2022 Corolla Cross LE AWD

Versatile new family mover
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
October 10, 2021 Updated: October 10, 2021

Since its inception, Toyota has sold over 50 million Corollas. The Corolla Cross will increase that number considerably, as a value-priced CUV packed with features not typically found in a small crossover.

Expect to find the 2022 Corolla Cross to arrive in one of 1,900 US dealerships this October, with the base L grade starting at $22,195. Moving up, the LE and XLE will be kept under $30,000. This crossover will be available in FWD and AWD. Toyota expects to sell up to 150,000 Corolla Cross vehicles per year.

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A clean-flowing and graceful rear design. (Courtesy of Toyota)

The all-new Corolla Cross will be assembled in the United States at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama. This brand new facility is expected to handle the entire yearly production needs for the Corolla Cross.

This compact crossover will maximize the potential of the high-strength TNGA-C platform while achieving fuel efficiency. The Corolla Cross is motivated by 169 horsepower from a 2.0L four-cylinder Dynamic Force engine. Fuel economy is an estimated 32 combined MPG for the FWD model and an estimated 30 combined MPG for the AWD model.

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Powered by a 2.0L Dynamic Force NA inline-four. (Courtesy of Toyota)

The engine works hard to achieve driving performance, a comfortable ride, and outstanding spaciousness while towing 1,500 lbs.

Wheel options are 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels depending on the model and options. Basic exterior color options are Celestite, Sonic Silver, Jet Black, Barcelona Red Metallic, Cypress, and Blue Crush Metallic. My favorite color was the Wind Chill Pearl ($425 extra-color cost).

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Wearing Cypress exterior color. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Base interior color options are fabric trimmed seats in light gray or black for the L and LE models, while the XLE model gets SofTex-trimmed seats in Macadamia/Mocha or black.

Interior features have attributes admired by both sedan and hatchback fans. These new models can be outfitted with a power moonroof, as well as either single or dual zone automatic climate control, with all grades featuring standard heating and air conditioning vents for rear seat passengers.

The XLE has a standard 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and heated front seat, placing the driver in a commanding and comfortable position. The 60/40-split rear seats allow for cargo space to be expanded on all grades. The XLE model also includes a center armrest with two additional cup holders.

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The interior of the Corolla Cross. (Courtesy of Toyota)

There is also an available power lift gate with height adjustability. The distinctive black grille flanked by LED lighting, with body accents gives even the entry-level SUV a confident appearance. From the rear, the stylish design elements continue with an integrated rear spoiler and LED lighting.

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A distinct black grille. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Several days of driving the Corolla Cross in Austin, Texas made a believer in me about the quality of the car. I liked the Dynamic Torque Control AWD system which directs up to 50% of power to the rear wheels when needed, but disengages completely during normal driving. This feature helps maintaining great fuel economy.

Corolla Cross is perfect for driving in a diverse and active laden city like Austin with wide boulevards, but also some narrow streets separated and bound by super highways. Its interior volume allows it to carry a good amount of luggage.

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50/40 split rear seats expand cargo space when needed. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Corolla Cross has the standard 1,500-pound towing capability mentioned earlier in this review. This is on par with its bigger RAV4 sibling, although the Trail AWD RAV4 trim can tow much more.

The 4.2-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) keeps concise, important data in front of you, and it works in tandem with the center console infotainment screen to make all vital information readily available. The L grade comes with a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen, while LE and XLE trims feature an 8-inch touchscreen.

Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Lane Tracing Assist, and Road Sign Assist are just a few of the safety features assigned to every Corolla Cross.

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USB ports for charging personal devices. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Car entertainment and connected functionality are important to the folks at Toyota. Even the base L model comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Mobile devices can be topped off through USB ports, or Qi wireless charging on LE or higher models.

36 months/36,000 miles Basic New-Vehicle Warranty
60 months/60,000 miles Powertrain Warranty
60 months/unlimited miles Corrosion Perforation Warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.