2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

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2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Test Drive Review: The Stylish Eco-Warrior

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid just makes sense. Effectively, it's the Toyota Prius it's okay to be seen driving. The Corolla Hybrid was introduced in 2020, packing the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and twin electric motors as the Prius to yield an awfully similar 52 mpg combined fuel economy figure. But instead of being housed in the unfortunate body of a Prius, those 121 horsepower find themselves looking pretty damn sleek, even if they are dampened somewhat by a CVT transmission. The least powerful US Corolla money can buy has just about enough potency for the car to get out of its own way, and as it's only available in one low-spec trim, the Corolla Hybrid is an economy car through-and-through. However, for 2022, Toyota has added an optional Premium Interior package with, amongst other things, upgraded upholstery and power seats to allow it to better rival the Honda Insight and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid. But with those marques making bold advances, we want to know if the Corolla Hybrid still makes a compelling argument for itself without the addition of more trim levels. To that end, we spent a week with the Corolla Hybrid getting reacquainted.

Read in this review:

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 Corolla Hybrid?

The Corolla Hybrid isn't all that old, having first arrived in 2020, and receiving a few updates in 2021. So not much changes for the new model year, but an optional Premium Interior package is made available which adds SofTex upholstery, heated front seats, power adjustments on the driver's seat, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel to the Corolla Hybrid sedan.

Pros and Cons

  • Fuel economy figures are superb
  • Power is delivered smoothly
  • Generous standard safety features
  • Legendary Toyota reliability
  • Build quality can't be faulted
  • Looks infinitely better than a Prius
  • Numb steering feel
  • Even more bland driving experience
  • Not well insulated from road noise
  • There's only one lower-tier trim available

Best Deals on 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid LE
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,050

Corolla Hybrid Exterior

The Corolla sedan lineup is attractive, although not particularly sporty or eye-catching. It may not stand out in a parking lot, but there's something to be said for the sharply angled LED headlights and LED DRLs. There's a sense of humble class in the way it looks overall, and the black front grille with sport mesh insert helps it to look a little more assertive. The rear is more generic, but not distasteful - there are standard LED taillights and a noticeably absent exhaust tip as a nod to the eco-friendliness of this model. The Corolla Hybrid comes fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels. A blue tint in the Toyota logo identifies the hybrid from its gas-powered siblings.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Front View CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Rear View CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Front Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Dimensions for the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid are in line with other compact sedans in the segment and include an overall length of 182.3 inches, stretched over a 106.3-inch wheelbase. It stands 56.5 inches in height and has an overall width of 70.1 inches. Despite all the hybrid components, the Corolla Hybrid weighs in a little lighter than the gas-fed variant, with a curb weight of 2,850 pounds - around 100 lbs less than the standard LE on which it's based.

  • Length 182.3 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 56.5 in
  • Max Width 70.1 in
  • Front Width 60.3 in
  • Rear Width 60.4 in
  • Curb Weight 2,850.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

The exterior color palette for 2022 has been slightly tweaked, with seven hues available to choose from. These include five no-cost colors of Celestite, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, White, and Blueprint. For an additional $425, you get Ruby Flare Pearl and Wind Chill Pearl. The deep red of Ruby Flare Pearl is elegant and classy, while the Classic Silver Metallic our test vehicle arrived with quickly becomes invisible in traffic.

  • Classic Silver Metallic
  • Celestite
  • Black Sand Pearl
  • Blueprint
  • Wind Chill Pearl
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • White

Corolla Hybrid Performance

Hybrid cars don't have to be slouches, but sadly, the Corolla Hybrid isn't on the impressive end of the spectrum. The power plant under the hood is a 1.8-liter four-pot combined with a pair of electric motors that produce a total of 121 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque. These meager outputs are what you'd find in the Prius, too - and are equally as morbid here. Power goes to the front wheels, and since the Corolla Hybrid prioritizes efficiency above all else, it takes around ten seconds to get close to 60 mph. Performance is bland overall, but the trade-off is the superior fuel economy the car is known for. Driving modes include Normal, Power, and Eco, with Eco being even more anemic than Normal, and Power barely adding any oomph at all.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Forward View CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Gauge Cluster CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

The naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine in the Corolla Hybrid is paired with two electric motors and a 1.3 kWh battery. The result is an underwhelming 121 hp and 105 lb-ft which isn't conducive to enthusiastic acceleration at all. And, paired to the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive CVT, leaves much to be desired overall. From a standstill, you'll need patience in spades to get going, and there isn't much change when you select Power drive mode. This means you won't be able to execute passing maneuvers without submitting a planned proposal first, so don't expect to hit top speed regularly.

  • Engine
    1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Corolla Hybrid looks like it's going to be a competently quick car, but we wouldn't bet on it to beat a thirty-year-old Civic from the lights. That's not why anyone buys an economy-based hybrid car, though, and all it has to do is not be so slow as to be dangerous. The good news is that it's just about enough, whether you have to tackle countryside, cities, or freeways on a daily basis. The Corolla Hybrid excels for its price point in ride quality and comfort, and it's a good advert for going back to smaller wheels on non-sporty cars. The suspension tuning and tires mounted on 15-inch wheels combine to soak up bumps with ease, while the interior is nicely insulated to add quietness to the smooth ride. However, we had hoped Toyota had improved the consistency of the brakes when switching between friction and regenerative brakes. Thankfully, it's not a dealbreaker, though.

While the Corolla Hybrid isn't a sporty car, handling is still important as driving shouldn't be a chore. In that sense, it's ahead of the more expensive Prius with its accurate steering and limited chassis roll. Just don't expect a lot of grip on the tires if you decide to push the Corolla Hybrid down a back road.

Corolla Hybrid Gas Mileage

Finally, some good news. While the Corolla Hybrid offers rather poor performance in terms of outputs, the trade-off is a welcome one. Gas mileage figures are 53/52/52 mpg city/highway/combined - some of the better EPA estimates in the class. The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid gets 49/52/50 mpg, although the Hybrid Blue variant does even better, at 53/56/54 mpg. The Honda Insight does slightly better than the Corolla Hybrid in the city only, with figures of 55/49/52 mpg.

Hybrid Corollas get a smaller gas tank than the gas-only versions, with an 11.4-gallon capacity. Theoretically, this means a range of around 593 miles on a full tank. Amazingly, we found it didn't matter how we drove the Corolla Hybrid, it indicated around 50 mpg for most of the week and when switching to a super-light right foot, we saw it go over the 52 mpg.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    11.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 53/52 mpg
* 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE CVT (Natl)

Corolla Hybrid Interior

The cabin of the Corolla Hybrid feels pleasantly upmarket, with a design that favors ergonomics and promotes minimal distractions for the driver. While there is an abundance of plastics, these don't feel low in quality, and most of the high-traffic areas feature soft-touch materials. Solid build quality and a clean, simple layout are something we've come to expect from the brand, and the latest Corolla lineup shows this off really well. It's by no means a place of luxury, but with automatic climate control, premium fabric upholstery, and an eight-inch touchscreen from the entry-level trims, there's very little to complain about at this price point.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Dashboard CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Front Seats CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Back Seats CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

The hybrid sedan is designed to seat five in relative comfort, but the rear-seat occupants may complain a little if they're over six feet tall due to the roofline sloping towards the rear. Those upfront are spoiled with loads of head and legroom, however, and despite the middle rear seat being less than ideal for anyone other than a small child, the seats are not bad. We wouldn't be opposed to a little more support and bolstering, but the overall look and feel is pleasant. The driver has good visibility and there's sufficient adjustability for a good driving position. And, while the standard option is premium fabric upholstery, you can upgrade to SofTex with heating as part of the available options.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.0 in
  • Front Head Room 38.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 34.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.1 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Premium fabric is the standard fare on the Hybrid model, and it comes in a choice of Black or Light Gray/Moonstone. You can upgrade to SofTex in Black or Macadamia/Mocha by way of the new-for-2022 Premium Interior Package. This costs $1,525, and also adds heated front seats, power adjustability, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. A more expensive option is also available that adds a few other goodies for $500 more.

The rest of the cabin features an abundance of harsher plastics, and while this does detract a little from an otherwise tasteful cabin, it feels like good quality and is solidly put together.

Corolla Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

As a compact sedan, the Corolla Hybrid doesn't offer loads of cargo space, with 13.1 cubic feet in the trunk. This is down on the 15.1 cubes in the Honda Insight but is still sufficient for the weekly shop or loading school bags and sports kit. If you're hoping for a hybrid with the most practical trunk, you'd do well to look at the Prius, with more than 27 cubes to offer. On the Corolla, you can flip down the rear seat in a 60/40 split if you need to load more.

Interior storage is sufficient, though, with a glove box, center console bin under the armrest, nooks and crannies ahead of the shifter, and door pockets all around. There are two cupholders in the rear armrest, and two up front in the center console.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Cargo Space CarBuzz
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Gearbox Controls CarBuzz
  • Trunk Volume
    13.1 ft³

Corolla Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

Based on the standard gasoline LE variant, the hybrid Corolla comes relatively well equipped, although not to the standard of top-end trims in the range. As standard, it comes with automatic climate control, premium fabric upholstery with a six-way adjustable driver's seat, and a four-way adjustable front passenger seat. It has a premium instrumentation cluster and seven-inch color TFT multi-information display with customizable settings. Heated front seats with power adjustment are optional extras.

The safety consignment comprises an integrated backup camera with projected path and the Toyota Safety Sense suite, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist, lane tracing assist, and full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-trafic alert can be optioned on.

Infotainment

The eight-inch touchscreen display in the Corolla Hybrid is mounted high in the dashboard, making it easy to read and interact with it. With a relatively intuitive operating system and bright graphics, first-time users should have no problem getting to know how to use it. The Hybrid LE's infotainment system includes basics such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration, two USB ports, hands-free phone capability, Bluetooth streaming, and SiriusXM with a three-month trial period. You also get Toyota's Safety Connect with a one-year trial and Wi-Fi connection with up to 2 GB on a three-month trial. The audio system features six speakers that deliver typical econobox sound quality, but falls short of the optional JBL system found in specific non-hybrid models.

Corolla Hybrid Problems and Reliability

The last recall for the Toyota Corolla Hybrid pertained to its maiden year on the market, with two issues noted for rear seat-belt assemblies that may not lock and a loss of stability control. The 2021 model year was recall-free, as is the 2022 MY at the time of writing - a good indication that the manufacturer resolved the issues mentioned here.

Additionally, J.D. Power rated the Toyota Corolla lineup very highly, with a score of 85 out of 100 for quality and reliability, which is a characteristic of the brand we've come to expect. Toyota provides a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty with five years/60,000 miles of cover for the powertrain. The hybrid powertrain has an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, and the battery is covered for ten years or 150,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    2 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    2 Years \ 25,000 Miles

Corolla Hybrid Safety

The NHTSA's review of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid returned very positive scores, with a full five stars given overall and five stars each for frontal and side crash tests. The hybrid Corolla achieved four stars in rollover tests from the US authority. The IIHS review of the standard Corolla echoed these results, with six top scores of Good achieved. Hybrid models scored only Marginal ratings for headlights, however, missing out on the Top Safety Pick certain trims of the regular model received. Still, these are excellent results for a car that is likely to spend its life ferrying around the precious cargo that makes up the average American family.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

One of the defining characteristics of the brand is its generosity in terms of standard safety features, and the new Corolla Hybrid is no exception. Ten airbags are standard, including a driver's knee airbags and curtain airbags front and rear. The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite comprises pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist, lane tracing assist, and full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, which is standard on the hybrid Corolla. The usual stability and traction control are also included, as are ABS, EBD, and brake assist. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert can be added for $500.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid a good car?

If you're looking for a good-looking little car that's initially affordable and then inexpensive to put miles on while offering Toyota reliability, the Corolla Hybrid is best in class. The only thing we have against it is that there's just one trim level. Likely, that's because Toyota doesn't want to compete with itself by offering a more premium package that can rival the Prius. But the Prius is a love-it-or-hate-it car, while the same time, the Corolla is completely inoffensive to just about everyone while being easy and pleasant to drive. It's one of those cars that shows its owner makes good, sensible decisions, and that makes the Corolla Hybrid a great car.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

There's only one model available with the hybrid setup in the Corolla lineup at present, so the price of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid starts at $23,650 MSRP, excluding the $1,025 destination fee that applies in the USA. You can add a few options and have a fully-loaded model for around $27,125, including miscellaneous fees.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Models

One of the negatives about the Corolla Hybrid at the moment is the fact that you can only have it in one trim - and it's based on the LE which is one of the lower trims from the standard Corolla range. It's missing a few luxuries from the top-spec models but is generally still well-equipped. It has the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and two-motor hybrid combination that makes 121 hp and 105 lb-ft; it's FWD-only and uses a CVT to take care of gearing.

The exterior features all-LED lighting and 15-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the Corolla Hybrid has automatic climate control with a dust and pollen filter. Upholstery is premium fabric as standard, with manual adjustments on the front seats. There's a seven-inch color TFT display for the driver and an eight-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system that's paired to six speakers and fully integrated with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Safety is taken care of by the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which includes pre-collision, lane departure and lane tracing, road sign assist, dynamic radar cruise control, automatic high beams, and a rearview camera with guidelines.

See All 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There's not much you can add by the way of packages, despite the hybrid Toyota Corolla being based on an entry-level model. The first option is the $500 addition of blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Next, you have two choices in terms of interior upgrades: new for 2022, you can add the $1,525 Premium Interior Package that switches out your fabric upholstery for classier SofTex and adds heating to the front seats. Also included are a leather-trimmed steering wheel and power adjustments for the driver's seat.

Building on this, the Premium Interior Package with Options goes on sale for $2,025 and includes everything from the standard Interior Package, but also equips a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. This comes with color-keyed heated power outside mirrors.

πŸš—What Toyota Corolla Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

Having a single trim level makes the decision process simple. All you have to decide is whether you want to add $500 for blind-spot monitoring, $1,525 for the Premium Interior Package, or the $2,025 Premium Interior Package with Option - which is basically both of the aforementioned packages combined. We would absolutely tick the box for blind-spot monitoring if we weren't interested in the Premium Interior Package. If we were going to add an extra 8.5 percent to the cost of the vehicle before delivery fees. At $26,675, you're only $705 away from buying a Camry Hybrid with remarkably similar fuel economy but more power and interior space. Of course, the Camry would be more expensive to insure.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Comparisons

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid CarBuzz
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Hyundai
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Toyota Corolla Hybrid121 hp53/52 mpg$24,050
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 192 hp50/54 mpg$27,350
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid 139 hp53/56 mpg$24,100

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Slightly larger than the Corolla, the Sonata Hybrid is also arguably a little better looking and has a decidedly premium feel to it. With a starting fee of entry well above the base price of the Corolla Hybrid, the Sonata comes with a few plus points that make it a must-see over the Toyota. These include a 2.0-liter four-pot with an electric motor combo that makes 192 hp and 151-lb-ft, a substantial increase over the lethargic outputs of the Corolla. It's not any more fun to drive though if we're honest, but at least you're not wringing the heck out of the power plant to get it moving. And, while the Sonata hybrid sacrifices a little in fuel economy for this privilege, it still manages a respectable 45/51/47 mpg in the upper trims, or 50/54/52 mpg if you opt for the Hybrid Blue base model. We're more inclined to go for the Sonata Hybrid, despite the higher price tag.

See Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

As the first hybrid Elantra ever, the 2021 iteration of the Elantra Hybrid won the North American Car of the Year Award for a reason. The Elantra offers a great balance of efficiency, a refined and comfortable ride, loads of standard features, and an attractive price tag. Starting prices are around $23,750, which is a smidge higher than the Corolla Hybrid's base price. But for that, you get quite a bit more value, including heated front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. We also think the Elantra looks just a little edgier than the Corolla Hybrid, and while nobody buys a hybrid for its performance specs, the Elantra Hybrid has just a bit more power on tap too, with 139 hp and 195 lb-ft from its 1.6-liter gas and hybrid setup.

See Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Review

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid:

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