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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I installed some mud guards on my Cross and I noticed some pretty big panel gaps. Most of it is around the headlights and the hood.
As you can see in the pictures, there's a big gap between the headlights and the center grille of the car. Yes, what you see there in the gap (I can poke my pinky finger through that gap) is the radiator.
Also, on the top of the headlights there's a big gap where they are supposed to meet the hood.
Also, on the side of the hood there's a big gap. In the pictures you see my pinky finger for scale (I did not have a banana o me at the time).
All these gaps let water from rain and dust go into the engine bay. And in the pictures you can see how dirty the engine compartment is, and not just the engine itself, but also the inside of the hood. This car has 3 months and 2000 miles of city use. In a year the engine bay will look like one from a farm tractor.
I had the hood fully closed, so this is the normal state of the car.
I went around the car and I also remembered to take some picture of the license plate lights so you can see how the light housing just sits there, not rubber gasket around it. This is on both sides of the hatch release button and camera. As you feel around to find the button for the hatch, you come across the license plate light and you press on it thinking it is the button. There's no rubber gasket or plastic trim. Nothing. If the car was not painted, I'm sure I would have cut my fingers on the sharp metal edge of the hood.

Unbelievable shoddy engineering from Toyota. What am I supposed to do now? Look around for self adhesive rubber tubing to fill in those gaps?
Either this is bad design from Toyota, or very bad assembly in Alabama, or some trim pieces are missing.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, after 3 months. And I'm sure I will find out more things after 6 months, a year and so on, as I get to thoroughly investigate the vehicle by working on it. This is the first year they sold this vehicle in US. And there was no inventory at the dealership when I bought it. I bought the very first one that the dealer received from Toyota. I did not have time to test it and dwell on it. Also, I bought it based on the Toyota reputation. I expected more from a 23k+ MSRP car.
It's the same things with a house. When it is first built and you buy it, everything looks new and shiny and good. But after a while you start to notice the plumbing problems, the electrical wiring problems, the small cracks in the hidden corners, the shoddy foundation or roof work etc.
More things you learn as you use something. For instance, for this Corolla Cross I found out the following little annoyances:
  • road noise: I think a lot of it is due to the cheap glass they use for the side windows. You can tell because when you drive in the rain, you can hear the water dripping loudly next to you, just outside the window (not leaking into the car of course). I think they went with the cheapest glass they found and it does not have acoustic properties to reduce some of the outside noise.
  • TPMS valve stems: they are the old generation with the metal stem. They are not the new TPMS sensors that they use in almost in all of their new cars (with a rubber stem). I think they had some old inventory left for these TPMS sensors and they said "eh, it's good enough; the shmuck buying this will not notice until down the years".
  • locking doors beep volume: I can't change the volume for the beep when you lock/unlock the doors, at least not on the L trim. The setting is not there in the Vehicle settings. Even though this is present on other Toyota cars (watch Youtube videos on how to change that volume on RAV4 or Corolla sedan).

Anyway, the reason I'm posting these issues is so new time buyers are aware that not all is rosy. They should pay attention and consider well on what they spend their hard earned money.
The Corolla Cross is a cheap vehicle, and it might not be worth the asking price, in normal market conditions of course. I would put it on par with the Yaris.
Personally I was planning on trading up the one I have for the hybrid version that will come up in a couple of years. But considering all the little problems and annoyances I found so far, I think I will trade it in for something else form another manufacturer, once the market gets back to normal.
 

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go to the dealership and compare it to any of them sitting on the lot . if your still scratching your head after inspecting go see the service manager .

keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My car is black, so taking pictures from a distance won't help. The dealer from where I bought it is quite a few miles away and probably won't have them on the lot as they sell out quick.
Out of curiosity I went and looked at reviews for this car showing different colors. I quickly found a silver one that shows the gaps pretty well. It is a video done by Skyler Toyota, titled "2022 Corolla Cross: L - LE - XLE Features in Under 5 Minutes!!!". Here's the link if it works on this forum:
Pause the video when the guy shows the front of the car. That gap you see just above the headlights is just a gap. There's no rubber or plastic trim. The hood never touches the headlights.
Also, when he shows the back of the car and opens the hatch, pause the video when the hatch is halfway open. You can see the rear camera, the hatch release button and the right light for the license plate. There's no plastic or rubber trim around the license plate lights, it's just a rectangular hole in the metal of the hatch and you can put your fingers through it and trace the contour of the light housing.

So I think this is by design. Maybe in a future version of the Cross they will fill in those gaps with some sort of plastic or rubber molding. One would hope so, but I would not hold my breath. I found this video (
) of a side by side comparison between the RAV4 and the Cross. The RAV4 seems to have even bigger gaps above the headlights. I can't tell if it has some rubber lining on the inside though.

On a side note, in the silver Cross video, check out the area just above the tail lights, on the car frame side, not the hatch. Pause the video and look at the gap on top of the tail light. Compare left vs right sides. You can see the left side has almost twice the gap size vs the right side. Yep, that's a 30k+ car (with destination, taxes and licensing fees) that proudly rolled off the assembly plant in Alabama.
Caveat emptor!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@jpmccormac
Yes I looked at that video, but the guy did not convince me and did not address the issues I mentioned. He spends just a few seconds looking at the forward left corner of the car. If you pause the video at the 2:28 mark and again at 14:50 you can see the top of headlight gaps are not even (same on left vs right). The right hand side of the car has a bigger gap above the headlight than the left side. If you can see that in a video shot 10ft away, you'll definitely see it in person from 3ft away.
 

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you are right, the gaps are large. also i checked the dust inside the compartment. it looks to me they got inside through the gap between light and frame through the centre. they could have give some rubber lining over the lights.
 

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My 2008 Scion Xb was damaged in transit from Japan and had asymmetrical panel gaps. It was repaired before I took delivery so I was none the wiser. It might be a good idea to take your car to a body shop and have them look at it.

At my first tire rotation for my Scion a mechanic asked if my car had been in an accident and I probably looked at him like he was an idiot because it was only 5,000 miles. A few years later my brother in law asked the same question and pointed out the panel gaps, the difference in head lights, and when he went under the car he thought he saw some frame damage. I talked to a lemon law attorney but by that time it was too make a claim.

On my Corolla Cross there is a black rubber gasket running along the front of the hood where it meets the front bumper. Is that there on your car? I don't see it in the pictures.
 

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I'm sure the first model-year of any new-gen vehicle is bound to have more systemic and/or random issues. That was the case with my (Japan assembled no less) TNGA 2020 Corolla SE Sedan that I purchased in late 2019, & one of the reasons that I recently traded it in earlier than planned with only 9000 miles on it. Seems like even Toyota has lowered their standards since my last Toyota vehicle purchase in 2015 before the 2020 purchase. 😪
 

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I'm sure the first model-year of any new-gen vehicle is bound to have more systemic and/or random issues. That was the case with my (Japan assembled no less) TNGA 2020 Corolla SE Sedan that I purchased in late 2019, & one of the reasons that I recently traded it in earlier than planned with only 9000 miles on it. Seems like even Toyota has lowered their standards since my last Toyota vehicle purchase in 2015 before the 2020 purchase. 😪
all of them have assorted warts these days . I leased a 2020 CRV knowing about the oil dilution issue because it was the lesser of 3 or so evils and a hand written escape clause in the lease/contract if it throws a diagnostic code due to said issue .
 

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all of them have assorted warts these days . I leased a 2020 CRV knowing about the oil dilution issue because it was the lesser of 3 or so evils and a hand written escape clause in the lease/contract if it throws a diagnostic code due to said issue .
That's true. When I was new vehicle shopping a month or so ago, I could find things to dislike about any model I was interested in (in terms of certain aesthetics, features, design or function - & even general build/assembly flaws in some cases). But, some seem to have better innate craftsmanship & general factory design/build quality than others. I've come to feel that Honda & Toyota have started coasting on an outdated reputation to some extent. At the same time, it seems like Mazda has ambitiously upped their game over the last decade or so & have surpassed both in many/most ways. I owned/drove nothing but various Honda/Acura vehicles from 1982 to 2015, & then Toyota for 2015 & 2020 model year purchases. I ended up choosing Mazda for the first time this time around because their vehicle impressed me the most, overall (& with fewer basic personal dislikes of one sort or another), & the fact that I ended up somewhat disappointed/annoyed with my 2020 TNGA Corolla SE Sedan to the point where I wanted something else after only 2.5 years of owning/driving it.
 

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Today I installed some mud guards on my Cross and I noticed some pretty big panel gaps. Most of it is around the headlights and the hood.
As you can see in the pictures, there's a big gap between the headlights and the center grille of the car. Yes, what you see there in the gap (I can poke my pinky finger through that gap) is the radiator.
Also, on the top of the headlights there's a big gap where they are supposed to meet the hood.
Also, on the side of the hood there's a big gap. In the pictures you see my pinky finger for scale (I did not have a banana o me at the time).
All these gaps let water from rain and dust go into the engine bay. And in the pictures you can see how dirty the engine compartment is, and not just the engine itself, but also the inside of the hood. This car has 3 months and 2000 miles of city use. In a year the engine bay will look like one from a farm tractor.
I had the hood fully closed, so this is the normal state of the car.
I went around the car and I also remembered to take some picture of the license plate lights so you can see how the light housing just sits there, not rubber gasket around it. This is on both sides of the hatch release button and camera. As you feel around to find the button for the hatch, you come across the license plate light and you press on it thinking it is the button. There's no rubber gasket or plastic trim. Nothing. If the car was not painted, I'm sure I would have cut my fingers on the sharp metal edge of the hood.

Unbelievable shoddy engineering from Toyota. What am I supposed to do now? Look around for self adhesive rubber tubing to fill in those gaps?
Either this is bad design from Toyota, or very bad assembly in Alabama, or some trim pieces are missing.



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I’ve had my Corolla cross for a month and opened the hood today to test fit a Lexus engine cover. It was absolute filthy.
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