Automobile

2023 Toyota Corolla update: AWD, cheaper, more frugal hybrid

The 2023 Toyota Corolla is getting a refresh for the new model year. The styling changes are very modest, but there are myriad small and large changes. The hybrid sees the most substantial changes giving it more power, a lower base price and an all-wheel-drive option. The gas-only models also see some minor changes, too.

With the hybrid, Toyota has revamped the 1.8-liter hybrid powertrain with more powerful electric motors. It’s more powerful making 13 more ponies and 10 more pound-feet for totals of 134 horsepower and 156 pound-feet. It also gets a new lithium-ion battery instead of a nickel-metal hydride pack. The system delivers 50 mpg in the city, 43 on the highway and 47 combined. Those are somewhat lower than the 53 mpg city, 52 highway and 52 combined of the outgoing model, but still good numbers. All-wheel-drive is a new option, and like the RAV4, Prius and most other Toyota hybrids, is the result of an added electric motor powering the rear axle. Total output remains the same as the front-drive hybrid, but fuel economy dips to 47 mpg in the city, 41 on the highway and 44 combined. 

In classic “As Seen On TV” form, that’s not all. The hybrid powertrain is now available on LE, SE and XLE trims. The first two are the only ones available with all-wheel drive. There’s even an Infrared Edition (pictured at top) for the SE, which adds the sportier suspension tuning from the gas-powered SE, red rexterior and interior accents, and is available with front- or all-wheel drive. The base price for the hybrid is now $1,250 lower than before. You can find pricing for all Corolla models at the bottom of this post.

There are changes for the gas-powered Corollas, too. They, like the hybrid, all get revised front and rear fascias. The non-hybrid sedan is now only available with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. It also returns 2 more mpg in combined driving than the 1.8 for a total of 35 mpg. That remains the only engine for the hatchback (with the exception of the GR Corolla), and it’s now only available with the CVT. If you want a manual, you’ll have to get the GR version.

All Corollas now benefit from the latest Toyota infotainment system. It’s featured on an 8-inch touchscreen. It also includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with lane-centering, automatic high-beam headlights and rear-seat reminder. All SE trims now come standard with proximity keys for locking and starting. Other detail changes include wheels, interior and exterior colors, and minor equipment tweaks such as the standard 800-watt sound system on the XSE hatchback.

Pricing for the Corolla range is below:

  • Hybrid
    • LE: $23,895
    • LE AWD: $25,295
    • SE: $26,295
    • SE AWD: $27,695
    • XLE: $27,695
  • Sedan
    • LE: $22,645
    • SE: $26,295
    • XSE: $27,795
  • Hatchback

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