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Sibling Rivalry: 2022 Toyota C-HR versus 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Which one better suits your needs between Toyota’s pair of small SUVs?

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From the full-size to sub-compact segments, buyers searching for their perfect new SUV have plenty of choices for 2022. If you prefer the reassurance of reliability and robust resale values always associated with Toyota vehicles, you now have a choice of the 2022 Toyota C-HR or new-for-2022 Toyota Corolla Cross siblings.

 

What is the 2022 Toyota C-HR?

The CH-R is a sub-compact SUV, despite appearances to the contrary. Its design makes it look like a two-door vehicle. The C stands for "coupé." The HR alludes to "high-riding." But the 4-door/5-passenger C-HR isn't a coupé. And high-riding? Ground clearance is only a few centimetres more than the Toyota Corolla compact sedan, but still not sufficient to follow in the off-road tracks of a Jeep Renegade.

 

What is the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross?

As the name implies, the 4-door/5-passenger 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross uses the same platform and powertrain found in the Corolla sedan. The Corolla Cross has the extra ride height and added cargo capacity and rear hatch that SUV shoppers love. Inside, there are roughly 50 millimetres of added rear legroom compared to the Corolla sedan, along with added headroom front and rear.

 

How much do the Toyota C-HR and Corolla Cross cost?

The 2022 Toyota C-HR comes with a single powertrain, so the differences between its three trims are solely based on equipment levels. 

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price in Canadian dollars starts with the base LE trim at $24,150. Key standard gear includes an 8-inch touchscreen, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, keyless entry, 17-inch steel wheels and LED headlamps. The $26,750 mid-trim XLE Premium adds a push-button start, heated leather steering wheel, heated seats, and 18-inch alloy wheels. If you like such niceties as leather seats, among other comforts, consider the top-line Limited at $29,350.

Although both Toyota small SUVs start with under-$25,000 prices, the fresher Corolla Cross offers more standard features throughout its range.

Like its sibling, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross comes with one engine and one transmission. Prices begin with the base L at $24,890 with a 7-inch touchscreen, heated seats, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, and 17-inch steel wheels and LED headlamps. The mid-level $27,090 LE adds a heated leather steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. At $33,990, the topline XLE treats with 8-way power format seats, power hatch and moonroof, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

While its sibling only offers front-wheel-drive, traction at four wheels is an option on the first three Corolla Cross trims (L $26,290; LE $28,490) and standard on the XLE.

Both Toyotas come with the automaker's 3-year/60,000-kilometre factory warranty.

Winner: 2022 Toyota C-HR

 

What are the interiors of the C-HR and Corolla Cross like?

The Toyota C-HR’s interior design is less eye-catching than the exterior. The quality of materials is somewhat upscale, and front occupant comfort is perfectly acceptable for longer trips. For passengers in the back seats, the wide rear pillars mean leaning forward to get a good outside view. These pillars are also a convincing argument to select trim with blind-spot monitoring.

Anyone familiar with the current generation Toyota Corolla will feel right at home in the new Corolla Cross. The dash is a near twin of the Corolla sedan, right down to a choice of 7- or 8-inch infotainment screens, the shape of the heating and air conditioning vents, and the design of the steering wheel. By and large, the cabin is easy to get comfortable in, though it doesn’t offer many (if any) fun design that flourishes in the CH-R.

While both small Toyota SUVs offer seats for five, the Corolla Cross provides a bit more passenger space overall, and up to 723 litres behind its rear seats (698 with AWD) compared to only 541 offered in the C-HR.

Winner: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

 

How do the performance and fuel economy of the C-HR and Corolla Cross compare?

The sole engine in the C-HR is the Corolla sedan’s underwhelming 2.0-litre 4-cylinder gas engine making 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. The C-HR’s continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) sends this merely adequate muscle to the front wheels only, despite its faux-SUV styling.   

Toyota skipped the Corolla’s base engine and instead equipped the Corolla Cross with a more powerful 169-hp and 150-lb-ft  2.0-L 4-cylinder, also paired to a CVT. Combined with less curb weight to haul around (only 1,405 kilograms versus the CH-R’s 1,497), the Corolla Cross feels much livelier.

Whether you pick front- (7.3 litres per 100 kilometres city/highway combined) or all-wheel drive (7.8), the Corolla Cross delivers better fuel economy than the heavier, front-drive-only C-HR (8.2).

Winner: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

 

What’s the ride and handling of the C-HR or Corolla Cross like?

The 2022 C-HR’s lack of power, and its CVT, make few positive contributions to its driving experience. That is doubly sad because the chassis is talented enough to handle some extra muscle. There is a combination of suppleness and control reminiscent of expensive European cars. It can take bends at the kind of pace that would induce boring understeer in a more run-of-the-mill rival. A slight easing off the throttle just at the point where the low-rolling-resistance tires start to chirp, and the weight shift brings the tail around a little, tightening the cornering line. 

When applied to the open road, the 2022 Corolla Cross skews practical in its road manners. The suspension mellows bumpy roads. Steering through turns is not particularly fun, nor does it need to be. Instead, the most-rugged of Corollas has an easy-driving nature akin to its sedan sibling. That relaxed nature makes it a pleasant if not thrilling commuter. And, thanks to its compact dimensions and light-effort slow-speed steering, the Corolla Cross is a primo tool for city parking. Plus, the advantage of traction at all four wheels is something the C-HR does not offer.

Winner: Tie

 

Should you buy a 2022 Toyota C-HR or 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross?

Despite sharing many essential Corolla qualities, this pair of Toyota small SUV siblings are quite different.

If you are looking for a small SUV with modern and aggressive exterior styling, sporty handling, and a low price, the 2022 Toyota C-HR is worth considering. 

That said, we think the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is the better Toyota small SUV. It beats its sibling with more power and better fuel economy, front- or all-wheel drive, roomier cabin, and a more comfortable ride handling experience.

Overall Winner: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Specs

2022 Toyota C-HR

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Engine

2.0-litre I4

2.0-litre I4

Horsepower

144 hp @ 6,100 rpm

169 hp @ 6,600 rpm

Torque

139 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

150 lb-ft @ 4,400-4,800 rpm

Transmission

Continuously Variable Automatic

Continuously Variable Automatic

Powertrain

Front-wheel-drive

Front-wheel-drive, available all-wheel-drive

Fuel Economy

FWD: 8.2 L/100 km (8.7 city, 7.5 hwy)

FWD: 7.3 L/100 km (7.6 city, 7.0 hwy)

AWD: 7.8 L/100 km (8.1 city, 7.4 hwy)

Warranty

3 years/60,000 kms

3 years/60,000 kms

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

Curb Weight

1,497 kg

1,405 kg

Wheelbase

2,642 mm

2,639 mm

Overall Length

4,352 mm

4,474 mm

Width

1,796 mm

1,824 mm

Height

1,565 mm

1,649 mm

Headroom, Front

968 mm

1,003 mm

Headroom, Rear

973 mm

993 mm

Legroom, Front

1,105 mm

1,090 mm

Legroom, Rear

805 mm

813 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

1,245 mm

1,339 mm

Shoulder Room, Rear

1,334 mm

1,331 mm

Cargo Volume Behind Rear Seats

541 L

FWD: 723 L

AWD: 689 L


 

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