2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid First Drive

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Nov 15, 2022.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Lower base price, more trims, power, features and available AWD but an overall lowering of efficiency is in store.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Oct. 18, 2022

    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid SE


    2022 vs 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Pricing

    2022 Corolla LE HEV: 15” alloys w/ P195/65R15 tires - 53/52/52 mpg – $24,050 + $1,095 D&H

    2023 Corolla LE HEV: 16" steel w/ 205/55R16 tires - 50/43/47 mpg – $22,800 + $1,095 D&H
    2023 Corolla SE HEV: 18" alloys w/ P225/40R18 tires - 50/43/47 mpg – $25,200 + $1,095 D&H
    2023 Corolla XLE HEV: 16" alloys w/ 205/55R16 tires - 50/43/47 mpg – $26,600 + $1,095 D&H

    2023 Corolla LE/SE/XLE AWD trims - 44 mpg

    For 2023, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid received a significant number of upgrades as a refreshed model. A more powerful hybrid system and available AWD, new safety additions, new multimedia system, updated styling and new colors.

    The big is the LE Hybrid received a $1,250 price reduction! The Hybrid LE is now available with AWD, SE and SE AWD, and an XLE Hybrid for the very first time. All Corolla Hybrid trim received the upgraded Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 with new Proactive Driving Assist, including Obstacle Anticipation Assist and Deceleration Assist.

    Like the Sequoia, RX, and Crown, the refreshed Corolla receives the upgraded Toyota Audio Multimedia with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system was designed by the Toyota Connected team in Plano, TX. And like the vehicles I have used the system in prior, it is finally solid and worthy of mention within the automotive universe. All 2023 Corolla Hybrid trims also include an 8” central display and two rear-seat USB-C ports. The XLE adds the JBL Premium Audio and wireless Qi Charger.

    The SE adds a stiffer suspension and firmer Electronic Power Steering plus a new standard Smart Key and red interior accents replacing blue.

    Hybrid SE “Infrared Edition” joins the lineup available as both a FWD and AWD trim. The 2023 Corolla Hybrid SE Infrared Edition adds unique red trim accents inside and out. The bright red stands out from the available Ice Cap, Midnight Black Metallic or all-new Underground exterior colors and 18” gloss graphite alloys that are standard with 2023 SE trims.


    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Drivetrain

    All 2023 Corolla Hybrids include the atkinsonized 1.8L I4 with two MGs and a small Li-Ion located beneath the rear seats. A new compact high-output/low-loss MG2 uses a redesigned magnet and electromagnetic steel plate configuration, with two additional magnets for increased output.

    The revised hybrid system boosts output to 134 hp (up from 121) and 156 lb-ft. of torque (up from 146), while EPA-estimated combined fuel economy reaches 47 mpg, a loss of 5 mpg. :( I can attest that the new drivetrain is “peppier” but I would take those 5 mpgs over the power boost in any trim.

    The newly available AWD for Corolla Hybrid provides added traction with an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 44 mpg combined.

    The AWD system is right out of the Prius with a separate rear-mounted electric motor to the rear wheels. It engages in response to any front wheel slippage and can reduce understeer if you have entered a corner to hot.

    The Corolla Hybrids Atkinsonized 1.8L I4 extra hp may be ok with the average Corolla Hybrid driver but the 16” steels on the LE and 18” alloys on the XSE are probably the largest single hit to efficiency I can think of.

    A back-to-back of the Infrared edition with 18’s and the XLE with 16” alloys driven on essentially the same 13.4-to-13.6-mile RT route revealed the following:

    2023 Toyota Corolla SE Infrared w/ 18" alloys - 73.4 mpg


    2023 Toyota Corolla SE XLE w/ 16" alloys - 77.0 mpg


    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Exterior Design

    The 2023 Corolla Hybrid shares the new front fascia with the Corolla gas sedan. The SEs feature a gloss black mesh-pattern lower grille and new front fascia with a rear sport diffuser. The XLE adds a new 10-spoke 16” alloy with a silver finish. All Corolla Hybrid models get new LED headlamps.

    Exterior colors? Midnight Black Metallic replaces Black Sand Pearl, and Underground replaces Blue Cush Metallic. Colors carrying over for 2023 include Ice Cap (previously Super White), Classic Silver Metallic, Celestite and Blueprint. Wind Chill Pearl and Ruby Flare Pearl remain available for extra cost.

    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Interior Design

    Inside, the Corolla includes silver accents with Piano Black highlights contributing to a premium look and feel. There was some decontenting as the headliner is no longer a cloth like textured unit but a solid material with a lower quality look and feel. In black, it does not attract your eye but in light grey, I can see it. Most probably will not.

    Seating materials include standard cloth (LE), sport fabric inserts (SE), and power, heated fronts w/ SofTex wall-around (XLE).

    Passenger and Cargo volumes remain unchanged at 88.6/13.1 cu. ft. respectively. I still find the front to back seat knee room to be very tight.

    Interior color choices include black w/ red highlights, light gray w/ dark gray highlights, and a light brown. The SE adds shoulder supports and thicker side bolsters. Not a fan but I am old. ;)


    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Platform

    Built upon Toyota’s New Global Architecture-C platform (TNGA-C), the Corolla is rigid with the standard struts upfront and multi-link out back. If you have driven the previous gen Corolla or Prius with a torsion beam rear end and the multi-link equipped one side by side, NVH isolation and cornering confidence is vastly improved with that multilink. In other words, the 2023 Corolla and Corolla hybrid are underpinned by a modern structure and suspension providing a non-event vs the previous gens torsion beam setup.

    The Corolla hybrid is isolated even more from external inputs with sound-absorbing materials, sealants, foams and silencer pads. It adds up to a reasonably quiet compact interior no matter the speed traveled.

    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Infotainment

    All 2023 Corolla hybrids include a new standard 8” Toyota Audio Multimedia not only includes wireless AA and ACP plus it’s Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable and now allows dual Bluetooth.

    The SE and XLE can be equipped with the JBL Premium Audio system with 9 speakers, including an 800-watt amplifier and 10-in. subwoofer. I did not find it to sound that much better than the std. system but that is just me.

    What is weird is the base LE needs a key to open and lock doors. The Standard Smart Key System with Push Button Start is only available with the SE and XLE trims. There were no LE trims at the first drive so I can only describe what the specs include.

    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Safety

    All Corolla Hybrids arrive with the upgraded Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0). It includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection that can now detect motorcyclists and bicyclists under certain conditions. When making a turn or approaching an intersection, the system is designed to detect forward or laterally approaching oncoming vehicles and provides audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions as the radar angle has almost doubled vs the 2.0 system.

    The Corolla hybrid will be equipped with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is designed to detect the preceding vehicle and adjust speed to maintain a preset distance. When DRCC and Lane Tracing Assist is activated, this system uses sensors to detect the lane or a preceding vehicle and provides steering support to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane while improved lane recognition delivers refined performance of Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Tracing Assist.

    Auto High Beams automatically switch between high beam and low beam headlights.

    Road Sign Assist recognizes certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display them on the multi-information display (MID).

    Other available safety features include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder comes standard.

    2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Warranty

    Toyota’s std. bumper to bumper 36-month/36,000 mile new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. A 5-year/60-month warranty covers the powertrain for 60k miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferrable across ownership.


    The refreshed Corolla Hybrid is a seriously solid addition to the compact class. Its exterior looks good, it is far more efficient than anything else outside a Prius, and the infotainment has finally caught up to anything Hyundai and Kia now offer. It is those darn larger wheels to improve exterior curb appeal that harms its efficiency. The 10% increase in power certainly had something to do with the fall off as well and maybe the average Corolla buyer will put it to good use? I doubt it however.
    EdwinTheMagnificent and BillLin like this.

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