Skip to main content

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid makes sense. We love to sit behind the wheel of exotic two-seat sports cars and find out how fast they go and how loud they are. But we can’t really drive like that in the real world. No. Instead, for the real world there are other cars that just make sense. You know, cars that don’t bankrupt you at the pump and can haul you and your friends without a fuss, and yet don’t cost an arm and a leg.

May we present the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which now has more power and optional all-wheel drive. It’s now a car that makes more sense than ever.

What’s new in the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and regular Corollas, too, received a significant refresh for 2023. You can spot a 2023 by the LED driving lights and new headlights. Toyota also updated the interior with larger screens and some trim.

The big news, however, is that all-wheel drive is now optional for the Hybrid SE and LE trims. This option which uses Toyota’s clever all-wheel drive system without a driveshaft, makes the car a fuel-efficient all-weather warrior that still seats five and holds a lot of gear in the trunk.

Why is the Toyota Corolla Hybrid practical?

Interior of the Toyota Corollla Hybrid
Interior of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid | Toyota

The addition of the hybrid drive means you get all-wheel drive. But, it also means that you could go weeks and never see a gas station because it gets up to 53 mpg in city driving. The Corolla is Toyota’s best-selling small car, and Toyota has refined the car over several generations to do everything well. According to J.D. Power, it’s ranked as one of the most reliable small cars with great resale value.

Toyota has done its best to confuse Corolla buyers with enough trims and versions of the car to befuddle Einstein. The car comes in LE, SE, XLE, and top XSE trims, and sporty GR or SE Hybrid Infrared Edition, and then there are the hatchbacks and sedans. The sedan with the Hybrid may be the most pragmatic because it packages a bigger-than-you-expect interior that has more leg room than the hatchback versions.

Though the trunk is on the small side, there is an option that removes the spare tire and adds space.

It does everything well except go fast

a red Toyota Corolla Hybrid driving through a tree-lined road
A 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid | Toyota

The Corolla is rated at 134 horsepower, the same as other Corollas, and in tests it sees 60 mph in about 9 seconds. While that’s not quick, it is quicker than the 2021 version. The engine is tied to an unexciting, but fuel-saving, continuously variable transmission, or CVT. But these cars are all about easy driving, not for pushing limits all day.

The Corolla Hybrid isn’t for speed demons. It’s for the real world.

The three versions of the Corolla Hybrid
The two body styles of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid | Toyota

The 2023 Corolla Hybrid seems to hit the mark for a lot of buyers, especially at its $23,050 starting price for the LE version. We’d probably step up to the XLE version, at $26,850, however because it gets a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alerts. All-wheel drive is a worthwhile $1,400 option on the Corolla Hybrid, too.

All Corolla Hybrid cars also come with Toyota Safety Sense, which means you get a pre-collision system, steering assist, and dynamic radar cruise. Those with sporting intentions should look at the Toyota Corolla Hybrid SE Infrared, which starts at $26,025, but comes with last year’s Apex car’s suspension. We think, though, that the lowered Infrared defeats the purpose of a car that’s designed to tackle anything.


Is the 2023 Corolla SE a Good Replacement for the 2022 Corolla Apex Edition?