No matter what your thoughts are regarding the Toyota Corolla, there is no denying the fact that it stands for value and reliability around the world. When it also represents the best-selling car in the world, you may think that Toyota can just sit on its laurels, however they are not that type of company. While not everything will hit the mark such as the Corolla Apex, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid tested here has managed to make a good car even better.
With over 50 million Corollas sold worldwide as of earlier this year, Toyota has a lot riding on the nameplate and with the Prius market share shrinking each year, it made sense that a hybrid option would be added to the Corolla. As the consumer base has moved away from the Prius’ polarizing interior and exterior, this decision could not come at a better time. Compared to the gas powered Corolla, the hybrid model changes very little visually, as everything skin-deep remains the same.
Toyota has made the best looking Corolla ever but in truth, don’t expect anything exciting. The overall design is aggressive compared to other compacts on sale today, and a substantial step up from all of the models that preceded it. Those wanting a sportier looking Corolla can check out the Corolla Hatchback, with its sport-compact looks and sharper lines. That said, the Corolla Hybrid is available in sedan form only, so buyers looking for a green option are stuck with the four-door.
Performance wise, the Corolla Hybrid does pack less power over the combustion engine. It’s not all that different from the Prius, where comfort and ride quality are high priorities, but power delivery is fairly sluggish. The leisurely 0-100km/h run of 8.3 seconds is definitely on the slower side, but the Corolla Hybrid does feel somewhat peppy in the city when darting through gridlock.
Power comes through a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, naturally aspirated, hooked up to Toyota’s famous Hybrid Synergy Drive system. Combined horsepower is 121 at 5,200RPM, and 105 lb-ft. of torque at 3,600RPM. The only available transmission is a CVT, and while on the bland side, this is one of the better applications of Toyota’s CVT. Transitions from gasoline-only to hybrid power are very seamless, and there is a pure EV mode available with limited range that can be engaged at lower speeds to conserve fuel.
Sitting on TNGA underpinnings, the current Corolla packs surprisingly dynamic chassis tuning. Even in Hybrid form, the Corolla has excellent steering, flat cornering abilities, and one of the more engaging personalities of its compact rivals. It also absorbs road imperfections with ease and remains extremely quiet on the inside, even at highway speeds. The Corolla Hybrid is quite flickable, but the eco-friendly tires on this model do have their limit – buyers wanting to hit the local autocross will want to grab a set of stickier rubber.
While the fuel efficiency of the gas powered model has always been impressive and one of the best in the segment, the Corolla Hybrid ups the ante. Toyota Canada rates consumption at 4.4L/100km in the city and 4.5L/100km on the highway, which is a substantial improvement over the regular Corolla. Over a week of mostly highway travel, we achieved 4.4L/100km, nicely offsetting the Durango Hellcat from the previous week. If fuel efficiency is a high priority, this is definitely the model to have. Obviously, regular 87-octane fuel is just fine.
Inside the Corolla Hybrid, materials don’t feel any different than the regular model. Everything feels up to par, though we’d like to see the piano black plastic around the console disappear. Our test vehicle with just 1,000 kilometers on the odometer was already showing some scratches that would become annoying over time. Front and rear passengers will be fairly comfortable, and trunk space is 371-liters. It’s worth mentioning that the rear seats do fold down but are not completely flat.
Pricing for the Corolla Hybrid starts at $25,190, and includes things like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 as standard fare. This is a significant step up from the base Corolla L at $19,350, but the cheapest automatic model is still $21,150.
Corolla Hybrid pricing starts off at $25,190. This model includes important items such as Apple Carplay, Android Auto, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, heated seats and automatic air conditioning. Step up to the Premium Package model tested here for $2,070 extra, and get leatherette seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, wireless charging, and a power driver’s seat. At $27,260, this is a no-brainer for the efficiency it offers. Rivalry comes from the form of the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, which starts at $24,799 and comes in at $27,099 fully loaded.
With the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Premium, buyers can expect rock solid reliability, excellent resale value and even better fuel economy over its combustion powered sibling. The only trade off is some grunt off the line, but buyers who really want performance aren’t looking at sub-$30,000 hybrids anyway. This is an excellent commuter with a lot to offer, and remains one of the only dedicated hybrids in the segment.