2023 Toyota GR Corolla vs. 2023 Honda Civic Type R: Which Hatch Is Hotter?

2023 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2023 Toyota GR Corolla comparison guide highlights:

  • The Honda Civic Type R will likely be more powerful than the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla, though roughly as fast
  • Both hot hatches offer significant chassis and suspension upgrades over their ‘normal’ equivalents, as well as more performance features
  • The GR Corolla will likely cost roughly the same as the Type R

We might be in for a second hot hatch golden age here in the US, or at least a silver one. For one, the Honda Civic Type R is getting a 2023 encore. And secondly, Toyota is officially making the GR Corolla. That does present a problem for hot hatch enthusiasts, though: which one should they consider buying?

Will the 2023 Honda Civic Type R have as much horsepower as the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla?

Although the GR Yaris will remain forbidden fruit, Toyota is at least bringing its drivetrain here. The 2023 GR Corolla has the same 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder and GT-Four AWD system as the spiciest Yaris. And, like its little sibling, it comes exclusively with a six-speed manual.

However, to make up for its bigger curb weight—and American preferences—Toyota gave the GR Corolla more power, Car and Driver says. So, rather than 257 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, the GR Corolla has 300 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, Honda hasn’t revealed the 2023 Civic Type R’s horsepower or torque ratings. It also hasn’t revealed if it uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine like its predecessor. But it’s safe to assume that the next-gen model will be more powerful than the current model. MotorTrend estimates the 2023 model will offer 315-335 hp.

Also, the 2023 Civic Type R is sticking to FWD, despite some AWD rumors. And while an optional dual-clutch automatic isn’t out of the question, the 2023 Type R is for sure keeping its stick, Car and Driver reports.

Is the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla faster than the 2023 Honda Civic Type R?

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Still, even if we don’t have official specs, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R should be similar enough to the outgoing model for a back-of-the-envelope GR Corolla comparison. The outgoing Type R makes 306 hp and 296 lb-ft of torque and weighs 3121 pounds. And with its six-speed manual, that’s enough to go 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, Car and Driver reports.

Meanwhile, in standard form, the GR Corolla weighs 3249 pounds. The Circuit Edition’s forged-carbon parts lower the curb weight down to 3200 pounds, but it’s a limited-edition model. So, for comparison’s sake, we’ll stick to the base Core model.

As of this writing, Toyota hasn’t acceleration figures for the 2023 GR Corolla. But Car and Driver estimates the AWD hot hatch can go 0-60 mph in under five seconds. Given that some GR Yaris testers managed sub-five-second 0-62 mph runs, that estimate seems realistic.

Based on this, the Civic Type R should be just as fast as the GR Corolla. At least in an on-paper stoplight drag race.

Will the FWD Honda hot hatch be as sharp as the AWD Toyota one?

Honda’s spent quite a bit of time tuning the 2023 Civic Type R at the Nürburgring. Evaluating whether that time’s been well spent will have to wait until the finished product is ready. However, those testing sessions, as well as its 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon appearance, have hinted at a few details.

For one, the 2023 Type R has bigger grilles than the outgoing model, likely in response to repeated overheating complaints. It also has a different rear spoiler and a more aggressive rear diffuser. And while it still has a three-pipe exhaust, the middle one is larger than the side ones, which isn’t the case on the outgoing CTR, MT says. The 2023 model should retain its predecessor’s Brembo brakes, limited-slip differential, and trick dual-axis front steering, though. Plus, just like the 2022 Civic Si, the 2023 Type R will benefit from a stiffer chassis.

As for the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla, it’s also substantially stiffer than a base Corolla Hatchback. The base Core model doesn’t have a standard LSD, though. However, it does have two optional ones, which are standard on the Circuit Edition. The GR Corolla has wider tracks, wheels, and tires than a regular Corolla, too, as well as lighter, bespoke suspension components. Plus, you can adjust the AWD system’s front-to-rear torque split. And (presumably) like the Type R, it has automatic rev-matching on downshifts.

So, will the GR Corolla drift circles around the 2023 Civic Type R, or will the Honda hot hatch keep up in the corners? It’s still too early to tell. But it’s worth noting that the outgoing Type R beat the AWD Focus RS and WRX STI Type RA in a MotorTrend comparison. It might not have AWD, but don’t count the Type R out, at least on pavement.

How much will the 2023 Honda Civic Type R cost compared to the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla?

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Besides official specs, Honda also hasn’t released the 2023 Civic Type R’s pricing details. Toyota hasn’t released GR Corolla pricing details either, though. However, we can still make a few rough estimates.

The outgoing Honda Civic Type R starts at $37,895 before destination (and dealer markups). The 2023 model will therefore likely start at or just under $40K. Meanwhile, MT says the GR Corolla’s pricing will be “’competitive’ with the other 300-hp hot hatches on the market.” E.g., the Civic Type R. So, figure a base price at or just under $40K.

In short, the 2023 Type R and GR Corolla will cost roughly the same when they go on sale.

When will these questions be answered?

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Right now, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R vs. Toyota GR Corolla comparison is mostly on paper and hypothetical. But the driving proof won’t be too long in coming.

Honda plans to unveil the 2023 Type R later this year. The GR Corolla should hit dealerships later this year, too. And once these hot hatches arrive, the fun can really start.

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