Does the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Make the C-HR Irrelevant?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

It’s safe to say the C-HR crossover hasn’t garnered rave reviews. But the smallest Toyota ‘SUV’ now has another issue, and it comes from Toyota itself. That’s the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross, the Japanese automaker’s newest crossover. And it might be joining the list of C-HR alternatives.

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross beats the C-HR on space, power, and AWD

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD | Toyota

Although the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross doesn’t look much like the Corolla sedan or hatchback, it rides on the same platform, The Drive notes. The Toyota C-HR also rides on that platform. However, not only is the Corolla Cross longer and wider than the hatchback, but it’s also larger than the C-HR. That makes sense, given Toyota intends for the Corolla Cross to slot between the C-HR and the RAV4.

One problem Toyota C-HR owners have with their crossovers is the car’s relative lack of power. And here again, the Corolla Cross beats the C-HR out. The smaller crossover has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 144 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque linked to a CVT. But while the Toyota Corolla Cross also has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, it’s the 169-hp version from the Corolla sedan and hatchback, MotorTrend reports. As of this writing, torque figures aren’t specified, but Car and Driver expects an output of 150 lb-ft.

A white 2021 Toyota C-HR next to a blue brick building
2021 Toyota C-HR | Toyota

Like the Toyota C-HR, the 2022 Corolla Cross has a CVT and comes standard with front-wheel drive. However, unlike the smaller crossover, the Corolla Cross offers optional AWD, which also nets you independent rear suspension, Roadshow notes. And it’s worth pointing out that the lack of AWD is another common C-HR critique. Plus, unlike the C-HR, the Toyota Corolla Cross is tow-rated, with a max capacity of 1500 pounds.

There’s also a hybrid version coming

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross has one more advantage over the C-HR. Or rather, it will have another advantage.

Initially, the 2022 Corolla Cross will only be available with the previously-mentioned 2.0-liter engine in the US. However, overseas customers can buy the crossover as a hybrid right now. And at some point, the hybrid Corolla Cross will come to the US, MT reports.

As of this writing, Toyota hasn’t revealed any specs or even a release date for the hybrid Corolla Cross. However, seeing as the standard version uses Corolla hardware, it’s likely the hybrid model will, too, Roadshow muses. That means a 121-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine linked to a 71-hp electric motor, Roadshow explains.

How much does the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross cost compared to the C-HR?

The gray front seats and dashboard of a 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD
2022 Toyota Corolla Cross XLE AWD front interior | Toyota

RELATED: Is the 2020 Toyota C-HR as Bad as Everyone Says It Is?

As of this writing, Toyota hasn’t released an official launch date for the 2022 Corolla Cross. But MT estimates the crossover will likely hit dealers starting in October 2021.

Toyota also hasn’t released official pricing details for the 2022 Corolla Cross. However, we do know the crossover will have three trims: L, LE, and XLE. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all three trims, but wireless charging and faux-leather seating are limited to the LE and XLE, Motor1 reports. And while each Corolla Cross offers several ADAS features, only the LE and XLE get standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

RELATED: 2021 Mazda CX-30 vs. Toyota C-HR: The Winner Is Clear

MT estimates the 2022 Corolla Cross will start at roughly $23K, with the XLE starting at about $28K. In comparison, a base 2021 Toyota C-HR LE starts at $21,595; the range-topping Limited starts at $26,650.

Right now, the C-HR arguably finds itself in the same situation as the Mazda CX-3 when the CX-30 arrived. When that happened, the smaller CX-3 lost out to the larger but similarly-priced CX-30 on the showroom floor.

A silver-gray 2020 Mazda CX-30 by a building overlooking tree-covered mountains and hills
2020 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

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To be fair, it’s impossible to make a judgment call on Toyota Corolla Cross vs. C-HR without driving them back to back. And if it turns out that the Corolla Cross costs significantly more than the C-HR, the smaller crossover might win the value argument. But on paper, the larger crossover seemingly has its smaller sibling’s number.

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