Automotive

Review: 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is, well, not a Prius

Review: 2022 Toyota Corolla Hy...
The 2022 Toyota Corolla has contemporary looks and a smooth style
The 2022 Toyota Corolla has contemporary looks and a smooth style
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The 2022 Toyota Corolla has contemporary looks and a smooth style
1/6
The 2022 Toyota Corolla has contemporary looks and a smooth style
The Corolla Hybrid comes as a sedan with only one trim level option
2/6
The Corolla Hybrid comes as a sedan with only one trim level option
With just 121 horsepower, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid won't take any checkered flags
3/6
With just 121 horsepower, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid won't take any checkered flags
Trunk space in the 2022 Corolla Hybrid is larger than expected, with folding rear seats to add more
4/6
Trunk space in the 2022 Corolla Hybrid is larger than expected, with folding rear seats to add more
The interior design and layout is good in the 2022 Corolla Hybrid, but headroom is an issue
5/6
The interior design and layout is good in the 2022 Corolla Hybrid, but headroom is an issue
As a daily driver, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a good choice with excellent fuel economy
6/6
As a daily driver, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a good choice with excellent fuel economy
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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.

Trunk space in the 2022 Corolla Hybrid is larger than expected, with folding rear seats to add more
Trunk space in the 2022 Corolla Hybrid is larger than expected, with folding rear seats to add more

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.

As a daily driver, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a good choice with excellent fuel economy
As a daily driver, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a good choice with excellent fuel economy

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

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9 comments
9 comments
Dave W
Well Toyota really pushing the boat out for their new 2022 range!! To me this looks like same old same old with no advancement in efficiency or performance. Thank goodness they are reliable because for everything else they are being left behind.
Michael son of Lester
If I were still commuting, I'd look at getting one of these.

I drove a 2009 Corolla from new until I retired in 2016. When I sold the car, it had 218101 miles on it. My commute was 80 miles each way through all kinds of weather, and that car never let me down. The fun thing about my old car is that the guy who bought it from me still has it on the road. And, there are way more than 300,000 miles on the odometer.
Jinpa
Where is the information about the hybrid part? What size battery, and how is it used? What is the warranty information on the hybrid battery? How many miles can this car go on battery only? This information should always be included on hybrid, PHEV and EV vehicles. Editors: please make this a requirement for all stories on such vehicles.
Garey Jonson
I just bought a used Prius 40k on it, for 28k cash…..in BC with a few extra k’s is more we pay.

This plug base model is amazing quality, comfort, quietness, quick performance - even with the engine running at any time. And especially nice is simplicity in all ways, particularly NOT having a visually overly ‘ busy ‘ dashboard and everywhere.

Cars, to me, at trying to cram too much into the environment…….nothing distracts me in a Prius…….what is the point, otherwise?

Adrian Akau
Toyota servicing is excellent.
WB
to be frank, Tesla is eating their lunch ten times to Sunday - Toyota used to lead eco with the prius then they completely blew it in a way that defies logic. And they still are beating the same old dead horse. They are so screwed.
uday pasricha
I hope Toyota is aware as to why the Prius is the most successful hybrid vehicle in history and others have failed ? The buyers who are conscious of saving and environment wants their hybrid ( and most likely the EV) to look clearly distinct and different to other vehicles. When Prius started decade plus ago it was a symbol of being environment friendly. Though corolla lovers will be okay the market is very keen to keep up the stand alone distinct look of their green vehicle. Sad that gigantic companies are ignorant of cognitive issues.
Piotr Balaga
in Europe, the corolla looks much better and the equipment is also better.
in the gog light bumper in Poland, there is a hatchback se and a station wagon hybrid. I do not understand why you cannot order the European version, they come from the same factory in Japan
jeronimo
I live in NZ and I tried to buy one of these 2 weeks ago, but Toyota NZ can't get any until the end of this year. Reason being is the high demand for EV's, and the shortage of lithium for the batteries. So I had to settle for a standard car.