If Toyota attaches the Corolla name to something, you know it's not going to be some half-baked effort. The Corolla badge has existed for half a damned century, and for good reason. Body styles have varied over the generations, and now Toyota's about to add an SUV into the mix.
Toyota on Wednesday unveiled the 2022 Corolla Cross. While it carries the Corolla name, its aesthetics aren't just a carbon copy of the compact sedan. There are some similarities, like in the frowny-faced grille and the long, thin taillights, but on the whole the Corolla Cross carves out its own little visual niche. At the absolute minimum, it looks better than the C-HR, but that's not hard. LED headlights are standard, something the Corolla has had on lock for almost a decade. Steel 17-inch wheels are standard on the base L, while 18-inch alloys are offered on the top-trim XLE. There's an LE trim in the middle, too, but Toyota didn't specify what kind of wheels it'll wear.
Inside the Corolla Cross, the shared name is far more obvious. The dashboard is nearly a carbon copy of the current Corolla, save for a readjusted center console. Like the Corolla, you can outfit the Cross with a moonroof and a power driver's seat, and all trims receive 60/40-split folding rear seats. Unlike the sedan, the Cross' cargo area can be fitted with a power liftgate.
On the tech front, Toyota didn't say what was standard on lower trims, but the Corolla Cross has an available 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 7-inch color screen in place of a traditional gauge cluster.and will be standard, and LE and XLE trims throw two USB charging ports in the back so passengers can stay charged. A nine-speaker JBL audio system is on offer, as well.
In terms of safety, every Corolla Cross will come with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of active and passive driver aids, which should include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams. LE and XLE variants also get blind spot monitoring, while XLE models get parking sensors, too.
The Corolla Cross powertrain is a sedan carryover, as well, combining the 169-hp 2.0-liter I4 from the Corolla's sprightlier S variants with a continuously variable transmission. Both front- and all-wheel drive will be offered, but both will be capable of towing up to 1,500 pounds. Toyota estimates that FWD models will net up to 32 mpg combined, dropping to 30 mpg combined with AWD. The suspension differs between the two drivetrain options, with FWD cars using a rear torsion beam and AWD cars relying on independent rear suspension.
Toyota didn't say when the 2022 Corolla Cross would go on sale, but later this year seems like a safe bet, given its model year designation. Pricing should be announced closer to its on-sale date, so keep your eyes peeled to Roadshow for all the Corolla Cross updates you can handle.