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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Plugs the Sub-RAV4 Gap

The 2022 Corolla Cross will be the eighth SUV or crossover in Toyota’s lineup.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to add confirmation from Toyota that a hybrid model will join the Corolla Cross lineup some time after launch.

Toyota made it official early Wednesday: the Corolla Cross is coming to North America after all. The little crossover with the big name has been on sale in developing markets for nearly a year now. When it arrives on our shores later this year, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross will slot in between the existing C-HR and RAV4.

Despite the name, there isn’t much particularly Corolla-esque about the CC. We see more RAV4, most notably in the chunky black cladding and the D-pillar shape. There’s some Highlander vibes in the grille, too. Two arrow-like creases in the flanks provide the Corolla Cross with a unique profile. The tailgate is the most unique aspect of the design, with taillights that remind us of the hydrogen-powered Mirai, without the all-too-common full-width light bar to connect them.

The Corolla influence becomes clearer inside the ‘Cross, however. Other than a more horizontal seam running across the passenger side, the main dashboard design is identical to that found in the Corolla. So is the steering wheel, and the instrument panel behind it. The forward portion of the center console is different, with Toyota offering clearer access to the optional wireless charging pad as well as the seat heaters. Most importantly, the USB port is no longer tucked away on the underside of the dashboard. A new beige-and-gray SofTex option is also available.

SEE ALSO: Toyota RAV4 vs Nissan Rogue Comparison

Like nearly all modern Toyotas, the Corolla Cross rides atop the brand’s versatile TNGA platform, specifically the -C variant shared with the C-HR and Corolla. The Corolla Cross features the same 103.9-inch (2,640 mm) wheelbase as the C-HR, but with three extra inches (75 mm) of both length (175.6 in / 4,460 mm) and height (64.8 in / 1,645 mm). There’s an extra 1.2 inches (30 mm) of width too, totalling 71.9 inches (1,825 mm). With the stretch, it should come as no surprise the Corolla Cross beats the C-HR’s 19.1 cubic feet (540 L) of trunk space, at either 24.3 or 25.5 cubes (688 to 722 L).

Toyota has released the interior dimensions as well, and the figures are surprising. The biggest advantage the CC has over the C-HR and Corolla is headroom: the new kid offers up 39.5 and 39.1 inches front and back (1,003 mm and 993 mm, respectively). Rear legroom is a much closer race: the regular ol’ Corolla sedan has 34.8 inches (834 mm), comparing favorably to the CC’s 32.0 inches (812 mm). Even the C-HR is just 0.3 inches (7.5 mm) shy of the CC’s figure.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Toyota C-HR Review: Easy to Like, Hard to Love

Every Corolla Cross will come packed with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, with includes assisted parking, adaptive cruise control, lane-trace assist, and hill start assist. Also included are LED headlights, heated power mirrors, and 17-inch steelies. Three grades will be available from launch: L, LE, and the XLE pictured here. Splurge on the latter and in come 18-inch alloys, a powered tailgate, 7.0-inch dual-zone climate control, 10-way power driver seat, two rear-seat USB ports, and more.

Somewhat surprisingly, Toyota will launch the Corolla Cross without a hybrid option, though the Toyota team confirmed one will arrive “as early as next year.” Just one engine is available at launch; the 169-horsepower, 150-lb-ft 2.0-liter from the Corolla. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) handles shifting , with a physical first gear to improve feel and response from standstills. While the C-HR is front-drive only, the CC also offers optional AWD across its three trims. Buyers will find a different rear suspension based on drivetrain: front-drive models use a cheaper, simpler torsion beam axle, while AWD models use a multilink setup. It’s an approach we saw recently in the nearly identically-sized Volkswagen Taos.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Volkswagen Taos Review: First Drive

Toyota estimates 31 mpg city and 33 mpg highway for front-drive models, for a combined average of 32 mpg. AWD cuts those numbers down to 29, 32, and 30 mpg, respectively. The Corolla Cross will also be able to tow up to 1,500 lb.

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross will begin arriving at dealerships later this year. As for North American pricing, Toyota hasn’t said what the Corolla Cross will cost. The C-HR currently starts at $22,770 ($25,810 CAD) and the RAV4 at $27,425 ($30,450 CAD), all including destination, so we expect the C-HR to squeeze in around $24,000 ($27,500 CAD) to start, and stay under $30,000 ($34,000 CAD) for an AWD XLE model. We’ll know the full pricing details closer to launch.

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