2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Review - SUV VEHICLE

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Review

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Key Features:

  • Fuel economy
  • Driver-assist safety features
  • 10-year/150,000 mile (240,000-km) battery warranty

Direct Competitors:

  • Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
  • Kia Niro Hybrid
  • Toyota Prius

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid uses a hybrid system similar to Toyota’s best-known Prius hybrid, and it is virtually the same size but with a trunk that fits the Prius’ hatchback design. Its styling is that of the regular gasoline Corolla, rather than the Prius’ more unmistakable look, and its interior is conventional while the Prius is far quirkier. That should appeal to those who prefer a more low-key approach or want a small sedan instead of Toyota SUVs increasingly moving into the hybrid space.

Corolla Hybrid Price: Cost Similar to its Rivals

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid headlight2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid headlight
Photo: Toyota

When the 2022 Corolla Hybrid first went on sale, it came in a single trim level priced at $24,050 USD for the base LE trim and $25,250 in Canada. Since it’s not a plug-in, it didn’t qualify for state/provincial or federal green-vehicle rebates. The only available options were some extra-charge paint colours, and a Premium Package that added around $2,000. It includes leather-look upholstery, heated steering wheel, power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated rear seats, and a wireless phone charger.

While it didn’t have many direct rivals, the ones it had were close in price for 2022. The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid started at around $18,499.26 USD ($24,999 CAD), while the Kia Niro Hybrid began at $19,976.3 USD ($26,995 CAD). The Toyota Prius was pricier than its sedan sibling, starting at around $21,719 USD ($29,350 CAD). By comparison, non-hybrid Corolla sedan models ram from $14,393 USD ($19,450 CAD) to $21,497 USD ($29,050 CAD).

Performance & Drive Impressions

White 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid driving front viewWhite 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid driving front view
Photo: Toyota
Specification Details
Engine 1.8L, 4-cylinder
Valvetrain DOHC 16-valve with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
Displacement 1,798 cc
Bore x Stroke 80.5 x 88.3 mm
Compression Ratio 13.0:1
Horsepower (SAE Net) 121 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque 105 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Recommended Fuel 87-octane or higher – unleaded
Emission Certification California LEV 3
White 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid front head onWhite 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid front head on
Photo: Toyota

The Corolla Hybrid uses a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. The system makes 121 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Prius is available with all-wheel drive, but the Corolla Hybrid strictly drives its front wheels.

The driving experience is what you’d expect from the small-commuter-car segment, with light steering and a tight turning circle, and it’s confident on the highway.

You don’t have to do anything to go from gas to electric, other than drive it. The system determines the driving requirements and then automatically switches between gasoline or battery, or the engine and electric motor working together when full power is needed. At low speeds, such as if you’re in a parking garage, you can activate the EV (electric vehicle) mode using a button on the console, which keeps the system on its battery.

White 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid rear shot parked on roadWhite 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid rear shot parked on road
Photo: Toyota

For the most part, the hybrid compact sedan feels like a regular car. The switch between gas and electricity is generally seamless and quiet. The driving experience is what you’d expect from the small-commuter-car segment, with light steering and a tight turning circle, and it’s confident on the highway.

The brakes may feel a bit artificial if you’ve never driven a car with regenerative braking before, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. That energy-capture happens whenever the car decelerates. This reduces the brakes’ workload, helping the pads and rotors last longer before replacement is required.

Corolla Hybrid Interior: Plain But Straightforward

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid interior2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid interior
Photo: Toyota

The Corolla’s cabin is very plain, which you’ll either love or hate. The eight-inch touchscreen includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but it looks dated with its old-school icons and fingerprint-grabbing gloss-black surround. There’s automatic climate control but it’s only single-zone. 

The benefit to this simplicity is that everything is easy to use. There’s a regular gearshift lever, instead of the odd tap-shifter that the Prius uses. Several functions, including the multi-information instrument cluster, are accessed with simple buttons on the steering wheel. 

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid interior front seats2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid interior front seats
Photo: Toyota

The seats are comfortable and relatively roomy for front-seat passengers. Those in the back get less legroom, but it still should be enough for all but the tallest passengers. The 60/40 split-folding rear seatback folds down for carrying longer items if the trunk space isn’t enough.

Takeaway

Its competitors are close in price, but the Corolla Hybrid is a solid value for what you get. When the optional Premium Package is added, the Hybrid is equipped and priced fairly close to the Corolla XLE, but with far better fuel economy.

Standard features on the Corolla Hybrid, before adding the option package, include LED headlamps, pushbutton start, heated mirrors, adaptive cruise control, emergency front braking with bicycle and pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam headlamps, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. If you’re thinking about a small Toyota hybrid but don’t want a Prius, the Corolla Hybrid is a very good choice to consider. Gallery:

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