2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2022 Toyota Prius: Which Fuel Sipper Checks All Your Boxes?

The Toyota Prius enjoys a long-standing reputation for fuel-efficient transportation. However, the new Toyota Corolla Hybrid aims to push the dated Prius out of the top spot. The rival siblings offer different approaches to garner consumers’ attention, but the winner depends on you.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. Prius overview

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Toyota Prius
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid (top) and 2022 Toyota Prius | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota introduced the Prius in 1997 and has continued updating it over the years. The current generation came out in 2016. The hybrid’s futuristic lines received a 2019 refresh, offering a cleaner headlight and taillight aesthetic that carries over to the 2022 Toyota Prius

Overall, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid’s design is relatively subdued and appeals to various tastes. On the other hand, the Prius is more modern and futuristic.

When comparing two vehicles in the same class, the differences often lie in the details. Let’s take a look at some of the essential features of each entrant to see what’s different and what’s similar.

What’s under the hood?

The standard Prius and Corolla Hybrid share the same Toyota powertrain. Their 1.8-liter gasoline engine pairs with an electric motor to produce 121 hp through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). 

In addition, the Prius offers an optional all-wheel-drive system that provides extra traction on slippery surfaces. The Prius Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has a larger battery for longer electric-only drives. The Corolla Hybrid has no optional powertrains. 

Making the most of every gallon

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid challenges the Prius’ long reign of fuel economy superiority, matching its EPA-rated 52 mpg combined city/highway mileage estimate. The lighter-weight Prius L Eco, which contains a different battery, increases its combined mileage to 56 mpg. Adding AWD to the Prius lowers its estimated fuel economy rating to 49 mpg, an acceptable trade-off for some people. 

Is the Toyota Corolla Hybrid safer than the Prius?

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid comes out on top in this category with slightly better safety scores than the Prius. Though the IIHS named the Corolla Hybrid a Top Safety Pick+, the new Toyota Prius didn’t earn the same honor.

Still, both models feature a full suite of standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. 

Which new hybrid car offers better tech?

The differences in exterior design aesthetics carry into the cars’ cabins. Autobytel calls it “a choice between quirkily futuristic and conventionally attractive.” 

The 2022 Toyota Prius has a busy instrument panel with a standard 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. But upgrading to the range-topping Prius Unlimited delivers an 11.6-inch screen that the Corolla Hybrid can’t match. 

However, the larger screen replaces many of the Prius’ physical buttons, resulting in complicated operations, especially when driving. The Prius also has a center-mounted speedometer and a unique gear selector, which some drivers might find awkward at first. 

The 2022 Corolla Hybrid received a complete redesign in 2020. Updates include a simple instrument panel, a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and nicely padded materials offering more luxury. Overall, the Corolla Hybrid delivers better technology that’s easier to use and provides superior ergonomics.

The Toyota Prius is a spacious hatchback

The 2022 Toyota Prius features a five-door hatchback design with 27.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That expands to 50.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. With the rear row upright, the Prius seats four adults comfortably and five if the three in the back don’t mind being close. 

However, the Corolla Hybrid is available only as a four-door sedan with 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space despite the gas-only Corolla offering a hatchback. And although the Corolla Hybrid’s back seat folds down, it provides only a tiny pass-through area from the trunk.

Both cars have similar passenger space with seating for four or five adults. 

Base price or fully loaded?

The 2022 Toyota Prius and Corolla Hybrid offer respectably equipped base models. Standard features include driver assists, a push-button start, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker audio system.

But the Prius offers more models. It also provides options such as a moonroof, heated steering wheel, AWD, GPS navigation, a JBL sound system, a head-up display, and self-parking. There’s even the aforementioned PHEV, the Prius Prime. The 2022 Toyota Prius starts at $24,525 for the base model and climbs to $28,745 for the fully loaded Prius XLE

The 2022 Corolla Hybrid LE base model starts at $23,650 — $875 cheaper than the standard Prius. New for this model year, the Corolla Hybrid offers a Premium Interior Package for an additional $1,525. It includes upgraded faux-leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats. In addition, buyers can add blind-spot monitoring to the Premium Interior Package for an extra $500.

That means you can get a new Corolla Hybrid with features similar to the top-of-the-line Prius XLE for $25,675 and spend $3,070 less. 

Which of these new hybrid cars is right for you?

If you like a modern, futuristic look or need a vehicle with a large cargo hold, the obvious choice is the 2022 Toyota Prius.

On the other hand, if you like conventional styling that sacrifices some cargo space but still desire exceptional fuel economy, you can’t go wrong with the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

Yes, the Prius offers more options, but they come at a price.

The choice is yours.

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