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2023 Toyota Corolla, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car

 

2023 Toyota Corolla Sees Predictable Price Increases—But One Surprise Cut

Given the revisions this popular compact receives, the MSRP increases might be worth it.

2023 Toyota Corolla lineup

While the big news in Corolla world for 2023 is the bonkers 300-hp turbocharged, stick-shift, all-wheel-drive GR Corolla hot hatch, the rest of the lineup receives minor revisions. Given how many, many more regular ol’ Corolla sedans and hatchbacks will be sold than will niche GR Corollas, Toyota’s changes to the 2023 models are, technically, of much wider consequence. And now we know how much those updated Corollas will cost.

So, What’s New, Again?

The short version is that every 2023 Corolla inherits Toyota’s newest touchscreen with sharper on-screen graphics and a new layout, along with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The sedans and hatchbacks also receive subtly restyled bumpers and lighting, new wheel designs, and Toyota’s latest Safety System 3.0 active-safety features standard.

More critical is what the 2023 Corollas are missing: Toyota has dropped the six-speed manual transmission available on the sportier XSE sedans and the SE and XSE hatchback models. Every ’23 Corolla, therefore, comes only with an automatic transmission, which in the gas-fed models’ case is a continuously variable automatic (CVT), and in the hybrids is a planetary-type CVT. If you want a manual-transmission Corolla, the wild GR Corolla hatch is your only option.

Otherwise, powertrain news for the 2023 Corolla is generally good—the hybrids get a big upgrade in power from 121 hp to 134, and now offer a part-time all-wheel drive setup with an electric motor capable of spinning the rear tires if slip is detected at the fronts. Gas Corollas are now all powered by the same 169-hp 2.0-liter I-4; last year’s entry-level 1.8-liter I-4 has been dropped.

MY23 Corolla Hybrid 0003

What Price, These Changes?

The 2.0-liter upgrade mainly impacts the entry-level Corolla LE (last year’s base-base L trim is gone, but also used the old 1.8-liter), which makes the 2023 Corolla LE’s $675 price premium over the 2022 version quite palatable. Between the new safety features, new touchscreen, and the bigger engine, the entry-level Corolla remains quite a deal at $22,645. (Even better?

The Honda Civic sees a de-facto price increase for 2023, having dropped its base LX trim, leaving the $25,745 Sport as the cheapest Civic you can buy—more than even the Corolla SE.) The rest of the Corolla sedan family sees various price increases between $375 and $1,075.

2023 MSRP Change from 2022
Corolla L sedan discontinued
Corolla LE sedan $22,645 +$675
Corolla SE sedan $25,045 +$1,075
Corolla XSE sedan $27,795 +$375
Corolla XLE sedan discontinued
Corolla Hybrid LE sedan $23,895 (+$1,400 for AWD)  -$1,250
Corolla Hybrid SE sedan  $26,295 (+$1,400 for AWD) _
Corolla Hybrid XLE sedan $27,695
Corolla SE hatchback $24,060 +$1,800
Corolla XSE hatchback $27,525 +$2,315

Toyota has raised pricing bigger time on the non-GR Corolla hatchback models, which now start at $24,060 for the SE and $27,525 for the XSE. Again, these prices partially reflect the newly standard CVTs, but the XSE’s $2,315 hike is a little harsher.

Amidst this sea of largely palatable price increases? A huge price cut for the entry-level Corolla Hybrid LE sedan. Last year, this was the only version of the hybrid Corolla that Toyota sold; this year, it’s joined by a new SE trim that mimics its sportier styled gas Corolla SE siblings, as well as a luxurious XLE trim.

These new upgrade avenues seem to have allowed Toyota to shove the Hybrid LE’s price lower—by a significant $1,250, meaning it significantly undercuts the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. Adding AWD to the LE or Hybrid SE costs $1,400, while the XLE Hybrid is front-drive-only.

2023 EPA Fuel Econ (city/hwy/comb) Change from 2022
Corolla L sedan discontinued
Corolla LE sedan 32/41/35 mpg +2 mpg city, +3 mpg hwy, +2 mpg comb
Corolla SE sedan 31/40/34 mpg no change
Corolla XSE sedan 31/40/34 mpg + 2 mpg hwy
Corolla XLE sedan discontinued
Corolla Hybrid LE sedan 53/46/50 mpg (FWD); 51/44/48 mpg (AWD) – 6 mpg highway, – 2 mpg combined (FWD)
Corolla Hybrid SE sedan 50/43/47 mpg (FWD); 47/41/44 mpg (AWD) _
Corolla Hybrid XLE sedan 53/46/50 mpg
Corolla SE hatchback 32/41/35 mpg no change
Corolla XSE hatchback 30/38/33 mpg no change

Every Corolla that was powered by the 2.0-liter I-4 last year sees virtually no changes to its fuel economy ratings. The lone exception is the ’23 Corolla XSE sedan, which sees a 2-mpg increase on the highway. Intriguingly, the more powerful engine actually ups the Corolla LE’s fuel economy relative to its 1.8-liter-powered predecessor, by 2-3 mpg across the board.

Toyota seems to have sacrificed some of the Corolla Hybrid’s efficiency for extra power, which, based on our experience with that formerly pokey model, is probably a worthwhile trade. Whereas last year’s Corolla Hybrid LE model delivered 53 mpg city, 52 mpg highway, and 52 mpg combined, this year’s LE drops 6 mpg on the highway and 2 on the combined figures (these figures are shared with the Hybrid XLE).

Adding AWD chops 2 mpg across the board on the LE. With its bigger wheels and tires, the Hybrid SE delivers even lower fuel economy, which further drops with AWD added. Even so, the least-efficient 2023 Corolla Hybrid still delivers 44 mpg combined.

More power, more features, and decent pricing? What more can you ask from a venerable compact car like the Toyota Corolla, which goes on sale soon?

2023 Toyota GR Corolla, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car

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