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If you’re in the market for something tiny but mighty, then the Toyota Corolla is an excellent option to consider. It’s a serious contender against the Mazda 3 and Honda HR-V with a few surprising advantages. But the 2023 Toyota Corolla also has a few potential drawbacks to think about. 

2023 Toyota Corolla Pros and Cons 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback parked at a scenic lookout
2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

I spent a week driving the 2023 Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback with the gas-powered engine, but there are many forms to enjoy. It’s available as a sedan with a hybrid powertrain, and the athletic GR Corolla packs 300 hp with an available manual transmission. 

Each flavor satisfies different needs. We took our hatchback model from Rock Hill, SC, to Asheville, NC, for adventures in the mountains and crowded downtown areas. The Corolla impresses us most in tight city areas but serves as an acceptable road trip option. 

1. Pro: The 2023 Toyota Corolla is affordable 

The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla drifting around a curve
2023 Toyota GR Corolla | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Corolla starts with an MSRP of $21,700, and the sportier XSE trim takes the price up to $26,580. Plus, the Toyota GR Corolla packs an incredible performance and only hovers around $35,000. 

You can get started with the 2023 Honda HR-V for $23,800, while the top-spec EX-L trim begins at $27,900. The 2023 Mazda 3 starts at $22,250 and tops out at $35,300. Being affordable doesn’t mean the Corolla skimps on value. 

The XSE trim features keyless entry, push-button start, synthetic leather upholstery, a sunroof, an upgraded digital gauge cluster, a power adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and blind-spot warning with rear cross traffic alert. 

Also, while the Corolla Hybrid is enticing, the gas-powered model is still efficient. It gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in the city and up to 40 mpg on the highway. We got 35.6 mpg. 

2. Pro: The Corolla is quick and easy 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback keeps things simple and straightforward. It’s easy to quickly connect your phone to wireless Apple CarPlay, and the infotainment system is intuitive. You don’t have to waste time hunting for the correct button or menu to adjust your settings. 

It offers plenty of forward visibility, but the rear headrest blocks the rear window. Still, you can clearly see as you navigate around tight parking lots, and the nimble turning radius makes this hatchback easy to whip around. 

Squeezing in limited spaces and cutting through traffic is a breeze. Plus, the voice recognition software easily understands commands. The adaptive cruise control system has lane tracing assist, allowing you to relax as long as you keep your hands on the wheel. 

3. PRO: The Corolla has more pep than expected 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback driving down the road
2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Corolla is sportier than you think and even has steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for more control. You can switch between the Sport, Normal, and Eco driving modes with a toggle near the gear shifter. 

Sport mode has the fastest response times and the most confident brakes. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque may not seem exciting on paper, but things change with the pedal to the metal. 

The Corolla can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is excellent for its class. It’s fun to whip around curves and corners well with only a smidge of body roll. 

The appeal of the GR Corolla only makes sense with a rally sports personality and the ability to reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. 

1. CON: The Corolla could have better tech 

2023 Toyota Corolla interior and dash
2023 Toyota Corolla interior | Toyota

I already mentioned how easy the tech in the 2023 Toyota Corolla is to use. However, it’s not perfect. The 8.0-inch touchscreen seems a bit small, and the camera resolution is a bit grainy. The reverse camera field is short and wide, making the compact vehicle feel larger than it is. 

The digital guage cluster provides useful information about your hybrid driving habits and range, but it doesn’t offer many customization options. Also, the wireless phone charging pad is in a tight spot under the dashboard. 

It’s small, making it difficult to fit larger phones. Plus, you have to get it in the exact right spot to actually charge your phone. Then, your phone may slip and slide while driving. 

2. CON: The Corolla is loud 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback parked near foliage
2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Toyota Crolla has a lot of wind and road noise at speeds above 40 mph, making it challenging to carry a conversation. Things are even louder on the highway, which is typical for the class. 

You can hear an occasional engine roar, but it’s deep. It doesn’t whine or drone. Also, the premium JBL audio system covers the noise well. However, people who don’t enjoy loud music or podcasts may get frustrated. 

Overall, the Corolla is a sportier compact vehicle to consider in the class. It’s affordable, comfortable, and covers the basics without much fuss. Stay tuned to see how other rivals compare, and let us know what you think of the popular Toyota Corolla in the comments below!