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Think of the company's newest crossover as a quality entry-level SUV with available all-wheel-drive.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The all-new 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is available with front- or all-wheel-drive and three different trim levels.The most popular vehicles in the automotive market these days are getting bigger, or they're getting smaller. Existing vehicles tend to grow every year, but Toyota and other automakers are finding an eager market for smaller vehicles, too. That's especially true with crossover SUVs. To meet demand in the most popular segment in the vehicle market, automakers are developing new models in every size.

That brings us to the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross. This new crossover is smaller than Toyota's super-popular RAV4, but larger than the subcompact C-HR crossover. To underline how important this new vehicle is, Toyota gave it the Corolla name. As one of the best-selling vehicles of all time with a history going back more than 50 years, the Corolla has always represented Toyota's entry-level car. That's the spirit they're trying to carry into this new SUV.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The hatchback styling of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is both attractive and practical.

The Corolla Cross is compact, but reasonably spacious and comfortable inside. Even if you buy the basic trim, you're getting a versatile and convenient SUV with 26.5 cubic feet of cargo space and seating for five passengers. The Corolla Cross can tow a trailer up to 1,500 pounds, so your light travel trailer, boat, or utility trailer are all good to go.

You have a choice between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, and three trim levels. The most basic is the Corolla Cross L, which comes with a seven-inch touchscreen display that supports both Apple and Android phone integration, LED lights all around, and 17-inch steel wheels with covers. This model is affordably priced at $22,195 with front-wheel-drive only, or $23,495 with all-wheel-drive.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross can be upgraded to an eight-inch display with wireless device charging, blind spot and rear cross-traffic monitor

The LE trim upgrades to an eight-inch display and adds wireless device charging, blind spot and rear cross-traffic monitor, alloy wheels, push-button starting, and automatic climate control. This is the model that most people are likely to buy, and it is priced starting at $25,845 with all-wheel-drive.

At the top of the line, the Corolla Cross XLE comes with 18-inch wheels, a 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, both front seats are heated, and it has front and rear parking assist with automatic braking, among other features. The upholstery is SofTex, which simulates leather very nicely. This is the luxury model, starting at $27,625 with all-wheel-drive.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Despite being a compact SUV, there is plenty of room for the driver and passenger in the front seats of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross.

All trims offer the same engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 169 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission. The Corolla Cross is not going to be anyone's idea of a performance vehicle, but you can expect 29 MPG in city driving and 32 MPG on the highway, which is great for any SUV. If you can do without all-wheel-drive, those numbers go even higher to 31 city and 33 highway.

On the road, the Corolla Cross offers a smooth ride and predictable engine power. This is a great vehicle for your every-day commute to work, and to take you somewhere fun on the weekends. It's perfect for singles, couples, and small families. Toyota puts its advanced safety package on every Corolla Cross, including lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, pre-collision mitigation with pedestrian and cyclist detection, road sign assistance, and full-speed adaptive cruise control.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Rear seat room is surprisingly ample in the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross.

The 2022 Corolla Cross will be arriving at area Toyota dealers in October, so if you're thinking about a new SUV before the fall rains come, wait just a couple weeks and test drive Toyota's newest crossover. It may be that you can save some money and get an SUV that's just right for you.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Base price: $22,195

Price as tested: $25,845

Type: Compact crossover SUV

Engine: 2.0-liter (169 hp, 150 lbs-ft)

Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission

EPA estimated mileage: 29/32

Overall length: 175.6 inches

Curb weight: 3,325 pounds

Final assembly: Huntsville, Alabama

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Even if you buy the basic trim, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross offers a versatile and convenient 26.5 cubic feet of cargo space


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