The Toyota Corolla has been around since the time of the dinosaurs. To this day, some are still driving around since the prehistoric times. Now the Corolla is in its 12th generation and is one of the few compact cars out there that is offered with a hybrid powertrain.
Engine – The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid shares the same platform as the Toyota Prius and as such, the engine is the same. It is a 1.8L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder which produces 121 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque (90.2 kW & 142 Nm). Even with the addition of the electric motor to help it out, it’s not a fast little car. Don’t be surprised if you see the rpm needle hit the 4,000 mark when accelerating onto a highway or overtaking a slower moving vehicle. Driving around city streets is a bit more civil with the engine revving to around 2,500 rpms but it doesn’t feel fast.
However, that’s not the point of this car. The 1.3 kWh battery can provide electric only driving for brief periods. There is an EV Mode however it will automatically get disengaged if the speed climbs beyond 30 km/h (18 mph) or if you push too hard on the throttle pedal. But if you leave the car in its normal hybrid mode, you can actually accelerate from a stop to 60 or 70 km/h (35 / 40 mph) on electricity alone. Of course it’ll have to be a slow and gradual acceleration with a nearly fully charged battery but it can be done. You can also drive the car on highways at around 90 to 100 km/h (55 / 62 mph) on electricity alone for brief periods.
Fuel Economy – Because of the electric motor helping the little engine, the fuel economy figures are excellent. It is rated for 4.4 L/100km (53.4 MPG) in a city and 4.5 L/100km (52.3 MPG) on a highway. I only managed to average 4.8 L/100km (49 MPG) but still very good. Also, because this car is so efficient, the Corolla Hybrid can drive for over 900 km (560 miles) on a single gas tank. And it’s not a large gas tank. It’s only 42 L (11.1 gallons), significantly smaller than the gas tanks in the Civic & Mazda 3.
Transmission – Paired with the engine is a CVT automatic. This transmission does not try to fool you with virtual gears, it behaves like a traditional CVT. As in, it will hold the rpms of the engine to a certain point until the car reaches the desired speed and then it will lower the rpms for better fuel economy.
Braking – The 2022 Corolla Hybrid relies quite a bit on regenerative braking to recharge the battery. Other times, it’s the engine that will recharge the battery. There is no discernable difference between regen braking and friction braking of the actual brake discs, which is a good thing. As well, the brake pedal can easily be modulated for smooth stops.
Handling – Canyon carving is something that this car has never heard of. It’s not the purpose of it. The steering is light and devoid of feel. The suspension is soft. Push the Corolla Hybrid too hard into a corner and it will understeer in agony. But you know what? That’s Ok because this car’s natural habitat is a bustling city. The soft suspension allows it to cope very well with poorly maintained streets. The light steering makes it easy to park in tight spaces. This is a commuter vehicle and it doesn’t try to hide that fact. If you want a more sporty driving Corolla, take a look at the Corolla Hatch.
Ride Comfort – The softness of the suspension gives the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid a comfortable ride on city streets. It doesn’t feel overly bouncy and the seats also aid in the comfort by being soft yet supportive.
Interior Space – On paper, the 2022 Toyota Corolla is one of the smaller compact cars on the market right now. It is shorter and narrower than all of its closest competitors. However, even with the smaller dimensions, I can comfortably sit in the front seats without issue at 6’4”.
The back seats, again, offer less space than the competitors. On paper, the Corolla has similar rear seat dimensions as the Mazda 3 sedan with the Mazda being slightly bigger by a few millimeters both in terms of headroom and legroom. However in reality, I don’t feel as squished behind my driving position in the Corolla as I do in the Mazda 3. I’m not saying that it’s a Mercedes S-class in the back of the Corolla Hybrid but it just feels a tiny bit more spacious.
In the trunk, the 2022 Toyota Corolla hybrid has 371 L (13.1 cu-ft) of space which is similar to the Mazda 3 sedan but quite a bit less than the Hyundai Elantra & Honda Civic sedans. Also the back seats can be folded for more space but there is a step between them and the floor of the trunk.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – In a city environment, the 2022 Corolla Hybrid is generally quiet. It’s on highways that you notice more road noise from the tires. As well, you will be noticing the engine quite often when accelerating either from a stop or when overtaking another vehicle. The transition from electric to the gasoline engine is seamless. As well, there are no squeaks or rattles from the trim pieces. The car feels solid and well put together.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid starts at $25,250 CAD ($23,750 USD). The hybrid powertrain is only available on the sedan version of the Corolla. The only option that can be added to the Corolla hybrid is the Premium package for $2,070 CAD. In the United States, the packaging is different but the Premium Interior Package with Options includes blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, SoftTex seats, heated front seats, leather trimmed steering wheel, and power driver’s seat for $2,025 USD.
Gadgets – The 2022 Corolla Hybrid comes standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 which includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering assist, auto high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane tracing assist. Here in Canada, we also get blind spot sensors and rear cross traffic alert as standard.
In terms of convenience features, the 2022 Corolla Hybrid is equipped with just enough gadgets. It has an 8-inch touchscreen with a fairly straightforward to use infotainment system, there is Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, automatic climate control is standard, a 7-inch driver display screen and LED headlights. Here in Canada, we also get heated seats as standard.
As for the optional Premium package that is available for the Canadian market, it adds a lot more features than it does in the American market. It includes heated rear seats, SofTex upholstery (synthetic leather), power driver’s seat with lumbar support, wireless phone charging, heated leather wrapped steering wheel, and ambient lighting.
Interior Design – The interior of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is very straightforward and simple to use. All of the controls are well laid out and easy to understand. As well, they are all physical buttons; even the infotainment quick access buttons that flank the touchscreen. There is a little bit of gloss black plastic around the shifter which will get scratched up as time goes on but at least it’s not on the buttons or in more places.
Exterior Design – This new generation Corolla looks much more aggressive from the front. The bumper design has more sharp edges and to my surprise, the three LED strips in the headlights are not the daytime running lights. The normal LED headlamps are actually the DRLs. Those three LED strips only light up when the low beam lights are turned on. Around the back, it has smoother lines and Toyota’s designers tried to hide the exhaust pipe behind the bumper but it’s still showing a bit.
Warranty – The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is covered by a 3 year / 60,000 km basic and 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. The hybrid components are covered by an 8 year / 160,000 km warranty. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty, click here. (Scroll to bottom of page)
Conclusion – In the end, the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid may not be the most spacious, it may not be the best driving, it may not have the most gadgets out of all the compact cars. But it is very efficient, it is affordable, and at the end of the day, it’s a Toyota. So more likely than not, it’ll last for a really, really, really long time.
Thank you to Toyota Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Toyota.ca