Cheap wheels with generous equipment. The 2022 Toyota Corolla is an affordable subcompact sedan, so most buyers won’t expect many features. However, the Corolla is surprisingly well-equipped and gives others in the class something to aspire for in this area.

That said, the Corolla isn’t without its flaws, as its rear seats and trunk leave us desiring a lot. Find out below if this tight rear seat gives the competition a significant advantage.

Rear seats lack room. Most compact cars are clad in plastic panels and dark hues inside to help keep costs low. The 2022 Corolla’s cabin isn’t like others. It features an open and airy cabin with light color accents to make it feel even spacier. In higher-trimmed models, the cabin even features leather-like material on touchpoints to increase its surprisingly upscale feel.

The 2022 Corolla’s rear seats aren’t tall-person-friendly, with just 34.8 inches of legroom in the sedan and 29.9 inches in the hatchback. It leaves six-footers twisted up like pretzels, especially in the hatchback model.

Buyers seeking more room in the rear can get 37.4 inches of legroom in the new Honda Civic sedan and hatchback, 35.7 inches in the Kia Forte, and 37.4 inches in the Volkswagen Jetta.

The optional engine is unrefined. For a subcompact car, the 2022 Toyota Corolla’s ride and handling are surprisingly good and border on refined. It’ll never be a corner-carver or a cushiony luxury ride, but there are no complaints either.

Base Corollas use a 139-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder that neither impresses nor offends, just as it should. The upgraded 2.0-liter engine injects 169 hp, giving the Corolla a slightly hotter powertrain. However, this naturally aspirated engine is rough and buzzy compared to the turbocharged upgrades in the Civic, Forte, and Jetta.

If you're looking to spend less money at the gas pump, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid offers fuel economy that rivals that of the Prius. Under ideal circumstances, it's rated at 52 mpg in overall driving, compared to roughly 33 mpg in the entry-level Corolla sedan.

Great tech; not-so-great trunk. At just a tick over the $21,000 mark, the 2022 Toyota Corolla L is a value with its standard seven-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control, with blind-spot monitors. Plus, for just an extra $400, or so, you can jump into the LE trim and get auto climate control and an eight-inch touchscreen.

While the Corolla Hatchback’s 17.8 cubes of space with the rear seats up isn’t horrible, the sedan’s trunk is tiny at just 13.1 cubes. Buyers looking for a sedan with a spacious trunk can find it in the Civic (14.8 cubes), Forte (15.3 cubes), and Jetta (14.1 cubes).

Final thoughts. The Toyota Corolla may not be the roomiest subcompact model on the market, but it has plenty of endearing features buyers seek. These include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, loads of standard safety tech, a stylish interior, and upscale appointments on higher trims.

Buyers who want more room can look to just about any competitor to get it, but there will be sacrifices along the way. Separately, Toyota now offers an SUV called the 2022 Corolla Cross that aims to balance versatility with fuel efficiency.

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