Toyota’s small car family continues to evolve, not only with new crossovers (Corolla Cross Hybrid
) and performance variants (GR Corolla) joining the lineup, but also within the mainline sedan and hatchback offerings.
For 2023, the Corolla sedan and hatchback receive a mid-cycle styling update, along with new equipment and tech features, which apply to both gas and gas hybrid models.
On the gas side, the biggest change is the LE grade will be equipped with the larger 2.0-litre Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine (169 hp), which replaces the 1.8-litre four (139 hp). The 2.0-litre is currently standard on all S-line grades. It also has a 0-100 km/h time that is two seconds quicker than the 1.8, and still returns good fuel efficiency (7.6 / 5.9 / 6.8 L /100 km – city / highway / combined).
In terms of styling updates, all ’23 Corolla sedans receive a new grade-specific front fascia, LED daytime running lights, with the SE and XSE also receiving redesigned LED headlights. The LE receives a new rear bumper, and a new rear diffuser and 18-inch Gloss Graphite-coloured wheels are in store for the SE and XSE.
Hatchback models receive a redesigned front grille with chrome-finished accents and redesigned LED headlights, along with a new rear bumper and 18-inch Gloss Graphite wheels.
On the hybrid side, there are three new all-wheel drive grades: LE AWD, SE AWD and XSE AWD. All grades feature Toyota’s electronic on-demand all-wheel drive system, and the Toyota Hybrid System which uses a 1.8-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine with two electric motors paired with a CVT. For 2023, a new lithium-ion battery pack is installed under the rear seat for a lower centre of gravity and more trunk capacity.
The Corolla line also receives Toyota’s next gen 8-inch multimedia system which includes over-the-air software updates, cloud navigation, and Intelligent Assistant. Bluetooth, along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.
Finally, on the safety side, Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is available across the 2023 Corolla and Corolla Hybrid lineup.
GR Corolla MORIZO Edition
Only 200 numbered GR Corolla MORIZO Editions are going to be built worldwide for 2023 and only 10 (!) are ticketed for Canada, so getting your hands on one will be challenging to say the least.
At any rate, as the name implies – Morizo is the nickname for Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who is also the company’s GR (Gazoo Racing) Master Driver – this GR Corolla gets a load of track-focused goodies, including a close-ratio transmission, forged wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and extra torque (295 lb-ft.) from the 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine.
The MORIZO also sports a stiffer chassis, front brake ducts, mono-tube shock absorbers, and Ultrasuede-trimmed seats. Maximizing the power-to-weight ratio was a key developmental concern, so the MORIZO Edition has no back seat, rear door speakers, rear window regulator and rear wiper. These deletions have trimmed about 50 kg (100 pounds) from the car’s curb weight (1,445 kg versus 1,495 kg) compared to the regular GR Corolla.
The 2023 Corolla, Corolla Hybrid and GR Corolla MORIZO Edition go on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to on-sale.