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The Toyota Corolla is the best example of a car as an appliance. That may seem like a backhanded compliment, but the small car is an ideal mode of transportation for people who care less about driving and more about actually getting to their destination. Now in its twelfth generation, the 2023 Toyota Corolla comes loaded with standard safety features and offers a comfortable ride with excellent fuel economy.

There are a variety of Corolla models to pick from, too. In fact, the car comes in sedan or hatchback form and is powered by a 169-horsepower four-cylinder or hybrid powertrain. The Corolla can be a basic car with few accouterments or loaded like a mini Lexus. Regardless of how you spec a Corolla, it will have three things – a comfortable interior, excellent reliability, and a reasonable price. Even if you check all of the boxes, you’re still getting a new car for under $30K.  

2023 Toyota Corolla features  

There are a number of significant trim-level and powertrain changes for 2023. Gone is the 1.8-liter engine, replaced by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant that produces 169 horsepower. The Corolla Hybrid powertrain carries over but is now available in SE and XLE trim levels. Buyers can also choose all-wheel drive with the hybrid as an option on the SE and LE models. 

All Corollas also get a larger 8.0-inch infotainment screen and updated gauge clusters. Other refinements include LED daytime running lights and redesigned headlights for the SE, XSE, and XLE models. The SE and EXE models also get a sportier rear diffuser and 18-inch wheels in Gloss Graphite. Hatchback Corollas get minor styling changes, including a revised grille, LED headlights, and rear bumper.  

The base L trim level was dropped for 2023, leaving the LE as the new base model Corolla. 

Everything you get in a fully loaded Toyota Corolla

A lineup of 2023 Toyota Corolla models
2023 Toyota Corolla Lineup | Toyota

Say it’s a fully loaded Toyota Corolla that you’re after. Opt for the gas-powered Toyota Corolla XSE, and standard features include heated driver and front passenger seats, automatic climate control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and premium instrumentation clusters. A fully loaded Corolla can also be had with sought-after features such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Qi Wireless Charging. 

Not to mention, the 2023 Toyota Corolla XSE comes stocked with safety features. Equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, the Corolla is standard with features such as a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert With Steering Assist, Road Sign Assist, and more. And, while the IIHS has yet to rate the 2023 model, the safety-focused organization did rate the 2022 Corolla as a Top Safety Pick+, which bodes well for this year’s model.

With a starting MSRP of $26,700, there’s no denying a fully loaded Corolla is a new car under $30,000 that has plenty to offer. 

Pictured is the Toyota Corolla's infotainment screen
2023 Toyota Corolla Interior | Toyota

2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Specs, Updates, Expected Trim Pricing

Is a fully loaded Corolla worth buying? 

Kelly Blue Book succinctly sums up the 2023 Toyota Corolla by saying it “upholds the model’s well-earned reputation as a safe, reliable, and fuel-efficient choice in affordable compact cars.” Few cars have an admirable track record for low-cost dependability and excellent fuel economy, combined with good safety and reliability ratings. 

However, the 2023 Corolla is not an exciting pick. There are more interesting and fun to drive small cars on the market like the Honda Civic or Mazda 3. But if you want a vehicle that you can buy, drive for 10 years, and easily rack up 200,000 trouble-free miles, get a Corolla. 

If you want an efficient, small car with a low total cost of ownership, get a Corolla. And if you spend hours commuting in stop-and-go traffic and need a quiet, comfortable place to pass the time? Get a Corolla and load it up. Very few cars provide the kind of quiet, dependable competence of a Corolla, and none of them cost less than $30K.