Review: 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is, well, not a Prius
If Toyota is known for anything, it’s hybrids. The Prius is synonymous with the term and Toyota has more hybrids in its lineup than any other automaker. The Corolla Hybrid is a step up from the Prius in terms of style and interior appeal, but how much of a step is subjective.
At a Glance
- Nicer in most respects when compared to the Prius
- Comparable MPG to the Prius at 52 mpg
- Sluggish and uninteresting to drive
- Low headroom, good trunk space
Until this generation of the Corolla, which debuted in 2019, there was no hybrid option for the Corolla model. The choices were the Prius or the Camry Hybrid. The Corolla Hybrid was a welcome addition to the model line at Toyota, but there are a few downers. To start with, the 2022 Corolla Hybrid comes only in the barely-equipped LE trim level of the overall Corolla line. Then there's the fact there isn’t much versatility gain going from the Prius hatchback to the Corolla’s sedan design. Finally, the 2022 Corolla Hybrid has the same drive qualities as the Prius; best described as a sluggish brick.
Where the Corolla Hybrid really shines, however, is in its good fuel economy, better looks compared to the Prius, and a nicer interior design, comparatively speaking. The EPA rates the 2022 Corolla Hybrid at 52 mpg (4.5 L/100km)on the highway and 53 mpg (4.4 L/100km) in the city, which is comparable to the less traditionally designed Prius. We met the 52 mpg highway rated quite easily in our highway test, despite high altitude and winter weather. Those are all high points to consider.
The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid runs on a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor. The combined output is 121 horsepower, which is not much and doesn't give the car a lot of get up and go. Front-wheel drive is the only option. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the centerpoint of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
Standard equipment includes LED headlamps, keyless entry/ignition, automatic climate control, an 8-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with Amazon Alexa compatibility, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The infotainment screen is fairly outdated, with buttons on its interface and not a whole lot of options. Android Auto is often glitchy as well. We didn’t have a chance to test Apple CarPlay, but the Alexa integration does add some functionality, like remote start.
A long list of advanced safety and driver assistance items are included as well. Toyota’s full suite of Safety Sense systems, including collision mitigation, lane departure mitigation, lane keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control, are all standard. If you want blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts, those are optional add-ons. As are heated front seating, imitation leather upholstery, and heated mirrors.
On the road, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is neither engaging nor does it engender confidence in its capabilities. It drives from point A to point B without complaint, but describing it as “capable” or “enjoyable” would be a stretch.
The interior of the 2022 Corolla Hybrid is functional and has nice design elements for storage and comfort. Materials choices aren’t high quality, however, and headroom is cramped for those over six feet in all seating positions. We like the general layout of things and the ease of access to child safety seat LATCH points in the cabin, the trunk has plenty of space and the rear seats fold (mostly) flat to expand that as needed.
In the end, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a step up from the Prius in that it’s nicer to be in and to look at. It doesn’t drive better or have more interior space, but it’s quieter on the road and has fewer odd quirks to “enjoy” while operating it.
The 2022 Corolla Hybrid has a starting price of about US$25,000 plus delivery.
Product Page: 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid