2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review: The Essence Of Dependability

When it comes to reliable, affordable, and safe compact sedans, the Toyota Corolla is almost impossible to beat. That's no mean feat when rivals in the segment include the Mazda 3, Honda Civic, and the Volkswagen Jetta. A number of trims are on offer to suit every budget, and each is remarkably frugal, even before you consider the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which we review separately. Two gas engines are on offer, both being four-cylinder naturally-aspirated mills. The first is a 1.8-liter that produces 139 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque, while the second is a 2.0-liter that develops 169 horses and 151 lb-ft of twist. Throughout the lineup, front-wheel-drive is the configuration of choice with most models mated to a continuously variable transmission, although the SE trim also offers a six-speed manual and some higher trims come with a "dynamic" CVT. Pricing starts over $20,000 and numerous safety features are standard, but is the Corolla good enough to take on the likes of the class-leading new Honda Civic?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Toyota Corolla Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Toyota Corolla?

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan model year is mostly a carryover from 2021 with no major changes, with the exception of minor changes to the exterior and interior color palettes - Ruby Flare and Windchill Pearl are the new exterior color choices this year. The hybrid model also has a new optional interior package offering heated front seats, power adjustments for the driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Lastly, prices have increased slightly across the board.

Pros and Cons

  • Great fuel economy, especially for the hybrid
  • Numerous standard features
  • Plenty of safety equipment
  • Comfortable ride
  • Affordable pricing
  • Attractive styling
  • Rear headroom is limited
  • Engines are a little underpowered
  • Manual transmission limited to a single trim
  • Hybrid has only one trim option

What's the Price of the 2022 Toyota Corolla?

Numerous Toyota Corolla models are on offer, the cheapest in the lineup being the base L trim. It retails at an MSRP of $20,075 before a $1,025 destination charge. Stepping up to the LE will set you back $20,525, while the SE has a cost of $22,525. The SE Manual is a little pricier at $23,225 - the same price you'll pay for the CVT-only SE Nightshade Edition. The one-trim Hybrid LE has a starting price of $23,650.

The XLE is one of the more premium models in the lineup and costs $24,475, while the top XSE trim has the highest price of any standard Toyota Corolla in the USA and costs $25,975. Last year, we commented that the Apex Edition models were rather ludicrously priced, and this year, Toyota has dropped their prices by nearly $1,000, starting at $25,220 for the SE Apex Edition, while the XSE Apex Edition is $28,360. Want one of the SE Apex Edition manuals? An additional $390 seals the deal.

Best Deals on 2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan

2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
SE Nightshade Edition
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Front-Wheel Drive
Hybrid LE
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The 2020 model year saw a drastic step up in the Corolla's handling thanks to the new TNGA platform that greatly improved the suspension. 2022's model sees no significant changes in the US, but the same observations apply as our 2020 review of the Corolla. The ride is compliant and smooth, absorbing almost every ripple and undulation that the road can throw at you. In the SE and XSE variants, the suspension is slightly sportier in its tuning, but although the handling is slightly enhanced, the Corolla still rides impeccably with little reason for any occupant to complain. In the corners, the Corolla sedan changes direction at low speeds quickly and maintains grip levels well. The steering feels good and is well-weighted, but high-speed evasive maneuvers are certainly the Corolla's Achilles' heel. Rivals like the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic are certainly more enthusiastic in the bends, but the Apex Edition's unique suspension tuning and lower ride height make it the best-handling of the Corolla models.

There's a caveat though, in that the ultra-firm suspension may cull body roll, but it severely detriments comfort, creating a bouncy ride over broken pavement. The revised steering for the Apex, however, is a joy, with quicker responses and making the most of the chassis upgrades.

Toyota Corolla Review Verdict: Is It A Good Car?

The Toyota Corolla four-door has never been a presumptuous vehicle. It knows where it slots in in the pecking order, and it's dedicated everything to being the car you expect. It's affordable, reliable, and remarkably safe. It's also light on gas - particularly in Hybrid guise - and although the base 1.8-liter engine is underpowered and won't do you any favors in a drag race, it gets the job done and can't be faulted considering the features that the rest of the car comes with. However, this minor issue can easily be alleviated with the 2.0-liter engine. The fact that there is a manual option is a bonus, but the fact that it's only available on one trim may deter some. Still, the Corolla rides well no matter what configuration you opt for, and its safety features are stellar. Sure, the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3 will be a lot more fun to drive, but for someone who needs an affordable car that just gets the job done, the Corolla is hard to beat.

What Toyota Corolla Sedan Model Should I Buy?

There are plenty of options here, but the first decision to be made is whether you want gas or hybrid power. If the answer is the latter, there is only one model to go for. If you're opting for gas, the one thing that you can't compromise on is the 2.0-liter engine. For that reason, the L, LE, and XLE trims are out of the running. While the fun-seekers among us would be tempted to immediately opt for the SE 6MT for its manual transmission, most won't be buying a car like this and looking to have some fun on quiet back roads. Still, we'd get this model for its added features compared to the CVT, including a sunroof and push-button start. This would be a safe, comfortable, and well-specced choice. For the die-hards, the limited Apex Edition models, with their sport-tuned suspension, are wonderful. However, they lack any significant increase in power, which is disappointing.

2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan Comparisons

Toyota Camry Toyota
Honda Civic Sedan CarBuzz

2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan vs Toyota Camry

Occupying the midsize sedan segment, the Toyota Camry is a larger and more comfortable alternative from the Japanese automaker that is also loaded with more standard features. However, it costs five grand more, so is it worth it? Both offer hybrid options, but in terms of ICE sedans, which one comes out on top? Well, instead of a CVT, the Camry gets a proper eight-speed automatic transmission and, in the base model, a 2.5-liter four-pot developing 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Despite this, it's only around two mpg thirstier on gas. Furthermore, its increased size means more space for passengers and cargo, although not much in terms of the latter. Nevertheless, the interior of the Camry is stunning and certainly feels a lot more premium. In addition, if you're willing to spend a bit more, you can have dual-zone climate control, a panoramic glass sunroof, and even a head-up display. It all costs a fair amount, so if you're on a budget and looking for a well-rounded car, the Corolla is ideal. But if you can spare some extra cash, the Camry is a big step up, and as a bonus, you can even have a V6 if your pockets are deep enough.

See Toyota Camry Review

2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan vs Honda Civic Sedan

While there's no hybrid option in the Civic lineup, the Civic is still a compelling alternative to the Corolla. As we've mentioned more than once in this review of the Toyota Corolla, the brand-new Honda Civic offers far superior handling, but what else does it have going for it? Firstly, it's a little more expensive at a base price of $21,700, and the sad news for driving enthusiasts is that the entry- and mid-level sedan trims' manual transmission has been dropped. The base engine is a 2.0-liter that makes 11 horses less than the Corolla's 169 in the 2.0-liter, while a turbo 1.5L rules the roost in Hondatown with 180 hp and 177 lb-ft available. Furthermore, the cabin is much more modern and looks more upmarket too. It also offers features like dual-zone climate control and many of the same standard features that the Toyota boasts. A better sound system is on offer, but the base setup is weaker than that of the Toyota. The old Civic was very closely matched to the Corolla but based on the brand-new one's smart new design, excellent comfort, updated interior, superior cargo space, better available features, and impressive handling capabilities, we'll easily give this one to Honda.

See Honda Civic Sedan Review
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