2023 Toyota GR Corolla vs. 2022 Subaru WRX: Rally the Streets

2022 Subaru WRX and 2023 Toyota GR Corolla comparison guide highlights:

  • The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is more powerful and lighter than the 2022 Subaru WRX
  • Although the 2022 WRX is a good sports sedan, the 2023 GR Corolla might be able to match or exceed its agility
  • Toyota’s hot hatch might have a higher price range than the WRX

Finally, finally, the long wait is over: the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is officially happening. And it’s coming just after Subaru announces the 2022 WRX isn’t getting an STI sibling. Still, the latest WRX is more than willing to slide through the dirt or speed around bends. But will it be able to keep up with this spicy new Corolla?

The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla overpowers the 2022 Subaru WRX

2023 Toyota GR Corolla2022 Subaru WRX
Engine1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-four
Horsepower300 hp271 hp
Torque273 lb-ft258 lb-ft
TransmissionsSix-speed manualSix-speed manual
Continuously-variable automatic (CVT)
Curb weight3249 lbs (base)
3200 lbs (Circuit Edition)
Manual: 3297-3320 lbs
CVT: 3431-3534 lbs
0-60 mph timeUnder 5.0 seconds (Car and Driver estimate)4.7-5.4 seconds (Car and Driver estimate)

Firstly, the rumors were true. The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla uses the same 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine as the GR Yaris. But thanks to a new exhaust, more boost, and re-tuned fueling, the Corolla is even more powerful. The extra horsepower and torque are mitigated slightly by the Yaris’s 300-lb-ish weight advantage, though.

However, that still gives the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla roughly the same power-to-weight ratio as a 2004 Impreza WRX STi. That car managed a 4.9-second 0-60 mph run. And keep in mind, some testers beat the GR Yaris’s official 5.5-second 0-62 mph claims by some margin.

So, on paper, the GR Corolla has the 2022 Subaru WRX beat in power and curb weight. Theoretically, that should make it faster, at least in a straight line. And it’s not like the 2022 WRX has an advantage with its optional CVT. Sure, the GR Corolla is manual-only, but the WRX is one of several cars that’s faster with a stick.

Still, Car and Driver’s estimates mean the 2022 Subaru WRX could still win or tie in a drag race. But then, these sports cars are about more than just that.

Will the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla out-handle the 2022 Subaru WRX on pavement and gravel?

Being rally-inspired, the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla and 2022 Subaru WRX both have AWD. In the GR Corolla’s case, it’s a model-specific system that’s “’developed through racing, from [Toyota’s] rally series,’” Car and Driver says. And while both cars offer multiple AWD modes for different driving conditions, only Toyota’s system allows drivers to adjust the torque split.

In addition to its trick AWD system, the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla offers optional front and rear limited-slip differentials. These LSDs come standard with the Circuit Edition, which also has a forged-carbon roof, rear wing, and hood. That hood also has more vents than the standard aluminum one. You can’t get any of these features on the 2022 WRX.

Admittedly, the WRX GT has adaptive shocks, which aren’t available on the Toyota. And for 2022, Subaru stiffened the WRX’s chassis, lowered its center of gravity, tweaked its suspension, and installed a quicker steering rack. Plus, those plastic fender panels have aerodynamic benefits. So, Subaru’s sedan isn’t necessarily outclassed by the Toyota hot hatch.

Still, the GR Corolla isn’t just a powered-up AWD version of a regular Corolla Hatchback. Its suspension geometry is different, for one, and the suspension components are stiffer and lighter, Car and Driver says. It also has a wider track, heavily-reinforced chassis, and a different floor pan. Toyota even moved the battery to the rear for better weight distribution.

As of this writing, though, no one’s driven the Toyota GR Corolla. And even though it’s gotten more refined, the 2022 Subaru WRX “remains a joy to fling around corners,” Car and Driver reports. We’ll have to let the rally stage decide which one’s sportier.

How much more or less will the 2023 GR Corolla cost compared to the WRX?

RELATED: JDM Subaru Impreza WRX vs. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo: Rally Import Showdown

Even before options, the 2022 Subaru WRX GT will set you back just under $43,000. A base manual one, though, starts at $30,100.

As of this writing, Toyota hasn’t released official pricing details for the 2023 GR Corolla. However, Toyota told MotorTrend that it should “be ‘competitive’ with the other 300-hp hot hatches on the market.” And overseas, the GR Yaris is the equivalent of a mid-$30,000 car. So, the base Core model should start at less than $40,000. Options and higher-spec trims will likely push stickers into the mid-$40K range, though.

In short, the GR Corolla will likely be slightly more expensive than the WRX.

When will Toyota’s hot hatch be ready to rally against the WRX?

RELATED: 2023 Acura Integra vs 2022 Subaru WRX: An Iconic Sports-Car Standoff

Deciding whether the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is worth the potential premium over a 2022 Subaru WRX will have to wait. But the wait won’t be long; Toyota says the hot hatch will go on sale later in 2022.

See you in the forest then.

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