2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD Doubles Down On The Pug Styling
The 2022 Toyota Crolla Cross XLE AWD is all set to take on a laundry list of mini-SUVs in what many describe as the fiercest crossover sales wars in America. The XLE comes packed with a 169-HP four-cylinder under the hood, mated with a hybrid powertrain or an all-wheel setup. Our test vehicle was the all-wheel drive version.
You can think of the Crolla Cross as something that neatly sits between the full-blown SUV lineup by the automaker and the smaller, cheaper C-HR and the RAV4. This puts the Cross in the same category as the Jeep Compass, Kia’s Seltos and Rogue Sport. That’s why it is no wonder that this year similar to previous ones, the interior is heavily borrowed from Toyota’s hatchback models and the corolla. Still, it has more cargo space and obviously a taller driving angle.
Look and Feel
While the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD does not have the overpowering road presence of its elder brethren, it is still one of the more well-designed mini-SUVs out there. Its design hasn’t changed much for the past two generations, but those slight incremental improvements that Toyota likes to make have added up to one of the best-looking vehicles in its class.
The tall driving angle means there is a lot more of the road visible with fewer blind spots than the outgoing model. Things have also changed slightly inside, with improved quality material on the dash, with the doors feeling less plasticky.
Drivers who have owned or driven a Corolla in the past will find themselves at home when they slide into the Cross. Everything from the interior materials to the dashboard layout and even the convenience features are identical but larger. The larger dimensions mean that there is more room in the back for passengers, and there is additional space for cargo.
Though the lower trims are a little too basic for our taste, the XLE model is what we’d recommend, with its faux-leather upholstery, leather-wrapped shift knob, and heated front benches.
Performance and Experience
The Cross XLE AWD comes parceled with a 169.hp 2.0 liter under the hood, mated with a CVT transmission. The front wheel is standard, but we had the optional AWD.
Our initial test drive was as we expected. It has the same familiar acceleration, with the slightly buzzing engine at high revs. We could pull 0-60 in 9.2 seconds which isn’t all that impressive, but when put into the context of other mini crossovers, it starts to look good.
The overall ride quality is comfortable, with excellent insulation, so you never get to hear road or wind noise unless you roll down the windows. Speaking of which, the windows are large, making them perfect for those long summer drives.
The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD remains a highly reliable vehicle with no surprises. It is a vehicle you can depend on, and that’s one of the reasons why people may choose a Toyota in general over any other brand. As with the Cross, those incremental improvements certainly add up over time to a min-SUV that offers the best bang for buck experience.