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The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla recently made its long-awaited debut and made a spectacular appearance when doing so. What’s not to like about this enthusiast-oriented hot hatchback? It has a 300 hp under the hood, an all-wheel drivetrain, a sport suspension, and all of the creature comfort you can ask for. All things considered, the GR Corolla is looking to be one of the best products that Toyota has produced in years.

However, if you don’t need the hardcore racier aspects that the GR Corolla has to offer, then a Corolla Hatchback could work well for you. Here are four reasons that you may be better off with the regular Corolla Hatchback as opposed to the fire-breathing variant that’s coming later this year.

Front angle view of dark gray 2023 Toyota GR Corolla, highlighting its release date and price
2023 Toyota GR Corolla | Toyota

1. You don’t need a 300-hp Toyota GR Corolla to live your everyday life

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition Engine
2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition engine | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter, three-cylinder engine that will pump out a staggering 300 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that’s a lot, especially for a Corolla. However, you might not need that much power for your everyday drive to work, the grocery store, or your afternoon coffee at Starbucks.

In that case, the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that you’ll find under the hood of the regular Corolla Hatchback should suit you just fine. It produces 168 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, which gets the car moving at a good pace relatively quickly.

2. Fuel efficiency is important to you

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback in blue
2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback in blue | Toyota

Toyota hasn’t released the official fuel economy figures for the forthcoming GR Corolla just yet, but we’re sure they won’t match the 32 city/41 highway mpg figures that the 2022 Corolla Hatchback puts out. In fact, if that street-legal race car gets anywhere near 30 mpg combined, we’ll be impressed. But if fuel economy is important to you, then stick with the non-GR version.

3. You can’t drive stick

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback black interior
2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback black interior | Toyota

One of the best parts about the 2023 GR Corolla is that it’s only going to be available with a six-speed manual transmission. However, if you can’t rock the stick, then you’re out of luck. In that case, buy the Corolla Hatchback instead. It comes equipped with a six-speed manual or a CVT, so you can choose to operate two pedals if you can’t handle three.

The cool part about the Corolla’s CVT is that it has a “launch gear” for quick and smooth acceleration off the line. We tested it in the Corolla Hybrid and were impressed with its seamlessness.

4. Price, price, price

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition in Heavy Metal
2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition in Heavy Metal | Toyota

Toyota has yet to release pricing for the GR Corolla, but the automaker did say that it should start around $30,000. That’s not bad for what you’ll get, but if you don’t want to spend that much money on a Corolla, then buy the regular one instead.

The 2022 Corolla Hatchback has a more affordable starting price of $20,915 and tops out closer to $25,000 when all of the option boxes are checked.

Buy the 2022 Corolla Hatchback instead

If you’re enamored by the 2023 GR Corolla as much as we are, chances are that you’re looking forward to it when it finally shows up on dealer showrooms. But before you make your reservation or plunk down any of your hard-earned cash, we suggest doing a “needs analysis” to figure out if you really need such a hot hatchback. If not, then the 2022 Corolla Hatchback might suit your needs better.


The GR Corolla is Toyota’s DVD/VCR Player