Bear in mind that larger pixels being “better” applies notably to a 1:1 (100%) view. So, If you have a 12MP photo taken on a crop sensor and a 32MP photo taken on a crop sensor of equal age and quality, viewed at 1:1 the 12MP photo will be much sharper. I suspect the quality will be nearly identical once both are scaled to 8MP. (such as an 8×10 print) If you are shooting with your longest lens and still need to crop a lot, I would say the 32MP camera would be “better”.
Why don’t manufactures keep a large pixel size for crop sensor cameras and just make less megapixels? Are they just trying to make crop sensors look better then they really are?
Marketing. “Everyone” knows that more MP is better.
For the reference, DXOmark has tested many sensors and have published their results here: https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/ Notice that the ones with the best scores are all full-frame or medium format. The number of MP makes much less difference. For example, the (2019) Sony A7R IV with 61.2MP gets only a slightly better score than the (2019) Sony a9 II with 24.2MP.
Of course if you NEED 61MP (and have the budget for the extra hard drives) … Wait, 61MP is enough to print at 300dpi 32 inches wide. I don’t know about you, but I don’t view pictures that big at a distance of 12″ from the photo!