Is the Cheapest Toyota GR Corolla Worth It?
The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Core is the cheapest version of Toyota’s hot hatch. Priced at just $35,000, it competes with the Golf GTI but delivers Golf R-like performance. But is the cheapest GR Corolla worth it, or should you jump into a Circuit or Morizo Edition instead?
The 2023 GR Corolla Core isn’t shy about performance
Without a doubt, the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Core doesn’t leave you short on performance. You’ll get a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine chucking out 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. You’ll also get a six-speed manual transmission, which is the only option available for the entire GR Corolla lineup. All-wheel drive is also standard kit, and the configurable system lets you tailor performance.
There are three different torque-split configurations to choose from. 60:40 is ideal for daily driving, pushing 60 percent of the power to the front wheels. 50:50 provides maximum balance for rally drivers, while 30:70 is an excellent setup for track use, allowing you to use the throttle for mid-corner rotation by reducing the power sent to the front wheel.
Interior features in the cheapest GR Corolla
The performance of the cheapest Toyota GR Corolla doesn’t disappoint, and there’s not much left out of the interior experience either. The fabric sport seats aren’t as nicely appointed as the synthetic leather you’ll get in the Circuit Edition. But, they provide the same level of support and adjustability, so you’re only missing out on the faux-leather upholstery and heated seats. Overall, it’s probably not worth the price jump.
Furthermore, the GR Corolla Core comes with all four seats, unlike the ultra-hot Morizo Edition. That model ditches the rear bench for structural support. That’s great for handling, but not so good for your daily life.
How much does the cheapest GR Corolla cost?
With an MSRP of just $35,900, the GR Corolla Core sits above the Golf GTI and Elantra N, but well below the Golf R, Civic Type R, and Integra Type S. It’s also $7,000 less than the limited-run circuit edition and $15,000 down on the Morizo.
Other than the heated seats in the Circuit, there aren’t many features we’d be willing to shell out that much extra cash for. Plus, you can add the Torsen differential from the Morizo and heated seats of the Circuit Edition for around $1,600. In fact, a fully loaded GR Corolla Core costs just $39,445 – still less than the Circuit Edition.
Of course, all of this ignores dealer markups. And while the initial GR Corolla run saw big dealership “adjustments”, as more models roll out, supply and demand should level things out.
The GR Corolla Core is a distilled hot hatch
Overall, the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Core isn’t about luxury like the Golf R, and it isn’t about track times like the Civic Type R. Instead, it is the embodiment of versatility in a sports car. Fun enough to hoon around on your weekends off, but practical enough to get groceries, pick up your friends, and even fit a car seat when family life comes calling. Overall, it’s the one we’d pick at the end of the day.