Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Toyota RAV4

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - December 15, 2021

Toyota has added another SUV to its lineup for the 2022 model year with the Corolla Cross. While the Corolla Cross shares a few components with the compact Corolla, it’s a true SUV with available all-wheel drive, a large cargo area, and a decent amount of ground clearance. The Corolla Cross’ name may be confusing, but the vehicle gives Toyota a strong option in the popular subcompact segment.

The Corolla Cross may be the newest SUV in Toyota’s lineup, but Toyota has a tried-and-true option with the compact RAV4. On sale for decades, the RAV4 is one of the most popular SUVs on the market. It’s a well-rounded vehicle that appeals to a wide range of consumers.

If you’re in the market for an SUV and are thinking about one of Toyota’s options, should you choose the Corolla Cross or the RAV4? That’s what we’ll answer in this comparison.

What the Corolla Cross Gets Right

As the smaller SUV, the Corolla Cross is the more affordable option. Pricing for the Corolla Cross starts at $23,410 (including destination), while the RAV4 is priced at $27,565. The gap in pricing between the two SUVs is so large, that you can get the range-topping Corolla Cross XLE for $25 less than the starting price tag of the RAV4. For shoppers on a budget, the Corolla Cross is a far better choice.

With less power and smaller size, the Corolla Cross has better fuel economy figures from its base powertrain than the RAV4. With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, the Corolla Cross can get up to 32 mpg combined. The RAV4’s base powertrain that includes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder is rated to get up to 30 mpg combined.

Read Our Overview of the Toyota Corolla Cross

What the RAV4 Gets Right

The Corolla Cross is only available with one powertrain, while the RAV4 is available with three. Toyota offers the RAV4 with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a hybrid powertrain, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. With the hybrid, the RAV4 can get up to 40 mpg combined, while the RAV4 Prime has the flexibility to travel up to 42 miles on electricity. Shoppers looking to get into a green SUV will prefer the RAV4.

As the larger SUV, the RAV4 has more interior space than the Corolla Cross, though only passengers in the back will really notice the extra space. The RAV4 has roughly 0.5 inches more rear headroom and 5.8 inches more rear legroom. Cargo capacity is also in the RAV4’s favor, as the SUV can hold up to 69.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The most the Corolla Cross can hold is 66.8 cubic feet of cargo.

The RAV4 may be more expensive than the Corolla Cross, but it comes with a lot more standard safety features. Lane-trace assist, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition are standard on the RAV4, but not on the Corolla Cross.

Read Our Overview of the Toyota RAV4

Need Extra Space?

The main question you have to answer when choosing between the two vehicles is how much space you need. If you don’t plan on using the SUV’s rear seats often and don’t see the benefit in 3 extra cubic feet of cargo space, the Corolla Cross should fit the bill nicely. It’s one of the larger subcompact SUVs in the segment, coming close to matching compact SUVs in a few areas. The main advantage the RAV4 has over the Corolla Cross is its size.

Our Verdict

It may cost more money, but the RAV4 is worth the extra cash. It’s available with efficient engines, has a spacious cabin, offers a wide variation of trims, and comes packed with safety features. While the Corolla Cross will work for a lot of consumers, the RAV4 is an SUV that a lot of consumers can grow into or grow with. The Corolla Cross is something that a lot of consumers may grow out of.

Compare Side-By-Side: Toyota Corolla Cross vs. Toyota RAV4 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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