When it comes time to drive, you’ll find something familiar under the hood: Toyota’s turbocharged 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, rated at 169 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. It’s matched to a continuously variable transmission fitted with a conventional first gear to improve performance off the line. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is a $1,300 premium. Towing is rated at 1,500 pounds. And it comes with the requisite driver-assistance safety systems. But there’s one more thing to consider: Front-wheel-drive models get a live rear axle, and all-wheel-drive trims get an independent rear suspension, and this makes a noticeable difference.
Opt for the front driver and you’ll find handling is decent, safely scrubbing off speed when you take on a too-challenging corner. Obviously, this is no sports car; it’s a suburban schlepper, one that’s more than up to the task. By contrast, all-wheel drive and an independent suspension transform its handling, feeling far more precise, and allowing the driver to indulge their inner Andretti. Push hard enough and the tail starts to get twitchy. The driveline has adequate power, although manual shifting helps maintain the power band when you need it, such as when you’re driving uphill. That’s when engine power is marginal. Floor the pedal, and you’ll find the engine moans but there’s little power. Towing on hills would make it even worse. But for those who have driven Corollas before, this won’t come as a surprise. In fact, it might even endear the Corolla Cross to them; it will feel familiar.
The new Corolla Cross goes on sale in October, and officials are expecting demand to be strong. While they wouldn’t commit to how many they expect to sell, it wouldn’t be surprising if this version of the Corolla quickly becomes its top seller worldwide.
For those who love sedans, that may be bad news, but for the rest of us, the beat goes on.
2022 Toyota Corolla Cross
Base price: $22,195
Engine: Turbocharged DOHC 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower/Torque: 169/150 pound-feet
EPA fuel economy (city/highway): 29/32 mpg
Observed fuel economy: 00 mpg
Fuel required: 87 Octane
Length/Width/Height: 175.6/71.9/67.2 inches
Ground clearance: 8.2 inches
Cargo capacity: 24.6-66.5 cubic feet
Towing capacity: 1,500 pounds©2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC