Toyota Corolla vs. Toyota Corolla Cross

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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

With so many consumers choosing to ditch their sedans and hatchbacks for SUVs, Toyota has decided to leverage one of its iconic names to come out with a new subcompact SUV. The Toyota Corolla Cross is an all-new SUV, made to give Toyota another option in the subcompact segment. While the Corolla Cross shares the same name as the compact vehicle and some exterior styling, it’s an entirely different vehicle that’s aimed at a different set of consumers.

The Corolla is a compact car that’s been on sale for decades and is one of the best-selling vehicles on the market. It’s not an SUV and doesn’t pretend to be, which means we don’t expect a lot of consumers to cross-shop these two vehicles. If you find yourself at a Toyota dealership and are confused about the two models, this comparison will help you find the better vehicle of the two for you.

What the Corolla Gets Right

While the Corolla Cross is only available as a subcompact SUV, the Corolla is offered in sedan and hatchback body styles. Neither of these is as versatile as the Corolla Cross, but the Corolla has more choices to fit into your lifestyle.

As the smaller vehicle, the Corolla has a more affordable price than the Corolla Cross. Pricing for the Corolla starts at $21,100 (prices include destination), while the Corolla Cross has a starting price tag of $23,410. It’s a large difference that makes the Corolla a better option for shoppers on a budget.

Toyota offers the Corolla with multiple powertrains, including a fuel-efficient hybrid variant. The Corolla Hybrid is rated to get up to 52 mpg combined, while the most efficient non-hybrid model is the Corolla Hatchback that comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s rated at up to 35 mpg combined. The Corolla Cross, which comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, can get up to 32 mpg combined.

Read Our Overview of the Toyota Corolla

What the Corolla Cross Gets Right

Unlike the Corolla, the Corolla Cross is offered with all-wheel drive. This gives the SUV a large advantage over the compact car, as it gives consumers better traction in inclement weather. For consumers that aren’t worried about tackling snow, the Corolla Cross is also offered with front-wheel drive.

Toyota fits the Corolla with a standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 139 horsepower, while the Corolla Cross comes with a 2.0-liter engine that’s rated at 169 horsepower as standard. The same engine is available on the Corolla, but it’s offered on higher trim levels.

Thanks to its SUV body, the Corolla Cross offers far more cargo capacity than the Corolla. Front-wheel-drive models have 26.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a total of 66.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The Corolla Hatchback offers up to 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place.

Read Our Overview of the Toyota Corolla Cross

Car or SUV?

The Toyota Corolla and Corolla Cross may share a name, but the two vehicles couldn’t be more different from one another. One is a subcompact SUV, while the other is a compact car. Beyond the fact that they compete in different classes, the Corolla Cross has a more spacious interior, a more powerful standard engine, more cargo space, and available all-wheel drive. That last part is enough to make up a lot of consumers’ minds.

Our Verdict

As much as we want to name the Corolla as the victor, the Corolla Cross is the better choice for the majority of consumers, as they’re looking for an SUV these days. The Corolla Cross takes the same recipe that makes the Corolla so good and bundles it into a larger package with all-wheel drive.

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

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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