GR Corolla: Does the Toyota GR Model Have What it Takes to Dethrone the Volkswagen Golf R?

The Toyota GR Corolla, with its Core Edition and higher trims, promises to bring yet another capable contender to fight for king of hot hatchback hill. However, the talent is there, and the Toyota hatchback will have to go up against the likes of the Honda Civic Type R and other hot hatches. One of the current staples in hot hatch performance is the razor-sharp Volkswagen Golf R. So, does the GR Corolla have the mettle to dethrone the Volkswagen Golf R? 

How much HP will the Corolla GR have?

The new 2023 Toyota GR Corolla will produce 300 horsepower courtesy of a feisty turbocharged 1.6L three-cylinder engine. The result is a GAZOO RACING addition to the latest hot hatch wars. 

However, 300 horsepower isn’t quite enough to contend with the Volkswagen Golf R or Honda Civic Type R’s numbers. For instance, the Golf R produces 315 horsepower from its turbocharged inline four-cylinder mill. The Civic Type R makes the same figures from a similar displacement engine. 

The Toyota GR Corolla Core Edition and other packages like the Nightshade promise to provide an affordable hot hatch.
2023 Toyota GR Corolla | Toyota

Still, the GR hot hatch produces over 180 horsepower per liter, an exceptional accomplishment. In comparison, only one modern Ford Mustang without a Shelby badge makes more than 100 horsepower per liter, the upcoming Dark Horse

Is the GR Corolla fast?

The new Toyota GR Corolla is a lunatic compared to a sober Toyota sedan, and it’s properly fast. Specifically, the GR model will hit 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds on the way to a 13.3-second quarter mile. 

That means the new Toyota model is fast enough to keep up with the Civic Type R in straight-line acceleration, if not quite up to the Volkswagen’s standards. According to Car and Driver, the Golf R hits 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, making it swifter than the GAZOO RACING hot hatch by a full second. 

Is the GR Corolla front-wheel drive?

The new Toyota GR Corolla packs all-wheel drive (AWD) instead of front-wheel drive (FWD). That’s good news for fans who want to launch the new GAZOO RACING hot hatch hard.  

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Moreover, the entry-level Core Edition has open differentials as standard, but potential owners can add limited-slip differentials to the front and rear with the optional Performance Package. 

How much does a GR Corolla cost?

The new Toyota GR Corolla is the most expensive Corolla ever. The 2023 GR Corolla Core starts at around $36,995. However, it’s still a bargain compared to other hot hatches. 

For instance, the sharp, planted 2023 Volkswagen Golf R starts at about $45,835, around $9,000 more than the Toyota hot hatch. Moreover, the GR Corolla Core Edition undercuts the Honda Civic Type R, too; the Type R starts at about $43,990. Of course, the Circuit Edition and limited-release MORIZO Edition cost much more.  

The Circuit Edition starts at about $43,995, putting it right in line with the Honda Civic Type R. Moreover, the Circuit Edition adds options like the carbon roof and JBL sound system, which isn’t standard equipment on the Core Edition. Would you take the new Toyota hot hatchback over a Volkswagen Golf R? Tell us in the comments below!