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Editor’s note: This article was updated on 05/18/2023

Finding a car that will marry practicality, fuel economy, and affordability is a tall order. Thanks to the supply chain crisis, cars are getting more expensive these days, but there are still great options car shoppers can buy for under $30,000. Here’s a look at one of the overall best new small cars for under $30,000, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

Here’s why the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is the best new small car

There are many reasons the Corolla Hybrid is the best new small car under $30,000. Toyota gave the popular small car a refresh in the 2023 model year and received some upgrades that have made it a more compelling choice. For example, thanks to the 2023 refresh, all-wheel drive is now offered, and the Corolla Hybrid has additional trim options.

Overall, the Corolla Hybrid provides a balance of features and specs car shoppers can appreciate and does this while being affordable. A brand-new Corolla Hybrid starts at about $23,000 MSRP, about $1,500 more expensive than the regular Corolla. One can upgrade the trim on their Toyota sedan and still spend less than $30,000, per TrueCar

The Corolla Hybrid will also be a safe and reliable car with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, the Japanese auto giant’s latest safety suite. As a result, the small sedan has a long list of standard smart safety features and is as reliable as any Toyota is known to be.

A look at the specs of the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

A white Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which is the best new small car under $30,000.
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Another reason the Corolla Hybrid is the best new small car is its hybrid platform. Toyota gave the car a 1.8-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, paired with a CVT. This setup gets 134 hp and is currently the Corolla Hybrid’s only powertrain option. It allows the front-wheel drive version of the car to get 48 mpg combined. For comparison, the regular Corolla gets 37 mpg combined.

Toyota also equipped the small hybrid car with some valuable features. For example, it has an 8-inch touchscreen display as standard, and a 7-inch digital gauge cluster is optional. However, its cargo capacity hasn’t changed much with the new model year, and it’ll still have about 13.1 cu-ft of space in the trunk.

Two other compact sedans from Toyota made the list

While the Corolla Hybrid is the best new small car for under $30,000, two other Toyota sedans were runner-ups. Unsurprisingly, the regular Corolla was one of those runner-ups. It has many of the same features as the Corolla Hybrid, but won’t get as much fuel economy. It’s still a solid option if folks want to get the cheapest Corolla possible.

The other small car from Toyota that made the list was the Prius. This famous hybrid car costs more than the Corolla Hybrid, but it’ll have better fuel economy and more cargo capacity. Like the Corolla, the 2023 Prius also received an update, which now starts at about $25,000. Its 1.8-liter hybrid powertrain gets 196 hp, allowing the Toyota to get about 57 mpg combined. Thanks to its hatchback design, it also has a max cargo capacity of 50.7 cu-ft.


The 2022 Toyota Prius is U.S. News’ Best Hybrid Car for 2022