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Auto review: Why buy a 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross SUV? Did I mention it's a Toyota?

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

The 2.0L engine provides adequate power, but labors a bit and gets loud on hills and accelerating in traffic.

The engine produces 169 hp and 150 pound-feet of torque. Neither figure leads the class. Torque output — which translates most directly to throttle response and acceleration — trails all but the HR-V and Rogue Sport, the only other non-turbocharged engines in the group.

An upcoming hybrid model will almost certainly be the line’s designated performance model. More info on it is expected in 2022.

The CVT is effective and unobtrusive.

The Cross’ fuel economy isn’t listed on the official EPA website www.fueleconomy.gov yet, so Toyota’s claimed figure of 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving is not yet official. It leads the competition by 1-2 mpg, however.

The Corolla Cross’ steering is not notably direct or responsive. Ride smoothness differs between FWD models, which have a torsion beam rear axle, and the more sophisticated independent rear suspension on AWD Crosses. The all-wheel drive system can send 10%-50% of torque to the rear axle. It adds about 170 pounds.

The Corolla Cross can tow up to 1,500 pounds, best in a class where most models do not recommend towing at all.

Toyota Corolla Cross safety and driver assistance features:

—Automatic high beams

—Automatic front braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection

—Lane departure alert and assist

—Blind spot and cross traffic alerts

—Road sign recognition

—Front and rear parking assist with automatic braking

—Adaptive cruise control

Easy to use controls

The front seat is accommodating, with easy to use controls. Toyota provides dials to control volume, tuning, temperature and fan speed, not to mention buttons for defrost and recirculation.

A 7-inch touch screen rising from the center stack is standard. The LE and XLE that account for most sales get an 8-inch screen. Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

The door uppers and armrests are padded.

Rear legroom is minimal, and the rear door openings are a bit narrow for easy exit.

Upper models get an attractive LED instrument cluster. The base L has mechanical gauges and a small digital driver information center.

 

The base model’s cargo compartment measures 26.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, one of the largest among subcompact SUVs. That bragging point diminishes as you add some common features, however. A Corolla Cross with sunroof — available on the LE and XLE — and all-wheel drive has 24.6 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat, placing it squarely mid-pack in its class.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross at a glance

Base price: $22,195

Front- or all-wheel five-passenger compact SUV

Model tested: Corolla Cross XLE AWD

Estimated price as tested: $30,995

On sale: October 2021

Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder

Output: 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm; 150 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400-4,000 rpm

Transmission: Continuously variable automatic with fixed-ratio first gear

Estimated EPA fuel economy rating: 29 mpg city/32 highway/30 combined. Regular fuel

Wheelbase: 103.9 inches

Length: 175.6

Width: 71.9

Height: 64.9

Curb weight: 3,325 pounds

Passenger volume: 95.0 cubic feet (93.9 with sunroof)

Cargo capacity: 26.5 cubic feet base model; 24.6 with sunroof and AWD

Towing capacity: 1,500 pounds

Assembled in Huntsville, Alabama

©2021 Detroit Free Press. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.