By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – Sometimes you must ask what took them so long. We’re talking about Toyota and the latest version of the Corolla, the Cross, which went on sale as a 2022 model.
It is a small crossover based on the Toyota Corolla which has sold fifty million copies. You could make the case that if the little car was not so successful, Toyota would not have survived in this market.
They did such an excellent job of creating the Cross, you really think that it was here first. It comes in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive versions, has eight-inches of ground clearance and it is what Toyota called value priced.
The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross has a base sticker of $22,195 for the front-wheel drive model. And a bump up to the all-wheel drive is an extra $1,300. Toyota built a plant Huntsville, Al, which they plan to share with Mazda. There, up to 150,000 Toyota Crosses can roll off the line annually.
The Toyota Cross had a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that made 169 horsepower. It was mated to a continuously variable transmission with a permanent first gear.
This engine was spunky, under aggressive acceleration it handled itself well and at cruising speeds it was quiet.
Toyota said there were three grades of the Cross: The L, LE and XLE. Like the automaker said we found the Corolla Cross spacious and high quality. From an engineering perspective, it offered an approachable exterior as well as a higher line-of-sight thanks to the revised TNGA-C platform. Key design cues included a distinctive black grille flanked by LED headlights.
Our test vehicle had Softex®-trimmed seats. It is a synthetic material that looks and feels like leather. We had a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and heated front seats.
In back, storage space can be maxed out thanks to the 60/40-split folding rear seats that come standard on all grades, while XLE models also include a center armrest with two additional cupholders. To make access to the roomy cargo area even more convenient, we had the available power liftgate with height adjustability.
Our test vehicle had the roof rack with crossbars. About the only thing lacking was range. With a full tank of gas, the range was about 238 miles. Sport utilities and crossovers need to approach three hundred miles of range on a full tank of gas. But that is just us.
The Cross seemed so natural that it felt and looked like the first model in the Corolla lineup not the last – so far.