September 29, 2023
2023 GR Toyota Corolla Morizo, 2023 Toyota GR Corolla

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Version

Consumer Guide Automotive The “hot-hatch” phase, for a longtime outlined by Volkswagen’s enthusiast-beloved Golf GTI, is inarguably shrinking, in gross sales quantity and in variety of fashions supplied. In truth, the entire small, sporty-car factor is in severe decline. Sadly, purchaser attitudes have modified, and consumers—particularly younger consumers—appear to worth utility over enjoyable lately. I curse their pragmatism.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla

It is because of this that Toyota’s choice to make out there within the U.S. a fully over-the-top model of the Corolla hatchback is so shocking. The world’s largest automaker launched the 2023 GR Corolla again in March, teasing fans with a tantalizing set of specs and great-looking physique upgrades.

2023 GR Toyota Corolla Core

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Core

We—the automotive media–just lately acquired an opportunity to place this hyper-caffeinated small Toyota by its paces on the Utah Motorsports Campus in Erda, Utah, and our first response is: Wow.

The little hatchback is predicated on the mainstream compact five-door Corolla, however it packs a wallop. A 1.6-liter, 3-cylinder engine delivers 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This little engine that may is mated to a six-speed “clever Guide Transmission” (iMT), and it’s the one gearbox out there.

As a result of the GR Corolla falls underneath the Gazoo Razing (that’s the GR) purview, you may anticipate loads of race-inspired enhancements and choices, together with the usual ‘GR-4” all-wheel-drive system. With the twist of a dial, you may modify this AWD system to separate the entrance/rear torque distribution ratio between 60/40, 30/70 or 50/50, relying on whether or not you’re searching for sport enjoyable, stability, or simply foul-weather traction.

Moreover, although it appears considerably like a typical Corolla, the GR boasts some fairly non-Corolla {hardware}, together with a track-tuned suspension, 18-inch black-finished cast-aluminum wheels, and 235/40R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. You may visually inform it aside from lesser Corollas by the broader fender flares and GR grille badging.

On the within, you’ll see black sport seats with white or pink reverse stitching, GR badging and Toyota’s newest-generation infotainment system. The usual 12.3-inch gauge cluster additionally features a particular GR meter, displaying issues corresponding to AWD mode, turbo enhance strain, and kit place.

Final Name: Dodge Commemorates Last Challenger and Charger Run with Seven Particular Fashions

2023 GR Toyota Corolla Circuit

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit

For 2023, the GR Corolla will are available in three trims or, as Toyota likes to name them, “grades.” The bottom mannequin is the Core, and it’ll come outfitted with all the essential efficiency goodies in addition to a color-keyed roof and rear-lip spoiler, and GR-logoed material seats. The Core can have a beginning worth of $35,900, excluding the $1,095 vacation spot price. What we love about this base mannequin is the supply of key choices, like heated seats and steering wheel, which can be found as packages. And, absolutely optioned, the Core will nonetheless be priced about $4000 lower than the subsequent trim up.

2023 GR Toyota Corolla Circuit

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit

The Circuit Version can be a limited-run mannequin for 2023 solely, and it provides a solid carbon-fiber roof, vented hood bulge, sporty rear spoiler, suede-and-leatherette seating surfaces, pink accents, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Along with the roof, one other clear visible differentiator on the outside would be the glossier end on the grille. This mannequin can have a beginning worth of $42,900, and the one choices out there are premium paint colours.

The highest-tier mannequin is the Morizo Version, which is known as for Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who makes use of the identify Morizo whereas racing. It’s value noting the primary mannequin to hit sellers would be the base Core trim, which ought to be in showrooms now. The Morizo Version will arrive this winter, and the Circuit Version gained’t arrive till spring of 2023.

Since Subaru has gotten rid of the hatchback model of its sporty WRX, the one actual GR Corolla competitors comes from Honda and Volkswagen. Honda within the type of the Civic Kind R, and VW with the aforementioned Golf GTI or Golf R. Nevertheless, each the Kind R and GTI are front-wheel drive, whereas the Golf R is all-wheel drive. And the pricing disparity between GR Corolla and Golf R is about $10,000, with the VeeDub ringing in because the costlier car.

As a longtime GTI proprietor, I discovered myself evaluating the GR Corolla to the GTI. Loads. By way of inside styling and facilities, the GTI is the clear winner, with the super-cool base plaid seats and well-curated sprint supplies. However, that is form of onerous to write down, the GR Corolla wins in just about each different class.

Take a look at Drive: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R

2023 GR Toyota Corolla

2023 Toyota GR Corolla

Let’s begin with the seating place. The GTI all the time leaves me feeling cramped. This, as a result of I’m pretty quick,  and with my far-forward driving place, my knees perpetually hit the underside of the steering column. The lean angle of the seat backside being the wrongdoer right here. The GR Corolla cockpit can also be tidy, however feels much less closed-in. Plus, the driver-seat backside is extra accommodating, affording me loads of room to maneuver between brake, fuel, and clutch.

Talking of the clutch, the GR Corolla’s is properly sprung with simply the correct amount of stiffness. It’s a lot sporty, however mild sufficient that it wouldn’t offer you leg cramps if made a GR Corolla your day by day drive.

What about dealing with? Toyota did an exceptional job of tuning the GR Corolla suspension with simply the correct amount of stiffness, and I really like that you may modify the torque distribution with the twist of a dial.

As for security, the GR Corolla boasts commonplace options corresponding to adaptive cruise management, automated excessive beams, lane-keep help, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert–all of that are out there on the GTI—however not commonplace.

I left Utah with the strong choice to place our GTI on discover. I’m going to strongly foyer for our subsequent car to be a GR Corolla—assuming I can get one…

Right here’s the rub, manufacturing of the GR Corolla goes to be restricted. Although Toyota hasn’t but revealed manufacturing numbers for the bottom Core mannequin, however we do know the Circuit Version goes to be a first-year-only restricted launch, and that simply 200 Morizo Editions are allotted for U.S. distribution. So, for those who’re severe about taking a GR Corolla dwelling, act now.

For my cash, the Core mannequin is a lot cool, even sans the carbon fiber roof and up-level inside trimmings. I’d, nevertheless, go for the Efficiency Bundle, which for $2450 contains heated seats, a heated steering wheel, wi-fi charging, premium JBL audio, restricted slip differentials and funky pink brake calipers. So outfitted, the Core is available in underneath the $40,000 barrier at $39,445.

Base pricing, together with vacation spot, for every trim is as follows:

  • Core: $36,995
  • Circuit: $43,995
  • Morizo: $51,420

So, let’s recap: The bottom Toyota GR Corolla has commonplace all-wheel drive, extra security gear and higher dealing with than the VW GTI for about $5k extra. Is it value it? Sure.

Take heed to the Client Information Automotive Stuff Podcast

Follow Jill on Twitter

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Gallery

(Click on beneath for enlarged pictures)


Take a look at Drive: 2022 Subaru WRX Premium


Car Stuff Podcast