Sunday Drive: Toyota has a new crossover with an old name — The Corolla Cross
Coming off the year when Toyota was able to post its 50 millionth Corolla sale, making it by far the best-selling car of all time, the company is entering the Corolla into the crossover market. With the 2022 Corolla Cross, Toyota is now giving the driving public a fantastic choice in the entry-level SUV market just as it has for years in the sedan market.
It seems to us to be a smart move as more and more young consumers, and even empty nesters like ourselves, are looking for something that sits higher and has more room inside. The Corolla Cross fits perfectly into this slot, and, after spending a week driving the Cross, we believe Toyota has taken this idea from concept to real contender.
“For over 50 years, Corolla has been synonymous with dependability, fuel efficiency, safety and value,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president of Toyota Marketing. “With the all-new Corolla Cross, we are building upon that foundation and offering even more versatility and creature comforts to make everything from a daily commute to a weekend escape more memorable.”
Other than the name, the new Corolla Cross really does not share much with its sedan sibling. As a crossover, it sits higher, which is good in our book as it is easier to enter and exit.
The SUV’s larger stature also made us fell more comfortable out on the open road. To us, it always seems safer to have a better field of view of the outside world when we are out for a drive.
Equipped with a 2.0-liter engine, the Corolla produces 169 horsepower and comes with a CVT, “continuously variable transmission.” It proved adequate in getting around during our week; however, it seemed lacking when we needed speed in a hurry.
At the end of the day, we were at a very nice 30.4 miles per gallon on almost 500 miles of driving. This is not bad for a vehicle as large as the new Corolla Cross, and every little bit helped with gas over $5 per gallon. We would be willing to give up some extra power in exchange for a few more miles per gallon in the long run.
During the week, Craig had the opportunity to take the new Cross to Ogden on two different occasions for meetings at the Standard Examiner. On one of these trips, he took two coworkers along for the 80-mile drive up Interstate 15.
There proved to be plenty of room; there were no complaints about having enough legroom in the back, and, with the added storage space a crossover provides, he was able to get everything in that he needed for the day up north.
The really great news with the new Corolla Cross – and us testing the XLE trim level – is that Toyota has included all the great goodies and safety enhancements available from the manufacturer.
We did not expect to have adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist in an entry-level vehicle such as this, but during Craig’s two long drives on busy I-15, these features were priceless. Never missing a beat along the way, they kept the crossover centered in the lane and expertly following the vehicle in front of it. It was even able to come to a complete stop if conditions called for it.
Other included safety features were blind-spot monitoring, forward collision detection and avoidance and rear cross-path detection when backing, and automatic high-beam headlamps. Again, these are features usually not found at this level, but they are all part of the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 that came standard in the Cross.
We loved the interior of the Corolla Cross. It was trimmed in a SofTex leather-like surface that made each ride even more comfortable. There were even heated front seats.
Our test ride came with an All-Wheel Drive system that would be a must here in the Intermountain West to help conquer those cold winter days when snow is part of the mix. The system is capable of directing power to the wheels that are more in need of it during the drive. It will also turn off the rear wheels if they are not needed, eking out even better gas milage.
Toyota has mastered the world of mobile devices. They are very easy to link with the Corolla Cross and easy to use once they are connected to the vehicle. They have even included a wireless charger up front in the top two trim levels (LE and XLE).
The new Corolla Cross proved to a great contender in the small-sized, entry-level crossover market and can become a very nicely equipped vehicle, one that any mom or empty-nester would love to have as an everyday driver.
Base price: $27,625
Destination charge: $ 1,215
Price as driven: $ 33,550