2023 Toyota Corolla Adds AWD to Hybrid, Tweaks Styling

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick
2023 Toyota Corolla Sedan, Hybrid, and Hatchback

Toyota expands the Corolla lineup with more hybrid trims; it remains a sedan-only affair, however.

In addition to the new 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid, Toyota on Wednesday revealed a refreshed version of the car that gave its sub-compact SUV its name. For 2023, Toyota’s Corolla sees a wider lineup of hybrid offerings, with more power, better tech, and the availability of all-wheel drive.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition Review: Halfway There

Still available exclusively as a sedan, the Corolla Hybrid features revised electric components to boost output. By how much, Toyota won’t say, though the current model produces 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. A 1.8-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine remains as the gas-burning part of the equation. The Japanese automaker has also swapped in a lithium-ion battery pack. Now under the rear seats instead of in the trunk, the battery pack is located low down in the chassis, improving weight distribution and freeing up more cargo space.

Toyota will now offer the Corolla Hybrid with electronic AWD. Like the system in the Prius e-AWD, this uses a rear-mounted electric motor to provide on-demand all-wheel drive when necessary. Buyers will be able to experience the system on the LE AWD and SE AWD trims, both new for this model year. America is also gaining front-drive SE and XLE hybrid models; in Canada, the Corolla Hybrid XLE is AWD only. Toyota is proud to point out this is the only hybrid compact car on the market with AWD.

The gas-only lineup is simplified in a few ways for 2023. For starters, the unloved entry-level 1.8-liter engine has now retired, with all models utilizing the 169-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is now the only transmission choice, with a physical first gear for smoother starts. Sorry, manual fans: the only Corolla with a third pedal is going to be the GR Corolla moving forward.

The updates come with a subtle style shift outside. Sedan models see a revised front fascia with LED daytime running lights, while SE, XSE, and XLE include LED headlights. Multiple trims receive updated rear bumper designs as well, while the XSE sees new 18-inch graphite-colored alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the Corolla Hatchback receives a new grille and rear bumper, both featuring more chrome accents than before. The afore-mentioned 18-inch wheels are available on the more practical bodystyle, too. A revised paint lineup rounds out the changes.

Like the Corolla Cross, the original Corolla gets a serious tech upgrade with the Toyota Audio Multimedia system and standard Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. The former is the same 8.0-inch size as before, but quicker and more responsive. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also part of the package too, in addition to a 4G Hotspot. TSS 3.0 includes the usual suite of driver assists, with upgraded automated emergency braking, lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, and adaptive cruise control. A parking assist and adaptive front lighting are both available on higher trims.

Toyota will be revealing 2023 Corolla pricing and availability specifics later this year.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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