Sunday, July 14, 2024
Reviews2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid at AJAC EcoRun

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid at AJAC EcoRun

  • The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid has combined fuel economy rating of up to 50 mpg in the U.S. or as low as 4.7 L/100 km in Canada.

  • The Corolla’s hybrid powertrain develops 138 horsepower, up 17 hp from last year’s model.

  • The Corolla Hybrid starts at $24,145 in the U.S. and at $27,750 in Canada.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid received some powertrain tweaks for the latest model year, and what better way to show off this compact sedan’s fuel efficiency potential than to showcase it during AJAC’s EcoRun event?

The EcoRun is an annual gathering of Canadian automotive journalists and manufacturers who cherry-pick fuel- or energy-efficient vehicles they want to shed some light on. This year’s event took place in British Colombia as journalists each got to drive ten vehicles across a stretch from Vancouver to Kelowna, passing through Kamloops. Many of the vehicles taking part in the EcoRun were fully electric or plug-in hybrid models, but there were a few non-pluggable or “self-charging” hybrids in the mix as well, including the Corolla.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid was decked out in range-topping XSE trim, a configuration offered in Canada, but not in the United States, which instead gets a Hybrid XLE that Canada does not. The XSE boasts a tasteful appearance package that includes gloss-black grille mesh, lower-body trim, a small decklid spoiler and 18-inch black alloy wheels. It also benefits from features not found in the also-sporty Hybrid SE variant, such as a power-adjustable driver’s seat, SofTex simulated leather upholstery and heated rear outboard seats.

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

The hybrid powertrain consists of a 1.8L inline four-cylinder engine, a 93-hp electric motor up front and an electronically controlled continuously variable automatic transmission. Combined output is rated at 138 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque, up from last year’s 121 horsepower. All-wheel drive is available as well, which adds a 40-hp electric motor on the rear axle, but doesn’t change the powertrain’s overall output. AWD is optional on the U.S. market LE and SE, but not on the XLE, while in Canada, AWD is optional on the LE, standard on the SE and XSE. Here are the fuel economy ratings for each trim level in the United States and Canada.

Trim LevelCity/Highway/Combined (U.S. MPG)City/Highway/Combined (L/100 km)
Hybrid LE FWD53/46/504.4/5.1/4.7
Hybrid LE AWD51/44/484.6/5.4/4.9
Hybrid SE FWD50/43/47Not available in Canada
Hybrid SE AWD47/41/445.0/5.7/5.3
Hybrid XLE FWD53/46/50Not available in Canada
Hybrid XSE AWDNot available in U.S.5.0/5.7/5.3


2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Among the 10 drive legs of the 2023 AJAC EcoRun, two of them were particularly challenging with constant uphill highway stints, which obviously put a strain on any vehicle, whether it’s equipped with a combustion engine or electric motors. I was behind the wheel of the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid on one of those two legs, so my fuel consumption average ended up being the second-worst of the 10 portions of the event. I managed a still-respectable 49 mpg or 4.8 L/100 km, while most of my colleagues ended up with averages between 47 and 59 mpg or 4.0 and 5.0 L/100 km, for an overall fuel economy average of 51 mpg or 4.6 L/100 km. That’s a slightly better result than the official ratings.

Average (mpg)Average (L/100 km)
Best average603.9
My average494.8
Worst average347.0


The driving experience is quite good, as transitions between the gasoline and engine and the electric motors go largely unnoticed. The Corolla is by no means a sports car, but the latest generation received improvements in handling characteristics and steering feel to make it more entertaining, or less boring, to drive. The car’s cabin decked out in XSE trim—the SE’s cockpit is similar, but with cloth seats—is comfortable, roomy for a compact sedan, and relatively quiet on the road. The engine does get rather noisy at higher revs, though, which I heard plenty of during my uphill portion of the trip.

My time in this 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid was short, but once again, the current-generation sedan shines as an affordable, comfortable and rationally good vehicle. The Canadian-market Hybrid XSE’s price isn’t what we would call a bargain, checking in at $36,050 with freight and delivery charges included, but the lineup of hybrid powertrain trims starts at $27,750. In the United States, the Corolla Hybrid’s price ranges from $24,145 to $29,121.

On the same subject:
2023 AJAC EcoRun: Going The Extra Mile
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Kia Niro PHEV at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Lexus RX 500h F SPORT at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Lexus RZ 450e at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE Sedan at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Range Rover PHEV at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Toyota Mirai at the AJAC EcoRun


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