a hybrid it will probably sit at the top of the price range.

This brings us to the best of any Corolla imaginable, because what if a Corolla isn’t an affordable, reliable car for drivers who just want to get from here to there? Except that now, drivers can choose between sedan, hatch and crossover.

The Corolla Cross starts at $22,195 in its lowest trim, and goes up to $26,325, not accounting for AWD. The Cross hits dealers in October. And it’s probably going to be all over the place soon after that.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

Image for article titled Toyota Wants You to Believe the 2022 Corolla Cross Is Not a Crossover

Photo: Jalopnik / Jose Rodriguez Jr.

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