Skip to main content

Toyota released a hybrid version of its long-loved Corolla three years ago, providing a cheaper option than the Prius. With more aggressive styling, updated infotainment features, and even more safety features, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a premium pick. Furthermore, it will provide an impressive 50 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. New all-wheel drive versions will drop those figures, but only by a couple of mpg, respectively.

Even though it’s packed with a myriad of high points, there are a few drawbacks. U.S. News recently got a hold of the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and they pointed out three issues in particular.

#1: Limited rear-seat room

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid SE | Toyota

The four-door Corolla Hybrid will seat five adults. Despite the wealth of room in the front row, those in the back may not experience the same vast space. Averaged-sized passengers will likely enjoy what the back seat has to offer. However, taller occupants probably won’t like to sit in the rear for an extended period of time because of the lack of headroom.

#2: Sluggish engine, loud CVT at highway speeds  

The 2023 Corolla Hybrid comes with a power upgrade. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is matched with two electric motors to produce 138 horsepower and 156 pounds-feet of torque. Power is delivered through the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to the front wheels, but all-wheel drive is available this year. Reviewers love the smoothness of the drivetrain at lower speeds around town. But once the Corolla is at highway speeds, the engine is less than enthusiastic. Moreover, some have found the CVT drone undesirable.

#3: Undersized trunk

An issue with some hybrids is how the extra electric motors can decrease available cargo space. Such isn’t the case with the Corolla Hybrid, as it has the same trunk space as its gasoline-only variant. Nevertheless, its 13.1 cubic feet is below the class average. While owners can expand space with rear folding seats, they don’t lay completely flat.

Is the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid a reliable car?

Compared with other hybrid models, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is exceedingly reliable. Consumer Reports rated the inaugural 2020 Corolla Hybrid best in class, and it’s the same news with the most recent model. Moreover, the rating agency places the eco-minded Corolla above 11 other models in the small car segment.

How much is the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid SE | Toyota

The Corolla Hybrid is available in three trim levels—LE, SE, and XLE. The base LE Hybrid has a lower starting MSRP this year of $22,800. The SE fetches $25,240, and the XLE $26,600, per Toyota. Each model comes standard with front-wheel drive, but four-wheel propulsion is a $1,400 optional extra.

On the inside, an eight-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with a six-speaker stereo comes standard. It also features satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, four USB ports, voice command, and further Bluetooth capabilities. Like any of the manufacturer’s models, each Corolla Hybrid leaves the factory with a Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 and a multitude of generous characteristics.