2023 Toyota Corolla review – same looks, NEW hybrid power! | What Car?

Exact same appearances, brand-new power! Watch our 2023 to find out if this is the very best household hatchback you can buy.

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53 responses to “2023 Toyota Corolla review – same looks, NEW hybrid power! | What Car?”

  1. Yo DesuYo ⵢⵓⴷⴰ Avatar
    Yo DesuYo ⵢⵓⴷⴰ

    What’s up with that high price? And what about the Toyota safety sense? Is it the 3.0?

  2. Emmanuel Apac Avatar
    Emmanuel Apac

    Good as a daily runner for someone out there, otherwise Toyota wouldn’t have made updates to this model.

  3. Mika Davies Avatar
    Mika Davies

    Sorry guys but I need to call you out on some very misleading information. At 65mpg (best around town) it doesn’t work out cheaper than an EV…. My BEV is averaging 70 to 80mpg in running costs. Topping up at home. Add in the £30,000 STARTING PRICE…. and the only true part of this review is the Honda Civic is better value… Better built & bigger.

    1. Mika Davies Avatar
      Mika Davies

      @What Car? Appreciate the reply… Agree that to beat 75mpg you need off street parking. Which will then give you 12.5pence per kw.
      But you guys need to start considering (1) availability and (2) residual value in your reviews.
      As new ICE will soon start to be the lower residual value vehicle. £30,000 for a small petrol might not be so good in a few years of devaluation

    2. James Avatar

      @Mika Davies no, if you make the claim you should evidence it. Did you pass science at school? Are you sure that an”affordable” EV like an MG will have better residuals than a Toyota? It depends on many things, like fuel and electricity prices at the time, but l know which maker has the better reputation

    3. Mika Davies Avatar
      Mika Davies

      @James Use your own brain… I’m not here to spoon feed you. If you were genuinely interested, I would prove the numbers to you. But clearly with your attitude… You are just here to to dis people and hide behind your single name online. I’ve owned cars, motorcycles, trucks and motorhomes. I have had both experience or lots of running costs. If you can’t see ICE residuals dropping… That for you to worry about.

    4. Mika Davies Avatar
      Mika Davies

      @James Electric at home is 12.5 pence per kw. You calculate the costs

    5. James Avatar

      @Mika Davies he who makes the claim provides the evidence. Basic academic principle

  4. a paul Avatar
    a paul

    A useful and well organised review, thank you. I have the current 1.8 Touring Sports. Although it is quiet and relaxing around town due to the electric motor, motorway cruising is spoilt by road noise. Can you recommend tyres which would reduce this? I would be very grateful for suggestions.

    1. a paul Avatar
      a paul

      @Brian Thanks for your suggestion. I have just spoken to the local dealer who gave details of the tyres which are on the car (they are the original ones) plus a couple of others. The one with the lowest noise rating (69 db vs 71 db current) is the 205/55R16DU SPT BLUERESPONSE 91V. However, they did also point out that road noise may not necessarily be due to the tyres. They would charge £95 to investigate, which would be refunded if the cause was due to a warrantable item.

    2. Moreno H Avatar
      Moreno H

      @a paul The Toyota Corolla and Kia (pro)ceed are well known for their loud road noise. Think it can be slightly reduced with smaller rims and certain tires but it’s not going to be on the level of the more premium brands.

    3. a paul Avatar
      a paul

      @Moreno H Thanks. I have wondered if it is due to factors other than tyres, such as poor sound insulation within the cabin. If it is true that this is a generally recognised issue, then changing the tyres is unlikely to help. I am hoping that @whatcar will comment on this on the basis of their knowledge of the model. (2019 Corolla Touring Sports 1.8)

    4. Moreno H Avatar
      Moreno H

      @a paul correct it is indeed due poor sound proofing. On alot of forum people even tried sound proofing the cabin more themselves because they are fed up with the road noise. Also other reviewers on youtube mention the road noise being excessive

    5. a paul Avatar
      a paul

      @Moreno H Thanks. So is there anything that can be done? Occasionally on certain motorway surfaces it is quiet, which seems to indicate that it is road noise rather than any other source.

  5. Toyota MK4 Avatar
    Toyota MK4

    The sedan hybrid version is much cheaper & with better space for the passengers in the back !!

    Also has ECVT, is better system from CVT and very reliable.

    1. Toyota MK4 Avatar
      Toyota MK4

      Corolla has 3 versions, choose the one it suits better for your needs.

    2. H.K_R Avatar

      They no longer off the Corolla as a saloon in the UK anymore, so we get a choice of the hatchback or the estate now

    3. Toyota MK4 Avatar
      Toyota MK4

      Sorry for that..In Europe we still have it

    4. Joseph Marsh Avatar
      Joseph Marsh

      @Toyota MK4 lucky Europeans, unlucky us Brits! I guess it’s Brexit to blame!

    5. Lee Power Avatar
      Lee Power

      @Joseph Marsh – It’s because virtually nobody bought the saloon version, you can’t blame Brexit as the C-HR is made in the same Turkish factory as the Corolla Saloon. Camry isn’t available in UK either, reason is poor sales due to hardly anyone buying one.

  6. Alexander Stefanov Avatar
    Alexander Stefanov

    My 2019 C4 cactus 120 1.5 diesel auto gets 60mpg combined easily, and 70mpg doing 110kph in sixth on the motorway. I don’t see this Corolla’s economy as anything noteworthy when you consider the weight and complexity. At this price I’d go for an MG4 LR, and for people that can charge at home on off peak power, EVs are much cheaper to run, add the lack of maintenance and it’s a no brainer.

    1. Nikola Milovanovic Avatar
      Nikola Milovanovic

      How much is clutch, starter, alternator, dpf , how much adblue goes in corolla, how much does new egr costs in hybrid? Oh, it does not have any of those things! So, cost of ownership is way better with hybrid than it is with diesel car. Not to mention not so cheap injectors

    2. imran2nv Avatar

      @Alexander Stefanov these guys are getting 75mpg on local driving. I’ve driven the new 2 litre corolla and I was driving it in sports and with a heavy foot. I got 53mpg. Also I was driving the estate with 18″ wheels. The 1.8 in hatchback with 16″ wheels would be comfortably be able to get 60mpg

    3. stu m Avatar
      stu m

      EV’s are cheap just now if you can charge at home BUT in 2025 EV’s Road tax will be £550 p/Yr and as far as I know will be retrospective so I will stick to my clio diesel that does 65mpg. Putting batteries in an already owned car is the way to go,but manufacturers want volume so the world is going down the plughole.

    4. Gavin Avatar

      @Nikola Milovanovic well said for them reasons that’s why I got away from Skoda also Toyota is automatic. My last Skoda had a DSG box which when they give trouble it coasts mad money.

    5. JDM guy Avatar
      JDM guy

      @Gavin Interestingly I just had a rented Skoda Kamiq DSG and was surprised at how poor the transmission was. Jerky throttle response and gear changes at low speeds in particular, plus it rolls back on inclines which I didnt think was possible with an auto gearbox. I occasionally drive my father’s current generation Prius and the smoothness is in a different league. The only downside of a CVT is the rev hang when you kick down but it’s a price I would pay if I wanted an auto. Incidentally I would not touch any BEV. Too many drawbacks.

  7. davereeduk Avatar

    The charging cost for the MG4 listed rather assumes that you’d charge at daytime rates, which you’d only do if you need to recharge in a hurry. Mostly you’d use off-peak rates like Octopus Go, which would cost you 7.5p per kwh after midnight (0030 to 0430). That’s around 2p per mile.
    The point about public charging is spot on though, so a hybrid makes sense if you don’t have your own charger. Maintenance costs are an issue too though, as there is a lot more to go wrong in a hybrid.

    1. Brian Avatar

      @Deelan Das It does, but if you’re out at work all day, or you have solar to help offset that additional cost, it may still be worth doing if you have an EV, or are considering one.

    2. James Avatar

      I don’t think much will go wrong with a Toyota hybrid and you get up to 10 years warranty if you have Toyota servicing. Meanwhile MG came next to bottom in a recent satisfaction survey and there are stories about oil leaks and problems charging, including with What Car’s long-term MG 5

    3. Matthew Nightingale Avatar
      Matthew Nightingale

      Hybrids make little economic sense as they are often on par with full EVs and only have marginally better fuel economy than moden ICE cars.

    4. James Avatar

      @Matthew Nightingale the latest Toyota hybrids do have excellent urban mpg though, and reliability seems good still. There are reasons why Uber drivers choose them.

    5. Joseph Marsh Avatar
      Joseph Marsh

      Toyota’s are the most reliable hybrids out there, and they give a 5 year warranty. An electric car will have far more problems than a hybrid because the motor, battery and electricals are more expensive than a hybrid engine car. Toyota Corolla is so reliable.

  8. Brian Rocks Avatar
    Brian Rocks

    A real world great car for those who need a great car.

    1. Brian Avatar

      I think Toyota have produced something like 50 million Corollas since 1966. The VW Golf isn’t too far behind at 40 odd million.

    2. Brian Rocks Avatar
      Brian Rocks

      In the real world the Toyota is miles ahead of the VW. Clever marketing on behalf of the German bland brand sells the illusion of want for a rather lackluster car.

  9. Deelan Das Avatar
    Deelan Das

    The estate version’s much better, longer wheelbase means a lot more space in the back seats.

  10. Brian Avatar

    But of course if you charged an MG4 on an off-peak tariff at home, then the per mile cost drops to less than 4p. You overlooked that bit. You also missed out the fact that public charging costs can be reduced (sometimes considerably) by subscribing to the charge network you wish to use…… Non subscribers will pay full price.

  11. Griffin Cheng Avatar
    Griffin Cheng

    Same we are not getting the new Prius here.

  12. disarchitected Avatar

    Would be useful to know where the cat is located. The threat of cat theft is seriously putting me off getting a Corolla, although it seems ideal in other respects.

    1. disarchitected Avatar

      @Matt On Thanks for that. Do you know if it has a secondary cat under the car? I think some Toyotas have the primary cat where you stated, the thieves cant get to that, instead they take the secondary cat under the car which is easy to cut out.

    2. JDM guy Avatar
      JDM guy

      I think that’s more of an issue on older Toyota’s especially the Prius.

    3. disarchitected Avatar

      @JDM guy I was enquiring after a 2019 Corolla, the dealer told me it would need a catloc if I was worried, so the unfacelifted version of this car was vulnerable. I’m wondering if they dealt with that fully for this facelift.

    4. disarchitected Avatar

      https://youtu.be/1mnfX0CyKHs 8:35 in this video, the mechanic shows the exposed second catalytic converter in the unfacelifted US version of this Corolla. Does the facelift fix this is the question.

    5. JDM guy Avatar
      JDM guy

      @disarchitected Yes I’ve heard Toyota dealers can fit a cat lock. My father has a 2016 Prius but never bothered with one. It’s garage parked though every night and not used a great deal. I wouldnt let it put me off though. I had a loan Corolla 2 litre as a courtesy car when my fathers Prius went in for servicing. Great cars and very underated unless you’re in the know.

  13. Penry the mild mannered janitor Avatar
    Penry the mild mannered janitor

    Imagine if you’d just fallen through a hole in the space-time continuum from the 1980’s. This “not quite a hot hatch” accelerates faster than an Escort XR3i. But it also costs nearly as much as a house.

  14. TL Avatar

    The main reason why I won’t buy the Corolla is that it is a small car sold at a premium price. Toyotas are simply too expensive now.

    1. Joseph Marsh Avatar
      Joseph Marsh

      If it’s too small for you go for the estate version instead. It’s got nearly double the boot. Also, there’s a reason they’re expensive, because they’re reliable and hold their value well.

  15. Drive4fun Avatar

    This is the most suitable colour for design trim. I would love and TS 2.0 Design in the same blue 👌👍

  16. JDM guy Avatar
    JDM guy

    Still a smart car all round the Corolla. Would take this anyday over a Golf with it’s cheapo touch capacitive controls for everything.

  17. Emaratilfy Avatar

    I’ll take the Mazda 3.

  18. Wayne Heyes Avatar
    Wayne Heyes

    But it’s now over £30K making it very unaffordable

  19. peter martin Avatar
    peter martin

    Stick to spare wheel.

  20. Joseph Marsh Avatar
    Joseph Marsh

    You know what I’d rather have than the Corolla, the new generation Toyota Prius. The only sad thing is we aren’t getting it in the UK because of gas guzzling SUVs that fat British people can only fit in due to them being obese!

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