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The 2023 Toyota Corolla is nestled within the crowded compact segment as a refreshed model. The manufacturer ditched two trim levels—the L and XLE. Infotainment options in the range-topping XSE were democratized into the lower trim levels. Toyota discontinued the 1.8-liter four-cylinder, swapping it for a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter, which is quicker and more fuel efficient.

While it may be easy to choose between the Corolla hatchback’s two trim levels, the sedan has three. Therefore, deciding which one is worth it could be a bit more challenging. But first, what does each 2023 Toyota Corolla sedan trim level offer?

2023 Toyota Corolla LE

Base LE Corollas feature cloth upholstery on a six-way adjustable driver’s seat and a four-way adjustable front passenger seat. The rear seats, which are much roomier on the sedan version, have the same coverings. The LE and the other trim levels feature an intuitive, center-mounted eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a six-speaker stereo. With the newest version of Toyota’s tech, potential buyers earn the “Hey, Toyota” virtual assistant. The intelligent system is simple to navigate, and using the touchscreen is a breeze with shortcut icons and physical controls. Like any Toyota, the 2023 Corolla has some of the best standard safety features available. Its Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 3.0 system includes adaptive cruise control, automatic LED high-beam headlights, cyclist and pedestrian detection, and forward automatic emergency braking with collision warning. It’s also stocked with lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, a rear-seat occupant alert, and traffic-sign recognition.

Per Toyota, the base Corolla begins at $21,550. Yet, for an extra $1,340, the LE Convenience package adds a smart key system for the front doors and trunk. Additionally, a push-button start, keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert. It also features indicators on color-keyed heated power side mirrors. The $2,190 LE Premium package includes the before-mentioned features and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof with a sliding sunshade.

2023 Toyota Corolla SE

Starting at $23,990, the SE’s only significant interior difference is the upholstery. The mid-range trim level swaps in premium sports seats with fabric inserts and adds a leather-trimmed steering wheel. “Normal” and “Sport” driving modes will allow users to slightly augment the snappiness of gear charges and suspension dynamics. The SE also gains metallic interior trim with chrome interior door handles. Both the Convenience and Premium Packages are available on the Corolla SE for the same price.

2023 Toyota Corolla XSE

2023 Toyota Corolla
2023 Toyota Corolla XSE interior | Toyota

The top-of-the-line 2023 Toyota Corolla XSE trim level can be had for $26,700. The front sports seats are upgraded with synthetic leather upholstery and are heated. The driver’s seat is eight-way power-adjustable with power lumbar support and is flanked by a six-way power-adjustable front passenger seat. Behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the LE and SE’s 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster is swapped for a seven-inch unit. For $675, Toyota will include JBL premium audio, with nine speakers, a subwoofer, an amplifier, and wireless Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay. It also features Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging capability.

Which trim level is the better pick?

2023 Toyota Corolla
2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Given that Toyota has released its next-generation infotainment tech in all three trim levels, the difference doesn’t lie there. While the JBL sound system is a welcome item, it doesn’t justify jumping over $5,000 above the base LE. The extra trimmings in the SE and XSE don’t make one feel the LE is lacking, either. Moreover, fuel economy falls slightly when spicing up a Corolla.

The base model 2023 Toyota Corolla LE will likely satisfy most. With TSS 3.0 as standard, an EPA-rated combined fuel economy of 35 mpg, and the latest entertainment tech, it’s a desirable trim level. Potential buyers can also pay a bit more for a few extra safety features and a slick sunroof.


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