Here are some other things I noticed as I am using the Cross. Of course, my reference point is my old car, the Sonic.
The driver door sill label says that front tires should be at 33 psi, rear at 29 psi. The dashboard display says all four tires are at the same pressure: 39 to 40 psi. I guess they were inflated to that at the factory... I'm not sure if this is a problem or not. I'll have to research the specs for the Continental tires it has and see what pressure I should keep in them. I'll also double check with a tire pressure gauge.
I've been watching the dash indicator more often to look for the green leaf (ECO driving). I also did a bit more highway driving. The mileage has gone up to 30 mpg. Getting close to what the Sonic could do.
CVT vs 6 speed automatic:
The CVT is a bit annoying. I really liked how the 6 speed automatic in the Sonic behaved, especially at high speed. The Sonic liked to run. Once you'd get up to 65mph on relatively level road, it would get into a "happy" gear ratio and it would feel like the engine was just idling (no effort - foot not even resting on the accelerator, just lightly touching it). I could tell that it was happy to just run forever at that speed.
The Cross requires me to press the accelerator even at high speeds. The only times I get it close to that smooth running like the Sonic is when going downhill.
One other thing I noticed is that the Sonic would engine break when going downhill at low speeds. The Cross just slides down the hill at any speed. I don't know if the Sonic was safer/better, or it was a design flaw... It's just something I noticed.
I thought the Sonic's clickitty-clack 1.8L engine was noisy. After all, it is a cheap, not very refined engine. But the Cross' engine is even louder. I can hear it in the cabin louder. I've driven cars with diesel engines that were quieter and more refined. Also, when accelerating, the Sonic's engine would "growl" (like it was getting angry, sort of a nicer sound), while the Cross' engine seems to be "groaning" (an unpleasant droning sound).
Rear window getting dirty:
The rear window of the Cross has gotten dirty fast. It is annoying that it does not have a sprayer and wiper to clear it a bit. It's been one week since I got the car, in the Pacific Northwest rainy weather. The windshield and side windows are clean, almost like new, but the rear has dust stuck to it after rain. Also, when it rains the visibility out the rear drops a lot. I miss the rear wiper in the Sonic.
The Cross has Daytime Running Lights. But for some reason, Toyota decided that the rear lights should not come on with the DRL. Just the headlights come on. How difficult would have been to turn on the rear lights as well? This is where I start to think that "we give customers the Safety Sense 2.0 on all trim levels because we care about their safety" is nothing more than marketing noise.
Trunk space organization:
This is an odd one. The Cross has a big trunk. Very nice to have. But the under floor storage nooks and crannies are poorly designed. I like to permanently keep in the trunk a car size fire extinguisher, reflective vest and emergency lights, tire inflator, squeegee and ice scraper, some reusable shipping bags etc. In the Sonic I could tuck those away in nooks and little cubby holes in the trunk and have a clean look, and plenty of regular storage. The Cross is poorly designed. Lots of empty space, but not practical. And the rounded side spaces towards the rear of the trunk are difficult to use to organize stuff. I'm sure in time I'll find a solution, but the Corolla brand as a practical car is diminished when the designers can't be bothered to organizing options to the customers. I don't plan on hauling just sheet rock and Ikea furniture, so just a big empty space of an odd shape is not very practical to me.
Engine auto start/stop:
I'm trying to get used to the auto start/stop of the engine. I know it saves fuel. It does delay starting from a stop so you have to mind it when you are waiting on a side road to merge into a busy main road.
Auto parking brake:
The Cross has a push button parking brake. I thought I would have to manually engage/disengage it when parking, but it seems like it can do it on its own. When you put it in Park it activates the brake and when you put it in Drive or Reverse, it takes it off. It has a one or two seconds delay. I will get used to it.
Improvements I made so far:
If you have ideas for improvements and organizing tips, please share. Thanks