2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD - Review by David Colman +VIDEO
Nice design and roomy, but it doesn't get you there quick enough
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
A 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.2 seconds would have been par for the course - in 1975. But it's now 2022, and that kind of number doesn't come close to cutting it anymore. Unfortunately, Toyota's otherwise likable new crossover, the Corolla Cross, is just too slow to get out of its own way. With a standing start quarter mile time of 17 seconds at 83mph, this newest addition to the Corolla line is always struggling to keep up with traffic. Instead of looking down at the speedometer and remarking to yourself, "Wow, I can't believe I'm going 80!" you'll find your Cross so swamped by faster freeway traffic that you'll exclaim, Wow, I can't believe I'm barely going 60!"
The problem here is that the Cross utilizes the same 169hp inline 2.0 liter four that also powers the standard Corolla. But the all wheel drive 3,384lb. Cross, which stands 2 inches wider and 8 inches taller than the sedan, weighs 424 pounds more than the 2,960lb. front wheel drive sedan. In terms of power-to-weight ratio, the Cross must haul 20 pounds per horsepower versus just 17.5 lb/hp for the sedan. But should you need the voluminous interior storage space the Cross affords, you might just be willing to settle for its vintage 1975 sundial speed. The extra width and height of the Cross jet usable space into the ionosphere. Where the Corolla sedan is maxed out by an 825lb. load with a cargo volume of just 13 cubic feet, the Cross bumps load to 1,170lb, and presents you with 24 cubic feet of cargo volume. If you want to deliver for Amazon, the Cross is the way to go.
The newest member of the Corolla family also offers a refreshing exterior countenance, an inviting interior layout, and surprisingly stout EPA mileage numbers. Unlike the sedan Corolla, which looks confusingly like every other small four-door on the market, the Cross has the snout of a pug, the stance of a bulldog, and enough ID plaques to make sure you know just what how different this Corolla is. While we may have missed a few identifiers, we counted seven "Corolla Cross" logos to remind you what you're driving.
Overall, the Cross presents a businesslike, no nonsense appearance that distinguishes it from anything else on the road. Our XLE top line version sported distinctive 10-spoke 18x7J alloy rims fitted with 225/40R18 Goodyear Assurance radials. The XLE AWD package, which retails for a base price of $27,625, includes black roof rails and front grill, LED head, tail, and fog lamps, an LED "light strip" DRL, plus a rear wiper. Optional extras upgraded our test Cross with $1,465 option "EJ" (8 inch touchscreen, 9 speaker JBL stereo with subwoofer and amplifier), and $1,250 option "CP" (tilt and slide moonroof and power rear door). An extra $299 purchases a set of useful crossbars to connect the roof rails together. One notable design failure of the Cross AWD model is the rear muffler which hangs down below the bumper and looks butt ugly.
A constant velocity transmission (CVT) connects the engine to the all-wheel drive train, and offers a manual gate for drivers hoping to extract the last bit of urge from the hard-pressed engine. However, manual manipulation of the CVT does little beyond increasing the interior noise level. Thankfully, Toyota is planning to supplement the Cross portfolio with a hybrid slated for introduction in 2023. Until release 2.0 arrives, you can content yourself with enjoying the current Cross' infotainment and connectivity offerings. Like the Corolla sedans, the base Cross offers a 7-inch dash-top screen, enlarged to 8 inches on the XLE. Programming your favorites is exceptionally easy, and with a 3 month free Platinum level subscription to SiriusXM satellite, you will have more than 350 channels to amuse yourself. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the XLE gets a wireless phone charger. The XLE's spacious back seat is fitted with a drop down center cup holder/armrest, as well as two USB charging ports.
Of course, Toyota has long been an industry leader in providing standard safety measures. In that regard, the Cross presents you with a steering wheel spoke mounted adaptive cruise control system that operates seamlessly, lane departure warning which may be switched off easily, and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The XLE Cross also offers Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beam Assist (AHBA), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) with Braking Assist. I found LTA and AHBA to be annoying and switched both off, but RCTA is highly useful and remained active. At least Toyota gives you the option to customize your Cross without resorting to a PhD level savant to guide you through the maze.
2022 TOYOTA COROLLA CROSS XLE AWD
ENGINE: 2.0 liter inline 4, DOHC 16 valves, aluminum block and heads, direct and port fuel injection
FUEL ECONOMY: 29MPG City/32MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $33,550
HYPES: Clever Design, Space Galore
GRIPES: Underpowered, Butt Ugly Muffler
STAR RATING: 7.5 Stars out of 10