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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross vs. 2022 Kia Sportage: Which Is Better?

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross and the 2022 Kia Sportage don’t have much in common at first glance, but they’re more similar than you’d think. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The structure of the Toyota Corolla Cross is related to the Corolla, C-HR, and Lexus UX.
  • Sportage offers 6.2 inches greater rear legroom.
  • Corolla Cross is 6-mpg more efficient in base form.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross
The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross starts at $23,410.

Base Price: $23,410 / Find out more about the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

What we like: Solid standard safety feature set; standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; AWD available on every trim.

What we would change: Offer more than one engine choice; improve base model included equipment; spice up the exterior.

Overview: The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is a small crossover SUV aimed at the intersection of compactness and usefulness. Its core formula is based around a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) sending power to the front wheels by default. However, AWD is an available upgrade, even on base models. The upgrade from front-wheel drive (FWD) to AWD also upgrades the rear axle from a torsion beam to a multi-link.

What’s new for 2022: The Corolla Cross is all-new for the 2022 model year.

Features and technology: The 2022 Corolla Cross comes in three trim levels: L, LE, and XLE. Whichever version you choose, all Corolla Cross models come with Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of active safety features, including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and more.

The L includes standard equipment such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a 4.2-inch gauge cluster display. The LE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen, Qi wireless device charging, a Smart Key with pushbutton start, and body-colored heated side mirrors. The top-of-the-range XLE adds or upgrades to 18-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch digital gauge display, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, rear cross-traffic braking, dual-zone climate control, and more.

What does the future hold: While the Toyota Corolla Cross is all-new to the U.S. this year, it has been produced elsewhere in the world since 2020, so Toyota may bring some significant updates to the Corolla Cross family within the next year or two. See 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross models for sale

2022 Kia Sportage

2022 KIa Sportage front right in green
The 2022 Kia Sportage starts at $25,265.

Base Price: $25,265 / Find out more about the 2022 Kia Sportage 

What we like: A punchy turbo engine; nimble handling; good-looking interior; long warranty.

What we would change: Below-average fuel economy; needs more cargo space.

Overview: The 2022 Kia Sportage is the sporty sibling in Kia’s burgeoning crossover lineup, slotting between the larger Sorento and the new-for-2021 Seltos. As befits a sporty crossover, the Sportage gets a 181-horsepower 2.4-liter base engine and an available 240-hp turbocharged upgrade engine, plus a 6-speed automatic transmission and your choice of front or all-wheel drive.

The 5-seat Sportage offers 129.3 cubic feet of total interior volume, with 30.7 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats or 60.1 cubic feet for cargo with the rear seats laid flat. The Sportage is even rated to tow–up to 2,000 lbs with proper configuration.

What’s new for 2022: For 2022, the LX Value Edition Package is new, replacing the previous LX Popular Package, adding features previously found on higher trims like 18-inch dark gray wheels, pushbutton start, blind-spot warning, and more. The Nightfall Edition also replaces the S Trim. The EX now gets a panoramic sunroof as standard equipment. The EX Technology Package and SX Turbo models get 10 years of complimentary map updates, including head-unit software updates and more.

Features and technology: The 2022 Kia Sportage has four core trim lines: LX, Nightfall, EX, and SX Turbo. All trim lines are front-drive by default, with available AWD. All models get a suite of Kia’s driver assistance technologies, including forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, driver attention warning, and high-beam assist. Standard on Nightfall, EX, and SX Turbo are blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, which buyers can add to the LX with the LX Value Edition Package.

All models use an 8-inch touchscreen, though the features and software available increase as you rise through the trim lines. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality are standard across the line, as is a 6-speaker, 160-watt sound system, Bluetooth audio, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, keyless entry, and more.

What does the future hold: The Kia Sportage will be all-new for the 2023 model year.

See 2022 Kia Sportage models for sale near you

Corolla Cross vs. Sportage: Strengths Comparison

Corolla Cross benefits: Compact size; more maneuverable; Toyota resale value and brand reliability reputation.

Sportage benefits: Great standard safety features; strong upgrade engine; standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross vs. 2022 Kia Sportage: Which Is Better?

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross vs 2022 Kia Sportage Interior

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross is a small SUV with an economical 4-cylinder engine and a CVT. It’s an affordable, well-specified SUV with a good amount of standard safety equipment, even in lower trims.

The 2022 Kia Sportage is also a small SUV with an economical — but somewhat sportier — 4-cylinder engine or an even more powerful turbocharged upgrade option. The Sportage also uses a true geared 6-speed automatic transmission as opposed to a CVT. The Sportage’s rear seat isn’t especially spacious, but it’s substantially roomier than the Corolla Cross, with an additional 6.2 inches of legroom.

Both vehicles offer optional AWD.

Which one is best for you is likely to have more to do with your use than any particular trait.

See 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross models for sale or See 2022 Kia Sportage models for sale

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 2022 Kia Sportage
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.0-liter I4 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 150 lb-ft @ 4,400-4,800 rpm 175 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission CVT 6-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 32 mpg (31 city/33 hwy) 26 mpg (23 city/30 hwy)
Also Available AWD 2.0-liter turbo I4; AWD
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety n/a 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 103.9 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 175.6 inches 176.4 inches
Width 71.9 inches 73.0 inches
Height 64.9 inches 64.4 inches
Turning Diameter 35.4 feet 35.4 feet
Headroom, Front 39.5 inches 39.3 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 39.1 inches
Legroom, Front 42.9 inches 41.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 32.0 inches 38.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 52.8 inches 57.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.5 inches 55.1 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 95.0 cubic feet 98.6 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 26.5/66.8 cubic feet 30.7/60.1 cubic feet

Nelson Ireson
Nelson Ireson
Nelson Ireson is an automotive writer and enthusiast whose 15-plus years of experience have seen him travel the globe, driving as many new cars as possible. His work has appeared throughout the print and online automotive world, including Car and Driver, Autoblog, and Motor Authority, among others. He writes for Autotrader from Long Beach, California.

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