Toyota GR Corolla Hatchback vs. Volkswagen Golf R and Civic Type R: Are They Worth It?

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!


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