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The Toyota Corolla sedan continues to be one of the most popular vehicles today, but there’s a newer variant on the market nowadays. The Toyota Corolla Cross is a crossover SUV that mimics the sedan in many ways, except it’s taller and wider and offers a higher driving stance.

J.D. Power surveys owners of the Cross to see what they think about their purchases. The drivers were asked what features they would rank the highest to the lowest, which was reported in the site’s APEAL study. What were the results? Let’s take a look.

A blue 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross subcompact SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Toyota

What did owners think was the best part of their Toyota Corolla Cross?

In the J.D. Power APEAL study, owners of the Toyota Corolla Cross ranked the top three and bottom three categories when it came to their experience with the crossover SUV. What they liked the most about their vehicles were its exterior styling, driving feel, and feeling of safety. 

Its styling is classic, but more on the subtle side, this keeps it from being overwhelming. Plus, it’s more in line with what you get with the Corolla sedan, which also has an understated exterior. 

As for how it drives, owners felt it was the second-best feature of the Corolla Cross. With it being a crossover SUV, you get a taller ride height, enabling you to see out over the road. 

Safety was the third feature on the list that owners liked about the Corolla Cross. The IIHS gave it a Top Safety Pick+ award, which puts it ahead of some of its rivals, like the Hyundai Venue, for example. 

What did they like the least about the Toyota Corolla Cross?

Out of the 10 categories surveyed, the three least favored features were the infotainment system, driving comfort, and powertrain.

The SUV’s infotainment system does come with a handful of good features, like a 7-inch display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the chance to upgrade to an 8-inch screen if you choose. However, it doesn’t stand out among so many other similar SUVs that offer a bit more. It’s the same with driving comfort. While it does offer some comfort in the seats, it’s merely average or acceptable, with nothing to set it apart from any other models. 

The worst part about the Toyota Corolla Cross is its powertrain. Powering it up is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 169 hp paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, according to J.D. Power. Front-wheel drive is standard, but unlike the sedan version, you can opt for an all-wheel drivetrain.

Performance with this engine is rather slow. Acceleration time for a 0 to 60 mph run was a poor 9.3 seconds, which isn’t surprising since even Consumer Reports reported the SUV struggled when trying to get more power merging onto the highway or climbing hills. 

Other categories surveyed that didn’t fall in the top or bottom three on the list include interior design, fuel economy, getting in and out, and getting it set up and started. Fuel economy isn’t too bad with the Corolla Cross, which offers a nice 28 mpg overall. Since it’s taller and wider than the sedan counterpart, accessibility is a plus for this model. 

What J.D. Power’s expert thought of the Toyota Corolla Cross

The expert that reviewed the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross tested the top trim version, which is the XLE. With this model, the feature liked the most by the reviewer was the interior, namely the Softex imitation leather material on the seats for the trim they tested. Also praised was the cargo space, which Consumer Reports states is 26 cubic feet of storage with a wide opening at the liftgate. 

The expert went on to explain the XLE top-tier model came with the right amount of features for the highest version. For example, it offers a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, and a 7-inch digital driver information system screen all for the price point of approximately $30,870 (including destination fees). 

The reviewer also liked the performance of the Toyota Corolla Cross model but didn’t think it was all that engaging, just acceptable. They were pleased with the transmission’s performance, feeling it added to the driving experience. Safety is a plus with this SUV since it comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0, which offers lane-tracing assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and road sign recognition to name just a few. All in all, the expert likened the experience of driving the Cross to a Lexus. 

The best part of the Toyota Corolla Cross that owners felt made the model worth it, was its exterior styling, while the worst feature was its powertrain or namely the poor-performing engine. However, an independent expert who reviewed the top trim of the Cross felt the powertrain was acceptable, just nothing to write home about. 


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