The range is pricier than before, but there are still great deals to be had.
In June, Toyota announced the Corolla Hatchback and Corolla Sedan would be updated substantially, with plenty of upgrades, tech enhancements, and fresher styling. Despite the array of improvements, the Japanese company has retained a cornerstone of the Corolla lineup: value for money.
That's not to say there hasn't been a price hike across the range. The entry-level L trim level for the sedan is nowhere to be seen, and the cheapest Corolla money can buy is now the $21,550 Corolla LE. That represents a $1,125 increase in base models. It's worth noting, however, that the '23 LE is only $675 pricier than its 2022 equivalent.
It's strange to see that the L model has disappeared. We reached out to Toyota for comment, and it turns out the Japanese automaker has discontinued its most affordable model, and that's a shame in these cash-strapped times. Sadly, the manual-equipped Hatchback models have also been cut from the range.
Both the SE and LSE trims utilize the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine as the LE model. There's 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque on offer, sent to the front wheels via a CVT transmission. Despite this, the SE and LSE derivatives command a premium, at $23,950 and $26,700, respectively.
The SE grade receives 18-inch wheels and a smart key system with push-button start, among other things. The LSE builds on this with a power sunroof, SoftTex upholstery, and heated front seats, to name a few features. Compared to last year's lineup, the SE is $1,075 more expensive, while the LSE model is $375 pricier. The XLE is also missing from the 2023 range, but we assume Toyota will reintroduce it soon, as it was mentioned when the updates were announced.
Five Corolla Hybrid models are now available, two of which can be specified with all-wheel drive. The entry-level LE (previously the only option) is actually cheaper than before and weighs in at $22,800 (2022 models retailed for $24,050). The mid-spec Hybrid SE comes in at $25,200 and, like the LE, can be equipped with AWD. These all-paw derivatives are $1,400 more expensive than their front-wheel-drive counterparts.
But if you want a blend of frugality and the best gadgets, you have to opt for the $26,600 Corolla Hybrid XLE. The range-topper introduces a seven-inch driver's display (also standard on the XSE grade), along with the option of a nine-speaker JBL sound system (also available on SE and XSE trims). All Hybrid models utilize a 1.8-liter engine with 134 hp and 156 lb-ft.
Moving on to the hatchback, just two grades are offered for 2023. Again, we expect this to change as the model year progresses. After all, Toyota loves adding special editions to its respective ranges. The Hatch lineup kicks off with the $22,965 SE, which is a whopping $1,800 pricier than the same model last year. The plusher 2023 XSE comes in at $26,430, which represents an increase of $2,315.
It's not ideal, but myriad automakers have been forced to raise their prices in the wake of supply chain issues and a parts shortage. At least Toyota has bolstered the equipment levels of the Corolla, with all models receiving updated styling, LED daytime running lights, new color options, and more.
Importantly, the eight-inch infotainment system is equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All 2023 models also receive the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 driver assistance suite, which is packed full of features such as a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and radar-guided cruise control.