The Toyota Corolla rolls into 2023 a changed car, and customers are bound to love what they see and drive. The line expands with four new Hybrid grades, including a more powerful hybrid system and available all-wheel drive.
There’s big news on the gas side of the Corolla family, too. The LE, the most popular grade, now has the 169-horsepower 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine used in all other gas grades. Replacing a 139-hp 1.8-liter engine, it offers much more dynamic performance (0-60 two seconds quicker than with the 1.8L engine). Yet, it is also more efficient, improving on the previous engine fuel economy ratings by nearly two miles per gallon with a manufacturer-estimated 31 city/40 hwy./34 combined MPG. And that’s just for starters. All 2023 Corolla models gain next-generation Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, and next-generation Toyota Audio Multimedia and are topped off with updated front and rear styling.
The wide-ranging enhancements to the 12th-generation Corolla exemplify Toyota’s fervent approach to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. That’s a big reason why Corolla, which has sold over 50 million globally since 1966, has become the world’s top-selling model.
In all 2023 Corolla gas engine models, the Dynamic Shift continuously variable transmission gives a distinct performance feel thanks to a gear set used as a “first” gear for start-off acceleration, before seamlessly handing off to the CVT’s pulley system. Synchronization of the increasing engine revs and vehicle speed provides a linear acceleration feel. This combined with the enhanced sport mode provides a more engaging driving experience for the 2023 Corolla. Additionally, in the SE and XSE grades, the transmission features paddle shifters to engage 10 pre-set ratios to offer a sportier driving experience.
Following other Toyota Hybrids, the 2023 Corolla Hybrid now offers the option of all-wheel drive, but this is AWD with a big advantage. Instead of transferring gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed.
The system works seamlessly and transparently, preemptively distributing driving force to the rear wheels to help suppress front wheel slip during off-the-line starts. It also engages the rear motor in response to slippage at the front wheels and enhances cornering agility by helping to reduce understeer. The driver can view torque distribution on the Multi-information Display and audio system screen.
The 2023 Corolla Hybrids also offer enhanced brake control, while the SE grades (FWD and AWD) inherit the firmer-feel Electronic Power Steering from the Corolla Apex Edition performance model.
Toyota remains the world’s hybrid leader, and the operative word for the 2023 Corolla Hybrid is “more.” There’s more power, and there’s more traction, with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD), as used in other Toyota Hybrids. And there are more model choices, with the Corolla Hybrid LE FWD gaining four new siblings: the LE AWD grade, sporty SE and SE AWD grades, and a premium-focused XLE grade.
All 2023 Corolla Hybrid models gain a more powerful Toyota Hybrid System. As before, the system pairs a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine with two motor-generators through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. A compact high-output/low-loss drive motor has been newly developed for the transaxle/motor, which includes a redesigned magnet and electromagnetic steel plate configuration with two additional magnets for increased output. The new hybrid system also includes a newly developed lithium-ion battery that’s now located under the rear seat to lower the center of gravity and maximize trunk cargo capacity.
Notably, the 2023 Corolla Hybrid is the only compact hybrid passenger car available with all-wheel drive. For buyers, that means getting the best of both worlds: added traction for slippery road conditions and efficient fuel economy.
On 2023 Corolla Sedans, new front fascia styling varies across grades, and all receive LED daytime driving lights (DRL), with the SE, XSE, and XLE grades also featuring redesigned LED headlights. The LE adds an updated rear bumper design, while the sporty SE and XSE get an all-new rear sports diffuser and feature new 18-inch Gloss Graphite-colored alloy wheels.
The Corolla Hatchback features a redesigned front grille with chrome-finished accents, along with revised LED headlights. The rear bumper is updated with a combination of body color and added chrome-finished accents. The new 18-inch Gloss Graphite-colored alloy wheels are also available for the Hatchback.
It just wouldn’t be a new Toyota model year without some compelling color changes. Corolla Sedan offers elegant new Underground and Midnight Black Metallic, which replaces Black Sand Pearl. The Hatchback shows off its wild side with new Inferno and Blue Crush Metallic choices. (Blue Crush was formerly only on the 2022 Sedan.)
Other Sedan colors for 2023 include White, Classic Silver Metallic, Celestite, and Blueprint. Wind Chill Pearl and Ruby Flare Pearl are available for an extra cost. The Hatchback offers a similar palette and also allows extra-cost duo-color options pairing the body color with a Midnight Black Metallic roof.
Standard on Corolla XSE and XLE, a redesigned 7-inch multi-information display (MID). All other grades feature an updated 4.2-inch MID located between the tachometer and speedometer allowing the driver to view either analog or digital speedometers. Featuring rich graphics, the easy-to-read MIDs can be custom configured by the driver. It offers intuitive operation to access information for the audio and multimedia systems, navigation, and vehicle information including fuel efficiency estimates and tire pressure, as well as TSS 3.0 functions.
Toyota became an early leader in equipping its vehicles with safety systems featuring automatic emergency braking and, for 2023, Toyota Safety Sense technology in Corolla evolves to version 3.0 and includes enhanced versions of the following pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Automatic High Beams (AHB).
In addition, Corolla is available with Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking and Adaptive Front Lighting. The latter provides a wider field of light and steers the low beam lights in the direction of the turn, based on steering angle and vehicle speed.
Designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team, the 2023 Corolla comes equipped with a standard next-generation 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system providing a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the design of the new system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the latest available Connected Service, Drive Connect*, users have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awakens the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures, and more. Cloud Navigation is the available onboard navigation solution that utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic, and routing information. To ensure you have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate your next destination. * Active Drive Connect trial or subscription required.
The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. With further connectivity, the Corolla offers an available Wi-Fi Connect subscription that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices turning the Corolla into an AT&T Hotspot, along with the ability to link your separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle’s new Integrated Streaming feature. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data, and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription.
For those looking for an enhanced audio experience, the Corolla SE, XSE, and XLE grades come available with a JBL® Premium Audio system with 9 speakers including an 800-watt amplifier and 10-in. subwoofer.
Each Corolla comes with a host of Connected Services available on all grades, trial or subscription required. Safety Connect™ includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), 24/7 Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator, and Collision Assistance. Service Connect offers drivers the capability of receiving Vehicle Health Reports, Maintenance Alerts, and reminders with a 3-year trial. With the Toyota app, users can stay connected to their Toyota with the available Remote Connect service.
Corolla’s model variety is made possible by the Toyota New Global Architecture-C platform (TNGA-C). A super-rigid structure, a low center of gravity, and highly refined tuning of the MacPherson-type strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension endow the Corolla with exemplary handling agility, ride comfort, and distinctive driving personality. This high-strength platform is fortified through the use of ultra-high-tensile steel as well as the application of structural adhesive technology for enhanced body rigidity and passenger security.
Corolla’s cabin is a sanctuary where powertrain and road noise have been minimized thanks to the widespread implementation of sound-absorbing materials, including Thinsulate®, sealants, foams, and silencer pads. The TNGA structure utilizes additional seals in its body panel gaps to insulate noise penetration and enhance air-sealing performance. As one example, the floor silencer pad is one large piece, instead of many smaller segments.
The cockpit provides an engaging interior space that surrounds the driver while offering a spacious environment for all passengers. High-gloss materials are paired with matte elements – silver accents with Piano Black and available contrasting stitching – contributing to a premium look and feel.
Seating materials include standard cloth or, in higher grades, SofTex®-trim. For 2023, choices include Black/Red (black as the main color with red highlights), Moonstone (light gray as the main color with dark gray highlights), and Macadamia (a warm, inviting cream color). On front seats in the SE and XSE grades, shoulder supports, evocative of a competition bucket seat, overlap solid and thick side bolsters to help comfortably grip occupants.
Available ambient lighting illuminates the front door trim, console tray, and front cupholder. The tray can hold small items, such as a smartphone or wallet, or, when so equipped, houses the available Qi wireless device charging pad. Terraced cup holders adapt to various-sized beverage containers.
The 2023 Corolla models feature eight standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Corolla sedan models come equipped with a standard backup camera.
Corolla has been and will continue to be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi (TMMMS), where there are 1,500 Toyota team members. Additionally, the latest Corolla family member, the first-ever Corolla Cross, is assembled at the new joint-venture manufacturing plant with Mazda in Huntsville, Alabama. The new manufacturing facility represents a combined investment of $1.6 billion by the two companies. There are 4,000 team members and an annual assembly capacity of 300,000 vehicles. Corolla Hybrid is assembled in the Takaoka plant in Japan.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from the original date of first use when sold as new. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferrable across the ownership.
The Corolla models also come with ToyotaCare, a no additional cost plan that covers normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years, unlimited mileage.