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Toyota is making big moves to fulfill plans to have a hybrid version of each of its offerings by 2025. One of the first changes in the lineup was to make its beloved Corolla a hybrid hyper-miler. This, however, has presented a challenge to potential buyers looking for a compact sedan. So, which car seems to better more worth the money: the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid or the more traditional 2023 Toyota Corolla?

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs 2023 Toyota Corolla performance and fuel economy

The twelfth-generation Corolla will provide owners with some of the best fuel efficiency, hybrid powertrain or not. With a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission, fuel economy is in the low 30 mpg range in the city. On the highway, that rises to 41 mpg. For 53 mpg in the city, customers should select the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid. Properly configured models will achieve up to 46 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive versions will drop efficiency, roughly a few mpg in both driving conditions.

Powerful powertrains aren’t something the 2023 Toyota Corolla or the hybrid version has. While the traditional engine could use some more grunt, it still has more than its fuel-efficient sibling. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with a small electric motor putting down just 134 horsepower. On the road, both versions of the Corolla provide a relaxed ride. However, U.S. News says that “reviewers are split on whether the regenerative brakes feel natural or grabby.”

What about the interior amenities?

Toyota updated the Corolla’s tech for 2023, packing more standard features. Only an eight-inch touchscreen is available in the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid and the internal combustion-only variant. Nevertheless, the unit is easier to read than the outgoing model and also boasts greater responsiveness and sharper graphics. The compact sedans share a simplified dashboard and ample soft-touch materials. Upper trim levels can be upgraded with ambient interior lighting, dual-zone climate control, a JBL premium audio system, heated front seats, and a moonroof.

On the safety side, all Corollas in the lineup come with the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite. Features include automatic high-beam headlights, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, radar-guided cruise control, road sign assist, and more. Yet, only the range-topping trim levels come with blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Price differences between the two Toyota Corollas

Despite the improvements, the 2023 Corolla Hybrid has a lower starting price in its fourth year. For $22,800, potential buyers can step into the LE trim. The hybrid gains two new trim levels, the XLE for $26,600 and the all-wheel drive SE for $26,640, Toyota says.

The non-hybrid 2023 Toyota Corolla begins a bit less, with an MSRP of $21,550. It’s one of the most affordable compact sedans on sale. Above the entry-level LE is SE for $23,990 and the top-tier XSE for $26,700.

Are there drawbacks to the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid or the 2023 Toyota Corolla?

The 2023 Toyota Corolla is the traditional version of the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
2023 Toyota Corolla XSE | Toyota

Efficiency is number one on the list for Toyota’s compact sedans. But excitement isn’t one of them. Unfortunately, engine strain at highway speeds doesn’t make either a good straight-line performer.

Although the 2023 model year brings out the best-looking Corolla yet, handsome styling must sacrifice functionality. The swept-back roofline limits rear-seat headroom in both configurations. Moreover, the Corolla has one of the smallest trunks in the segment, with just 13.1 cubic feet.

Which compact sedan is most worth it?

Unfortunately, competitor cars offer more engaging hybrids, but that isn’t the Corolla’s purpose. Its mission is efficiency at a bargain price. After dropping the starting MSRP, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is the cheapest new hybrid car on sale this year. Given that it’s at least $10,000 less than the upcoming 2023 Prius, it’s an excellent alternative for a cheap way to at least 50 mpg.

For the non-hybrid 2023 Corolla, a price of just over $20,000 seems to make it worthwhile. Regardless, competitor cars will offer much more tech and more admirable interior features for approximately the same MSRP. Therefore, if one is looking for a fuel-sipping internal combustion engine-only compact, other manufacturers may offer something better for potential buyers. But if an affordable hybrid is a priority, there’s no doing wrong with the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid.  


The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Has 3 Drawbacks, U.S. News Says