2022 Toyota Corolla Cross: The Little Toyota We’ve Been Waiting For

Those who are bored of the Toyota Matrix and its optional all-wheel drive probably frowned upon the arrival of the C-HR, this small crossover with a radical style and an urban vocation that the manufacturer launched in 2018.

Its sales are far from bad (8,176 units in Canada in 2021), but people who adopt it quickly become disillusioned: it has been dominating the list of least popular new vehicles in the industry for two years in a row. Consumer Reports, with only 29% of customers choosing the same model again.

Fortunately, Toyota got the message and filled the gap for 2022 between the C-HR, available only with a front-wheel drive, and the immensely popular RAV4. It was time! We’ll tell you right away: the new Corolla Cross will also be very successful in Quebec. Our recent winter test confirms this.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

beyond the name

First, the design of the Corolla Cross has nothing to do with that of the Corolla – sedan or hatchback. It is rather similar to those of its big brothers like the RAV4 and the Highlander. And this is very well so. Without revolutionizing anything, it displays character and a hint of robustness. Take a look at the grille, the rather square outline of the fenders and the contrasting rocker panels like on the adventure SUVs that are in fashion right now. Its handsome proportions are accompanied by a slightly sloping roofline that ends in a small spoiler at the top of the tailgate. No doubt, many buyers will find it to their liking – certainly more so than the C-HR.

LED headlights are standard, but roof rails aren’t, which is a bit of a shame, as are the 17-inch steel wheels with wheel covers on the base L trims. 18-inch alloy wheels and LED taillights.

Our test showed us that the gaps between several body panels are wide. It bothers the eye a bit, but above all, there is more snow and ice accumulating at the junction of the roof and the tailgate (making it more difficult to open the latter) and slush at the bottom of the doors, interior side ( be careful not to get dirty).

nice space

This does not call into question the quality of assembly, since we hardly heard any unwanted noises during our test period, even with the intense cold that prevailed. The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross owes its name in part to the fact that the interior is almost identical to that of the Corolla. The presentation is simple and functional, with a bit more storage in front of the console than in the sedan. We would like to have more under the central armrest, but it’s still a subcompact SUV, let’s not forget that.

The seats are not too firm and wide enough to accommodate larger people. Besides, the headroom is very generous. The heated front seats take a while to activate. On the other hand, it is the opposite for the heated steering wheel (LE versions and higher) which can even become almost hot. Look to the XLE model for leatherette upholstery and power adjustments for the driver.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

The instrument cluster includes a 4.2 or 7-inch digital display depending on version, while the touchscreen measures 7 or 8 inches. The second is animated by a relatively efficient but not very modern multimedia system. The good news is that there are still enough physical controls around the screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included. You’ll have to wait a few more years for the superb state-of-the-art interface inaugurated by the 2022 Tundra and 2023 Sequoia to end up in the Corolla Cross.

In the back, the outer seats have a wraparound backrest that you rarely see in this kind of vehicle, thus providing a little more support and freeing the shoulders of the passengers compared to those of the person (ideally a child) seated between. It lacks a folding center armrest, however. As for the trunk, it is among the most spacious in the category with over 700 litres. Hollows on each side prevent objects from rolling and a luggage cover is available, but it’s a shame that you don’t get a perfectly flat floor by folding the backrests.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

Frugal and safe

The other reason for the Corolla Cross name is the use of the same TNGA-C platform and the same 2.0-litre engine as the Corolla. The front-drive models are barely heavier than the Corolla Hatchback, while the all-wheel-drive models drag an extra 200 pounds or more. The 169 horsepower is adequate for most tasks – if you’re not in too much of a rush – and can tow up to 1,500 pounds. On the other hand, the continuously variable box makes them howl excessively when you want to charge forward with confidence.

In the absence of more powerful mechanics, this new baby from Toyota cannot stand up to the Mazda CX-30, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos. In terms of fuel consumption, however, it excels with an official average of 7.3 or 7.8 L/100 km depending on the number of drive wheels. It should be noted that our mainly urban test in fairly cold temperatures resulted in a performance of more than 11 L/100 km. By the way, Toyota will add a hybrid version of the Corolla Cross for the 2023 model year, giving itself a clear advantage over the competition.

Photo: Toyota

There’s nothing very exciting about driving this little SUV. The steering lacks a little feeling and the rapid left-right sequences are accompanied by a certain roll. The focus is more on safety (Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is included as standard) and ride comfort. Note here that a multi-link suspension replaces the rear torsion beam on all-wheel-drive models. Ours was also shod with Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 tires and it did very well in the snow, especially when accelerating from the start and when exiting corners. That said, we didn’t venture off the road. Last point: the action of the brake pedal is quick and reassuring.


With its attractive size, optional all-wheel drive and reliability that promises to be remarkable, not to mention a price range ranging from $24,890 to $33,990, the new 2022 Corolla Cross is the small Toyota SUV that many Quebecers were waiting for – and that competitors were dreading. If safety matters more to you than dynamic performance, you’ll love it.

On video: Antoine Joubert presents the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross


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