The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is a subcompact SUV with seating for five passengers. (Toyota)

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is a subcompact SUV with seating for five passengers. (Toyota)

Drawing power of 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is good gas mileage

Average fuel economy up to 33 mpg and a large cargo area are top features of this new subcompact SUV.

Toyota’s enduring Corolla is available as a subcompact SUV this year for the first time, providing a taller stance, better rear-seat legroom, and more cargo capacity than the Corolla Hatchback model. It comes in L, LE, and XLE trim levels, with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive offered on each one.

Pricing starts at $23,660 (including a $1,215 destination charge) for an L model with front-wheel drive, and tops out at $29,090 for an all-wheel-drive XLE. All-wheel drive is an extra $1,300 on every trim.

The Corolla Cross has seating for five passengers. With front-wheel drive and the rear seats in upright position, the cargo area has 25.5 cubic feet of space. AWD cuts into the space, reducing it slightly, to 24.3 cubic feet. In nonmathematical language: That’s a lot of cargo space for a subcompact SUV.

Standard features of the base L model include a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, Bluetooth, Sirius XM satellite radio, Alexa compatibility, a six-speaker audio system, and two USB ports.

The standard infotainment system for LE and higher grades has an 8-inch touchscreen, and there’s an optional upgrade to a system with remote connect and nine-speaker JBL audio. The LE also adds several desirable features including an intermittent rear window wiper, sliding extensions and illuminated mirrors for the sun visors, and wireless smartphone charging.

At the top-tier level, the XLE gets LED foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels, front dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat vents, 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, a 7-inch driver information display screen, and a cargo area cover. Its upholstery is SofTex synthetic leather rather than the cloth used for L and LE seats.

A touchscreen infotainment system in the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Alexa capability. (Toyota)

A touchscreen infotainment system in the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Alexa capability. (Toyota)

The Corolla Cross infotainment system is intuitive enough to not make enemies of itself, but I thought the touchscreen was being too finicky at times when used while driving. Happily, there are physical controls to save the day.

A 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine is used in all Corolla Cross models. Its drawing power is good gas mileage more than actual power. It doesn’t burst wildly out of the gate, but has adequate energy for garden-variety driving. EPA ratings range from 29 to 31 mpg for city driving, 32 to 33 mpg for highway, and 30 to 32 mpg combined. Variations are based on trim level and front- or all-wheel drive.

A genteel CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) is also used across the board.

All Corolla Cross models come standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of advanced active safety systems, and Toyota’s STAR safety system. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on LE and XLE models. Front and rear parking assist with automatic braking is standard on the XLE.

NOTE: News update about the Corolla Cross: There’s now a 2023 hybrid version in addition to the gas-powered model.

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross has three trim levels, all available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. (Toyota)

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross has three trim levels, all available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. (Toyota)

2022 TOYOTA COROLLA CROSS XLE AWD

Base price, including destination charge: $29,090

Price as driven: $33,679

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.

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