Wednesday, 06 December 2023

2023 Toyota Corolla hybrid is a fuel-efficient, affordable A-to-B car Featured

Posted On Tuesday, 01 August 2023 03:33 Written by
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The 2023 Toyota Corolla hybrid features a sharp design and offers AWD and excellent fuel economy. The 2023 Toyota Corolla hybrid features a sharp design and offers AWD and excellent fuel economy. Photos courtesy of Toyota

The Toyota Corolla has long been one of America’s most popular vehicles, in part because it has multiple variants that will appeal to different people.

One such variant is its hybrid option, which is one of the few remaining affordable small cars still offered in a hybrid version.

Featuring an expanded trim lineup for 2023, as well as tech upgrades and optional all-wheel drive, the new Corolla hybrid makes a good case for its continued success.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2023 Corolla SE hybrid sedan, and I’m back with a full report on what it has to offer and who might want to pick one up.


The 2023 Corolla hybrid features updates to both the front and rear ends of the vehicle. My test vehicle featured a snazzy, sporty looking exterior design, highlighted by 18-inch alloy wheels, a mesh black front grille, automatic LED headlights, rear spoiler, mudguards and outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.

Being a compact vehicle, the curb weight comes in at just over 3,200 pounds, less than half of the behemoth SUVs and trucks sold today, which allows it to be more nimble on the roadways and makes parking much easier.

Moving inside the Corolla, the biggest downside is that it’s pretty tight in terms of space, especially regarding legroom for those sitting in the back seat. Passenger volume is 89 cubic feet, and trunk volume in the sedan is 13 cubic feet.

On the upside, my test vehicle featured an attractive red and black seating design, as well as generally comfy seating on the sport fabric-trimmed seats. You can also get a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The dashboard design flowed very smoothly, but one downside on the interior is the limited amount of small storage spaces. Other available amenities inside the Corolla hybrid include ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, and heated front seats.


The 2023 Corolla hybrid is a rarity, a compact hybrid that offers AWD performance. This will allow drivers to feel safer in slippery road conditions while also maintaining the amazing fuel economy that a hybrid can offer. It’s a combination that will help sell a lot of buyers.

The hybrid powertrain on the 2023 Corolla also offers a boost in power over past versions.

The 1.8-liter four cylinder motor puts out a grand total of 134 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque — both significant jumps over the 2022 version — and is paired with an electronically controlled CVT automatic transmission.

The reality is that is even with the boosted numbers, you’re still not driving a rocket with the Corolla hybrid, which offers subpar acceleration.

The experience can be somewhat improved by using the available Sport mode on the Corolla hybrid (Normal and Eco modes are also offered), but 0-to-60 will still take you at least 9 seconds, and you can hear the engine being pushed to its limit when it tries to go too fast too quick.

Like many hybrids, the Corolla was so quiet when you first start it up, I often forgot it was turned on. But once you get moving, there’s also a significant amount of road noise that intrudes into the vehicle. And an extremely loud sound will continue to blare if you don't put on a seat belt, so make sure to always buckle up.

The Corolla hybrid is a vehicle about efficiency, not power. Just know that going in and you won't be disappointed. And power aside, the ride is overall very smooth and responsive to input, and offers great handling.


The technology setup in the Corolla hybrid was solid, but nothing spectacular — about the level I would expect from this size vehicle in its price range.

My test vehicle featured a clear 8-inch touchscreen, and voice commands that worked effectively most of the time. The screen was too small for my taste, as most people have gotten used to larger screens in recent years, but may be big enough for some drivers.

My test vehicle featured an optional 9-speaker JBL Premium Audio setup Including subwoofer and amplifier. The standard audio system has six speakers.

The Corolla hybrid has wireless compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and comes with a 3-month trial to satellite radio. Wi-Fi hotspot is also offered.

On the safety end, Toyota come through strong, as per usual. For starters, Corolla hybrid is highly rated with a 5-star government safety rating overall, and in all but one category (4 stars out of 5 for rollover); It’s one of the safest cars available, which is rare for a smaller vehicle.

Among the standard safety features included are:
— Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, which features: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist and more
— Backup Camera
— Smart Key System with Push Button Start 

Other safety features include:
— Adaptive cruise control (maintains a distance between the Corolla and the car in front) 
— Forward collision mitigation (warns of impending collision and applies brakes in certain scenarios)
— Automatic high-beam assist 
— Road sign assistance (detects road signs and displays them on your instrument panel)

There is also the option for a blind spot monitor, which alerts the driver of traffic via color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, and rear cross-traffic alert.


Stellar fuel economy can be found on the 2023 Corolla hybrid, coming in at 47 mpg city / 41 highway / 44 combined for the AWD model. For FWD versions, those numbers climb to 50 mpg city and 43 highway. 

Quite frankly, this fuel economy is the main draw of the Corolla hybrid. The numbers are so strong, they can even compete well as alternatives to plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles.

My real-world testing proved the listed numbers to be accurate, and the Corolla hybrid measures up well against other hybrids from Kia, Hyundai, Honda, and its Toyota stablemates. In its size and price range, the Elantra hybrid is the only true competitor for now, though the Civic hybrid is expected to return in 2024. 


There are three primary trim levels on the 2023 Corolla hybrid — LE, SE and XLE. The base prices range from around $24K to $28K, among the lowest prices you’ll find for a hybrid vehicle in today’s market.

My test vehicle, an SE hybrid with options, came to just over $30K. I would recommend picking up the SE hybrid, which offers some stronger features for a modest price increase over the base LE.

Helping the value proposition is the Toyota longevity that buyers can come to expect from the brand.

The Corolla hybrid’s warranty is decent, but lags behind some competitors, and includes:
— Limited warranty covering three years or 36,000 miles
— Powertrain warranty covering five years or 60,000 miles
— Hybrid components covered for eight years or 100,000 miles

— Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 25,000 miles


The 2023 Toyota Corolla hybrid delivers excellent fuel economy, a smooth but unexciting ride, and gets you where you need to go.  

It’s one of few more affordable vehicles left with its starting price under $25K, and offers Toyota reliability on top of that, making it a tremendous value.

Any car buyers seeking a nonflashy, smaller vehicle that will get you where you need to go reliably and keep you far away from the gas station, will be wise to keep the Corolla hybrid on their list of vehicles to explore.

=== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Toyota Corolla hybrid
  • Price as tested: $30,546 (starts around $23K)
  • Best feature: Excellent fuel economy 
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Buyers seeking a reliable small sedan that sips gas
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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