What a moment for the Corolla! Toyota recently announced that in July it sold the 50-millionth Corolla after introducing it in 1966 and bringing it to America two years later as a 1969 model. More than five decades later, the 12th-generation Corolla is one of the world’s top-selling vehicles. It’s easy to see its mass market appeal. The Corolla is a practical, modestly stylish commuter vehicle badged with Toyota’s well-known affordability and reliability. This week I’m reviewing the 2022 Corolla LE Hybrid.
Another of the Corolla’s mass-marketability strengths is its efficiency. Especially as a hybrid model, delivering an impressive 53 mpg combined. But you sacrifice some power to get there. The hybrid’s powertrain combines a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with two motors and an e-CVT. The end result is a less-than-thrilling 121-horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Other engines in the lineup offer 139- and 169-horsepower.
The Corolla wears its Celestite Gray Metallic hue well. Hybrid LE design features include a black grille with a sport mesh insert, color-keyed power outside mirrors and door handles, along with 15-inch alloy wheels - the smallest wheels offered in the lineup. It’s great to see full LED lighting: headlights, daytime running lights and taillights. However, the hybrid is not available with adaptive front lighting. The blue Toyota logo in front denotes its hybrid status.
Inside, you’ll find a well-designed two-toned Parchment interior with a splash of silver trim. A wide soft-touch two-level dash slants down towards the passenger seat. Toyota has a thing for glossy black and you’ll find it on the door trim, center console and surrounding the multimedia screen.
My LE model is equipped with optional SofTex-trimmed, heated front seats thanks to a Premium Interior Package. It also includes a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a comfortable power driver’s seat with lumbar support. The passenger’s seat adjusts manually. A large soft-touch two-level dash slants down towards the passenger seat.
A slim center console houses the gear shifter, and controls for your Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes, electric parking brake, auto brake hold, traction control and EV mode.
A bright 7-inch digital display provides all the driver info you need. It sits in the middle of fuel and RPM gauges. On the dash, an 8-inch responsive touchscreen with nice graphics is surrounded by buttons and knobs. The multimedia system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa Wifi and Bluetooth. You’ll have to use two USB ports to keep you charged up, since there is no wireless charger.
The LE Hybrid is equipped with a 6-speaker audio system, single zone climate, push-button start, remote keyless entry, remote trunk release, and a backup camera with gridlines.
The 60/40 split rear seat offers plenty of leg-room but head room could be a problem for those very tall. You’ll find more plastic on the rear door panels than up front. A drop-down center armrest offers up two cup holders. Cargo space was fine and what you’d expect for a compact.
On the safety front, the Corolla comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 - which includes Full-Speed range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-collision with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams and Road Sign Assist. This model is also equipped with optional Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert.
Ride and Drive
The Corolla LE Hybrid is what I call a no-nonsense ride. While not engaging, it serves its purpose as an efficient commuter that gets you from point A to point B, which makes it a great choice for many drivers. An independent rear suspension provides a smooth ride. But acceleration when using an on-ramp was lackluster, though it could be peppy at other times in Power mode. As with the 2021 Prius, I’m not a fan of its regenerative braking feel. While the Corolla is easy to maneuver in the city, I didn’t feel as sure-footed driving at highway speeds - likely due to its 2,850 pound curb weight - which also incurred more road noise than I like.
The LE Hybrid starts from $23,650, but options on this model take you to $27,173. They include Blind Spot Monitor with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert ($500), a Premium Interior Package ($1,525), Carpet Mats ($249), a frameless Homelink monitor ($175) and a rear bumper protector ($79).
As impressive as the hybrid Corolla’s fuel economy may be, I’m looking for more horsepower in a hybrid these days, so I’d opt for a non-hybrid Corolla model.
- What I Liked Most: Exterior color. Two-tone Parchment SofTex-trimmed interior.
- What I would change: More horsepower and add wireless charging
- Fuel Economy: 52 mpg city/53 mpg highway/52 mpg combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 494 miles.
- Weight: 2,850 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Tire Repair Kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 182.3” long/70.1” wide/56.5” tall.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 11.4 gallons with the fuel filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
- Official Color: Celestite Gray Metallic.
- 2022 Corolla Hybrid LE in a few words: A compact commuter sedan that delivers on style and fuel efficiency but could use some more power.
- Warranty: Basic Warranty: 36 months/36,000 miles; Powertrain: 60 months/60,000 miles/Corrosion Perforation: 60 months/unlimited miles;Hybrid System: 96 months/100,000 miles; Hybrid Battery: 120 months/150,000 miles.
- Final Assembly Location: Aichi, Japan.
- Manufacturer's website: Toyota