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A New Frontier: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid E-Four AWD Limited Review

When it comes to automotive icons, there are few that can live up to the reputation of the Toyota Corolla. The world’s best selling nameplate has such a wide reach that most of the population are familiar with it in some way. Similarly, say the word Corolla to someone and they will picture their own version of the car. A version that stems from their memories, I know I certainly have Corolla related memories!

Such has been the reach of the Corolla that describing it as ‘wide’ wouldn’t quite do it justice, rather it’s reach transcends time and other physical barriers one can think of. Thus, in this unfamiliar world, Toyota decided to take that reach one step further by adding a new variant to the fold, meet the Corolla Cross.

Front three quarters view of a 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Limited Hybrid E-Four AWD in an urban environment
Hybrid Limited E-Four AWD is the absolute cream of the crop

With the introduction of the Corolla Cross, Toyota has also altered the Corolla’s lineup in New Zealand. The sedan has gotten the axe as have the pure petrol engines. Meaning that anything with a Corolla badge is only available as a hybrid and can only be had in either hatch, wagon or Cross guise! The Cross serves as the flagship of the range with this particular Hybrid Limited E-Four AWD model being the absolute top spec you can have!

Rear three quarters view of a 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Limited Hybrid E-Four AWD with a building in the background
Safari Green is a new colour for the Corolla range too

Yes, the designers have been slightly conservative as the C-HR already serves as the edgy car in the range while RAV4 has a slightly more SUV-esque look making Corolla Cross the in-betweener. However, it still very much retains its own identity. The styling does set it apart from the range with the distinctive LEDs at the front being a key feature of note. Safari Green is a new colour for the Corolla too and adds a nice touch to this Limited E-Four AWD model.

Interior of a 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Limited Hybrid E-Four AWD
All the boxes have been ticked here!

While the exterior does allude to a long list of upgrades that come with this top-spec model, it is really on the interior where these come to fruition. Leather has been used rather generously in the cabin with driver and passenger seats having heating functions as does the steering wheel. The interior also carries a similar likeness to the other variants in the Corolla range, more so than the exterior.

Continuing with the host of upgrades, there is also a panoramic sunroof which helps flood the cabin with light while rear privacy glass helps keep out peepers. All this so you can enjoy the sound through that 9 speaker JBL audio system that has a thumping subwoofer in the rear. You can really turn this interior into your personal oasis as the air-conditioning system has Panasonic’s nanoeX particle filtration!

The addition of a wireless phone charger as well as a host of USB ports mean you’ll never need to leave either. Unless nature calls of course!

Speaking of nature calling, Toyota’s latest hybrid technology takes centre stage on this Cross. A system that is displayed via the new generation infotainment screen as well as the fully digital instrument cluster, both firsts for the Corolla range as well. Toyota’s legendary hybrid monitor is still well and truly present, observable via both screens for those keener drivers.

A feature I found particularly handy was the EV driving ratio that shows you how much time you spent in electric mode versus petrol mode. For reference, 80% of my daily commute can be done in electric mode, wow! If you are having doubts about hybrid tech then here is the car to prove you wrong. Better still, Toyota are adamant that there is far more room for development too, creating an exciting escape for the otherwise bleak fully electric future.

Side view of a 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Limited Hybrid E-Four AWD in Safari Green
Cross takes the Corolla badge into new frontiers

Sure, the Corolla Cross looks distinctive and was very comfortable on the inside but it was really set apart by the drive. Toyota’s latest generation of hybrid tech is smarter than ever. Coupling a 2 litre petrol engine with a battery to produce 146kW of power while sipping fuel at 4.9 L/100km. I found myself being able to gently accelerate up to 80kph in EV mode as well as maintain this once there. The system has come a very long way since the early days. All while retaining a miniscule battery pack!

The Verdict

Toyota’s new Corolla Cross may be met with skepticism by some as a sort of “bastardization” of the sub-brand but Corolla has always been a car of the people for as long as I can recall. And now, the people want crossovers/SUVs, so it makes perfect sense for Corolla to foray into that space. A special kudos goes out to Toyota’s incredible new Hybrid system as well!

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Limited Hybrid E-Four AWD: 4/5

Thanks for reading! For more Toyota news and reviews, visit Tarmac Life.

Words and photos by Matthew D’Souza, car courtesy of Toyota New Zealand.

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