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Toyota recently released the pricing for its little GR entry into the hot hatch wars. The Toyota GR Corolla is taut, planted, and offers climbing trims up to a special MORIZO edition. However, the hot hatch pool is shark infested; performance-focused hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf R and Honda Civic Type R will be brutal acts to overcome. Still, are any of them worth it?

How much will the GR Corolla cost?

The upcoming 2023 Toyota GR Corolla hatchback will start at $36,995 for the base Core trim. Additionally, prices will increase significantly for the Circuit and MORIZO editions, priced at $43,995 and $50,995, respectively. Car and Driver says each model will share the 300-horsepower inline-three-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission. Furthermore, the forthcoming GR Corolla will offer all-wheel drive (AWD) in every trim, a must-have to compete with the Volkswagen Golf R.

The Toyota GR Corolla has the Civic Type R and Golf R in its sights.
Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition | Toyota

Is the Volkswagen Golf R more expensive than the Toyota GR Corolla?

The Volkswagen Golf R has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $45,185, comparable to the GR Corolla’s Circuit model. However, the Golf R is much more expensive than the base Core and more affordable than the limited MORIZO edition. However, the Golf R will be a serious challenger for even the GR Corolla Circuit; the top-of-the-line Golf can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and offers dynamic driving modes like Race and Drift. 

The Volkswagen Golf R is a solid contender for the best of hot hatches.
Volkswagen Golf R | Volkswagen

Is the Civic Type R worth buying?

The upcoming 2023 Honda Civic Type R is better looking, sharper, and more powerful than the previous Type R. Furthermore, the forthcoming Type R produces 15 horsepower more than the GR Corolla hatchback. Like the Toyota hot hatch, the Type R has a manual transmission, but it’s unlikely to offer AWD. Finally, Car and Driver is under the impression that the 2023 Honda Civic Type R will demand a starting price of around $39,000; we’ll see what dealerships do with the Type R and Toyota GR Corolla upon arrival. 

The Honda Civic Type R is fast, focused, and gunning for the Toyota GR Corolla.
2023 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Are any of them worth it?

Having options is a good problem to have. That’s the case for hot hatch shoppers of the near future. The new Toyota GR Corolla will offer a Golf R-fighting base Core model, but it will have a tall order to defeat the venerable Volkswagen. The Golf R is quicker than a 2022 Audi S4 to 60 mph while retaining practicality and a sure-footed 4Motion AWD system. 

Then there’s the 2023 Honda Civic Type R, reminiscent of a returning friend that really grew into their looks during their absence. Each of the hot hatches will offer over 300 horsepower, a five-door application, and smile-inducing handling. 

Which one should you buy?

Any one of these hot hatches is likely to be a good times machine; however, there is at least one factor you should consider. The Volkswagen Golf R might be incredibly swift, but the fastest acceleration figures will accompany the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. If you want an automatic, consider the Golf R. However, if you want a rowable-hot hatch, all three cars offer a three-pedal setup. 

Scroll down to the following article to read more about hot hatches like the Toyota GR Corolla!


2021 Civic Type R vs. 2023 Civic Type R: Is the New Honda Better?