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We’ve been enjoying the week with the Toyota Corolla hatchback. It’s still available in sedan form, but the hatchback makes things a bit sportier. Plus, the 2023 Toyota Corolla has a few modern upgrades to brag about. 

2023 Toyota Corolla: What’s new? 

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

The 2023 Toyota Corolla is part of the 12th generation, introduced in 2020. A larger 8.0-inch infotainment screen replaces the smaller units. Also, each model gets a 4.5-inch digital guage cluster, while higher trim levels get a 7.0-inch unit. 

While the six-speed manual transmission has been discontinued, at least lower trim levels gain a little extra engine power. Redesigned elements include the headlights, grille, rear diffuser, and new 18-inch wheels. 

The base L trim was dropped, so the LE model is now standard. Plus, the Toyota Corolla GR takes things to a sportier level with standard AWD, a manual transmission, rally-inspired upgrades, and 300 hp. Here are a few things you need to know! 

1. Be prepared to pop a squat 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla sits low. It has a 5.1-inch ground clearance, making me feel worried about hitting curbs and other obstacles because I’m used to taller trucks and SUVs. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing a squat to sit in the seats. 

On that note, passenger space in the Corolla is limited. You sit close to the floor, so your knees may rest higher than expected. Also, headspace in the front is limited. While the seats offer plenty of adjustment controls, taller folks may feel claustrophobic. 

But on the other hand, the Corolla has a convenient liftover height for loading heavy or awkward items. So despite having limited cargo space, it’s relatively easy to place items in the rear cargo. 

2. The Toyota Corolla can fit anywhere 

Driving the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is pretty darn convenient in crowded downtown city areas. It has a 17.8-foot turning radius, allowing it to turn around anywhere. You can easily fit through gaps in traffic and parking lot spaces. 

It is 172 inches long, 70.5 inches wide, and 57.1 inches tall. Fitting in parking garages and parallel parking has never been easier. Plus, it’s comfortable enough to serve as a daily driver and for longer road trips. 

There are 17.8 cubes overall behind the second row in the hatch. This isn’t exactly vast, but it serves its purpose. The 2023 Toyota Corolla sedan offers 13.1 cubic feet in its trunk space.

3. The Corolla has more pep than you think 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla GR racing on a track
2023 Toyota Corolla GR | Toyota

When you see a small hatchback like the Honda HR-V or Chevy Spark, you don’t expect it to have much muscle. But the 2023 Toyota Corolla has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. 

It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.2 seconds, which is excellent for its class. The Honda HR-V takes about 9.4 seconds to reach 60 mph. The Corolla has plenty of pep for passing others and merging into traffic. 

Also, the Corolla GR has a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine with 300 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. It can reach 60 mph in roughly 4.5 seconds. 

4. How many MPG does the 2023 Corolla get? 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in the city and up to 42 mpg on the highway. So far, while traveling from Rock Hill, SC, to Asheville, NC, to run errands and do some mountain sightseeing, this rating has been spot on. 

We have been hovering between 32 and 35 mpg the entire week, and we don’t even have the hybrid model. That’s right, there’s a Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and it gets an EPA-estimated 53 mpg in the city and up to 43 mpg on the highway (47 combined). 

But it only has 138 hp and reaches 60 mph in about 9.7 seconds, so the extra fuel savings come at the cost of speed. It’s also limited to the 2023 sedan and is not available as a hybrid hatchback.

5. The Corolla is loud 

The 2023 Toyota Corolla GR on the road
2023 Toyota Corolla GR | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback could benefit from more sound insulation. It gets quite loud with wind and road noise once you reach 40 mph. You might have to raise your voice to converse on the highway. 

You do get an occasional engine roar, but it’s deep and satisfying. The Honda HR-V emits an annoying whine that drones on. Also, the available JBL audio system easily covers loud cabin noise. 

Stay tuned as we continue assessing the 2023 Corolla hatchback. We will return with a list of pros and cons. In the mean time, stick around and check out our full-length review


2023 Toyota GR Corolla Review: This Fiery Hatchback Is a Breath of Fresh Turbocharged Air