2022 Toyota Corolla Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
When it comes to compact cars, the Toyota Corolla has been a staple for years. In fact, this icon is currently in its twelfth generation. Based on that, it is pretty obvious that the Corolla does a lot of things right. At the same time, it is not a perfect car. The 2022 Toyota Corolla has many strong points, but it also has a few issues that may make some buyers hesitate. At the end of the day, will the new Corolla be a smart buy, or should buyers skip it and choose a competitor instead?
What's New for 2022?
The current generation of the Corolla debuted in 2020. The redesign saw the vehicle gaining a long list of standard technology and safety equipment. Last year, Toyota rolled out the exciting new Apex version of the vehicle that has a more aggressive look and a few performance enhancers. In 2022, there are no major changes worth noting.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Toyota Corolla – The Pros
1. Excellent Fuel Economy Estimates
Many people would call the Corolla a commuter car. For that reason, it is important that it is fuel-efficient. With the available 2.0L engine and the CVT, drivers can see up to 32mpg in the city and 41mpg on the highway. The standard 1.8L engine does pretty well, too, estimated to get up to 30mpg city and 38mpg highway when paired with the CVT. These are excellent numbers, even when compared to other compact cars.
2. Comfortable Ride and Balanced Handling
The 2022 Corolla is a beautiful blend of agility and comfort. A well-designed suspension helps to keep the body lean to a minimum, and the responsive steering helps the driver enjoy their time at the wheel. Drivers will have no issues moving the Corolla through city streets or getting it in or out of parking spaces. And to top it all off, the suspension is able to absorb the majority of bumps that the average driver will face in the road.
3. Impressive Safety Tech Standard
There are a total of five trim levels available for the 2022 Corolla, all of which come with adaptive cruise control. This feature can dramatically reduce the strain on the driver in heavy traffic situations by making adjustments to the speed to keep it a set distance behind the car ahead. Other standard safety features include lane departure warning and forward collision mitigation. Automatic high beams, road sign recognition, and pedestrian detection round out the standard driver aid list.
4. Available Six-Speed Intelligent Manual Transmission
Select models of the new Corolla are available with what Toyota calls a six-speed "intelligent" manual transmission. To help the Corolla accelerate quickly, there are close-ratio low gears. As drivers reach the higher gears, they get more space between them to help keep the fuel economy up. Another perk of this transmission is the rev-matching feature, which has been designed to reduce strain. Buyers should note that this manual transmission is not as efficient as the standard CVT, however.
5. Upscale & High-Quality Interior
The streamlined look of the Corolla cabin will appeal to many. Drivers will find that their eye is immediately drawn to the tablet-style infotainment screen. The base model is equipped with "premium cloth" upholstery, and higher trims go with genuine leather for a more sophisticated experience. Although there are a few hard plastics, there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces that keep the look of the Corolla upscale.
6. Easy-to-Use Technology Features
Toyota is applauded for its intuitive infotainment system. Inside the Corolla, the system runs on either a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen. On top of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, all models come with Amazon Alexa compatibility. Between all of these features, drivers can easily use their voice to access a variety of tech features. The base model has two USB ports and six speakers, while higher trims add more. Available tech upgrades include wireless device charging and navigation.
7. Available Corolla Apex Model
The Apex has been a game-changer for the Corolla. This trim level comes standard with an upgraded suspension and a lower ride height, along with the larger 2.0 engine standard. On the style front, this Corolla has a rear spoiler and unique black and bronze exterior accents. The back of the Corolla Apex is also home to a sport exhaust. Inside, there are front sport seats and a driver-focused cockpit. The bronze theme continues inside with eye-catching contrast stitching. Summer tires with extra grip are available for this trim level.
8. Adaptive Front-Lighting System Available
Toyota has given the 2022 Corolla features that increase safety as well as convenience. One example is the available adaptive front-lighting system. The system has the headlights following the front wheels when they turn, dramatically increasing visibility at night and giving drivers more time to react to hazards in the road.
9. Two Body Styles to Choose From
Buyers can choose between sedan and hatchback variations of the Corolla. While many people will find that the sedan is adequate as a daily commuter, some may be attracted to the added cargo space provided by the hatchback model. It offers nearly 18 cubic feet. If drivers fold down the back seat in the hatchback, they can easily throw in their bikes or head to the hardware store.
10. Five-Star Safety Rating
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tested the 2022 Corolla and given it an overall score of five out of five stars. It received five stars in both frontal and side crash testing and four out of five stars for rollover testing. Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet tested the 2022 Corolla at the time of this writing, it did name the very similar 2021 model a Top Safety Pick.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Toyota Corolla – The Cons
1. Base Engine is Slow
The Toyota Corolla is not going to thrill many drivers. Its standard engine is a 1.8L four-cylinder that puts out a measly 139-horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque. The available upgrade, which is a 2.0L four-cylinder, offers a more enjoyable 169-horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. That still leaves a lot to be desired, and it is restricted to the top trims.
2. Lack of Backseat Space Gets Annoying
No one is expecting a compact car to be particularly roomy. Still, the Corolla seems extra small in the back, especially if buyers opt for the hatchback model. The sedan does a bit better when it comes to rear legroom, but not by much. The Corolla is best used as a commuter for an individual. It might also work for a family with small children.
3. Noisy Cabin Makes it Hard to Relax
Despite the upscale cabin, drivers may have a hard time relaxing inside the 2022 Corolla. This is primarily due to the amount of road and wind noise that makes its way inside the cabin. Although this is true of most compact cars, the Corolla seems to struggle with it more than its rivals.
4. Sedan Model Lacks Trunk Space
While the hatchback version of the Corolla is reasonably practical, the Corolla sedan is lacking. There are only 13.1 cubic feet to work with back there, which is less than most of its competitors. Those who routinely need a decent amount of cargo space will want to look at the hatchback, or perhaps a different compact car altogether.
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How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Toyota Corolla vs. 2022 Honda Civic
The other long-lasting and heavy-hitting vehicle in the compact car world is the Honda Civic. In 2022, this option has a more powerful engine and a slightly nicer interior. It also has a larger trunk. On the other hand, the Civic has a significantly higher starting price than the Corolla. Many would argue that the Corolla has better handling as well.
2022 Toyota Corolla vs. 2022 Mazda 3
Mazda has built a reputation for making sporty vehicles that are fun to drive. This is true of the 2022 Mazda 3, which has engaging driving dynamics and more power underneath the hood. On the downside, the Mazda3 cannot keep up with the Corolla when it comes to fuel economy. The infotainment system also is a bit more difficult to learn.
The 2022 Toyota Corolla continues the vehicle's tradition of offering a well-rounded vehicle with a good deal of features for the money. There are definite areas for improvement that Toyota can focus on in the future, however. A redesign that allows for a bit more space in the back would be welcome, as well as a more powerful standard engine. Ideally, this could be accomplished without reducing the impressive fuel economy that the Corolla is offering now.