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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently spent some weeks comparing & testing both vehicles, both online & in-person, before deciding on which one to purchase. My most notable observations/opinions are listed below.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross AWD XLE Advantages & Disadvantages
  • The TNGA 2.0L GDI Toyota engine pairs both direct & port injection together. That's a better (but more complicated) design than the pure direct injection engines that almost all other automakers use, for a variety of reasons.
  • The black plastic cladding on the Corolla Cross is slimmer & better-integrated into the overall styling of the vehicle, giving it more of a low-key, unassuming & contemporary look.
  • Unsightly exhaust system on both the AWD (& FWD) versions. Toyota needs to work on making their exhaust system/pipes not look like tacky afterthoughts that detract from the style & quality-look of the vehicle. At least put a finishing tip on the exhaust pipe & keep everything silver, instead of stained/rusted/burnt-metal looking.
  • Touchscreen infotainment system looks like a poorly-integrated, clunky, unsightly, dated afterthought to the dash design of the latest TNGA Corolla generations (Cross, Sedan & Hatch). The XLE interior looks pretty good other than the protruding infotainment touchscreen eyesore & is comfortable up-front in terms of seating/position.
  • XLE trim exterior looks good in that boxy SUV/Crossover sort of way, & better in-person (though some other global markets have a better-looking front fascia IMO for the Cross). The lower L/LE trims come across as really cut-rate & ultra-budget looking though (IMO).
  • I'm not a fan of chain/belt design CVT transmissions, even with a physical first gear designed into them to theoretically reduce certain stresses on the CVT system.
  • Wish automakers would stop using gloss piano black trim inside the vehicle for styling points. It scratches easy & vividly shows dust, smudges & fingerprints.
  • Pretty small gas tank size/capacity, but common for this vehicle size class.
  • Not the best rear seating comfort/space - but this is a compact vehicle, so it's to be expected. It's a bit better than the CX-30 though, so keep that in mind if you plan to put people back there.
  • Solid compact-class hatch hauling capacity, & bit better than the CX-30.

Mazda CX-30 AWD (Carbon Edition) Advantages & Disadvantages:
  • Mazda uses straight direct-injection only on their engines (like almost all automakers implementing GDI engines), though their newer Skyactiv engines are designed to reduce/slow the inherent issue of carbon build-up that they will likely face at some point during the engine lifetime. So, that means spending some extra money at a certain point to have it professionally cleaned out, since the cleaning additives in fuel & such aren't hitting all the engine parts that they need to (like with port-injected engines).
  • Interior feels & looks premium for this class segment. The dark burgundy/wine pseudo-leather seats (one of two options for interior) are gorgeous with the otherwise black interior. Very comfortable front seating & position. Inside controls are laid out better & seem to have more thought put into them from an end-user standpoint.
  • Superior driving/handling dynamics & feel compared to other crossover vehicles that I have tested in this class.
  • The black cladding is somewhat thicker than I prefer & generically uniform in its style/implementation, but blends well with the black wheels of the Carbon Edition (& once you black out the chrome front/side trim), giving it a "post-apocalyptic", rugged-but-sleek, aggressive look. But, as always, this is "eye of the beholder" territory & opinions likely differ.
  • Mazda still uses a conventional, tried-and-true 6-speed geared automatic - which is a big plus for me if I'm going to buy an ICE vehicle WITHOUT a manual transmission.
  • Mazda was awesome at integrating their exhaust system into the CX-30 & properly concealing it - and kudos for having the classic/sporty double exhaust outlets (one on each side of vehicle) with stainless steel finishers. Now that's a classy exhaust setup for an ICE vehicle.
  • Wish automakers would stop using gloss piano black trim inside the vehicle for styling points. It scratches easy & vividly shows dust, smudges & fingerprints.
  • Pretty small gas tank size/capacity, but common for this vehicle size class.
  • Not the best rear-seating comfort/space - but this is a compact vehicle, so it's to be expected.
  • Solid compact-class hatch hauling capacity, but a bit more limited due to sleeker shape of the CX-30.
 
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