Toyota expands the Corolla line with a first-ever crossover model.
The Toyota Corolla is one of the most recognized and enduring models in the entire world. For more than 50 years, this compact vehicle has represented an ideal blend of style, value, and affordability. There is little wondering why more Corollas have been built than any other vehicle ever.
We have seen the Corolla offered chiefly as a sedan, but it has also been sold as a hatchback (beginning in 2019 here) and as a wagon in some markets. Beginning later this year, an all-new body style joins the Corolla range, specifically a crossover utility vehicle. Dubbed the “Corolla Cross” this model should offset declining car sales while giving consumers an affordable option in the small utility vehicle market.
Exterior and Interior Features
The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross seats five. It comes with upwards of 25.5 cubic feet of standard cargo space.
LED lighting elements, including projector low beams and stop lights come standard. Also available are LED daytime running lights, fog lights, and tail/stoplights. The standard model comes with 17-inch wheels with steel covers or 17- or 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. A black grille, heated and power-controlled side mirrors, intermittent wipers, and a color-keyed spoiler are standard equipment.
Inside, the cabin comes with full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, air conditioning, and cloth-covered seats. Behind the front bucket seats is a 60/40 split fold-down bench seat.
Other features available include imitation leather seats. Also, heated front seats, a power-controlled driver’s seat, and a tonneau cover are among the upgrades for consideration.
Optional All-Wheel Drive
The 2022 Corolla Cross comes with standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive and features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 169 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission shuttles power to the wheels. Moreover, every Corolla Cross – L, LE, and XLE – pulls up to 1,500 pounds.
Pricing information is not available yet, but we expect the base front-wheel-drive model will retail for under $25,000. Although Toyota has not confirmed as much yet, we think the Corolla Cross will replace the C-HR, a quirky front-wheel-drive model that has not moved the needle much for Toyota. In any case, the Corolla Cross slots just beneath the popular Toyota RAV4 compact.
We think under the Corolla family name, the Corolla Cross will have a much better chance of garnering sales. Further, the all-wheel-drive option is essential for some markets. We also think a hybrid variant will soon follow, an option the C-HR had in Europe, but not in the U.S. A hybrid Corolla sedan is a new undertaking; adding a hybrid Corolla Cross variant should be a simple move.
Technology and Safety
Technology plays an important part in today’s vehicles, therefore the Corolla Cross will reflect that. Notably, a 7-inch multi-information display with a digital instrumentation layout and an 8-inch multimedia touchscreen display is available. Every model will feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Amazon Alexa, satellite radio, and USB ports. Further, Toyota says that additional USB ports (rear) and wireless charging will come with all but the base trim. A 6-speaker audio system is standard; a 9-speaker JBL audio system is optional.
On the safety front, there is little news that is a surprise, at least to Toyota faithful. As expected, the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) suite is standard. Here, a pre-collision system and lane trace assist come standard. Also available is blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (including the braking assist on the XLE), and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking. What is not clear is how and where adaptive cruise control will be made available.
More to Follow
Besides pricing information, we will have our driving impressions once we gain seat time.
All in all, the Corolla Cross seems like the right move for Toyota. It builds on a popular name while (likely) replacing a slow-selling model. Thus, Toyota gains an important addition to kick off its already strong line of utility vehicles. Follow with a hybrid and the Corolla nameplate will only improve.
Photos copyright Toyota Motors.