Read Caroline’s Toyota Corolla review for everything you need to know about buying the popular hatchback in Ireland in 2023.

The Toyota Corolla has been updated for 2023 with some updates to the styling and the interior. But the big news is that the Corolla also now gets Toyota’s latest fifth generation hybrid with numerous improvements.

The Corolla is of course one of Ireland’s bestselling cars. The current generation Corolla launched here in 2019 and became a bestseller very quickly.

Available as a hatchback, saloon or estate (Touring Sports) and exclusively hybrid, the Corolla has a lot to offer customers looking for a simple, efficient car.

Pricing starts from €32,685 for the hatchback, while the saloon is available from €33,435 and the Touring Sports from €34,245.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2023 Toyota Corolla on test for Changing Lanes!

What’s new for the 2023 Toyota Corolla?

All versions of the Corolla get some subtly updated styling for the 2023 model year. The Corolla hatchback is designed to be the sportiest of the trio and still looks great – modern and high-tech.

Toyota has introduced a new J-shaped lighting signature in the headlight clusters, while there’s now a different pattern to the mesh grill. There are also new bumpers and fog lamp bezels, as well as some additional silver trim at the rear.

There are also new colours like Juniper Blue and new alloy wheel designs.

In Ireland the hatchback is available in Luna, Luna Sport or GR Sport trim lines. 16-inch alloy wheels come as standard but Luna Sport (from €36,880) seems like the sweet spot of the range with stylish 17-inch alloys and a sporty black contrast roof.

GR Sport models are inspired by Toyota’s Gazoo Racing motorsport division and sit at the top of the range (from €38,955) with 18-inch alloy wheels, sportier bumpers, and GR badges.

But it’s the cabin that really benefits from this update.

Toyota has made a few updates to the Corolla for 2023
Toyota has made a few updates to the Corolla for 2023

Inside the Corolla

The Corolla’s cabin gets a digital makeover for 2023 and it really makes a difference. There’s a new digital instrument cluster for the driver as standard.

There’s also a larger touchscreen than before with more modern graphics and a simpler interface. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, as do over-the-air updates for the very first time.

Toyota has also upgraded some of the materials for example there are new upholsteries including the Luna Sport’s new stylish fabric seats with leather-effect bolsters.

The soft-touch materials on the dashboard look plusher than before and overall the cabin feels very solid and well-built – one of the best of the compact class.

Standard features include dual zone climate control, reversing camera and Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety and driver assistance features with new and enhanced features. The Luna Sport adds heated front seats and electric lumbar support for the driver. Top-of-the-range GR Sport models also get wireless smartphone charging and front sports seats.

The cabin of the 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback
The cabin of the 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback

Is it practical?

The Corolla will seat five but does feel more cramped in the back than a Ford Focus for example, so there is less legroom to really stretch out. The Corolla Touring Sports and Saloon both sit on a longer wheelbase so do feel more spacious in the back.

The Corolla hatchback has 361 litres of boot space, which is fine but some rivals do offer more like the Opel Astra with 422 litres.

The Touring Sports is the best for practicality with a 589 litre boot, while the saloon manages 471 litres.

Driving the Corolla Hybrid

Toyota’s fifth generation hybrid has lighter and more compact parts, a new battery and lower emissions than ever before. But the brand has also managed to squeeze out more power from the 1.8-litre petrol electric hybrid, up from 122hp to 140hp. Responsiveness and drivability have also been improved.

The 2.0-litre hybrid will no longer be offered in the Corolla in Ireland. But that’s not an issue because the 1.8 hybrid suits the car perfectly. There’s plenty of power and the Corolla is a little quicker than before with 0-100km/h in 9.1 seconds. It’s very responsive, with a Sport mode offering even livelier feel.

Boot space in the Corolla hatchback
Boot space in the Corolla hatchback

The Corolla grips the road well and handles with ease, while proving to be comfortable over all sorts of Irish roads. The refinement and smooth delivery of power from the hybrid gives this car a mature feel.

When it comes to efficiency, the Corolla consistently returns good fuel economy. It’s possible to achieve the official consumption figure of 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres, particularly in low speed town driving where the Corolla frequently runs in EV mode on battery power alone.

Did you like it?

It’s an easy ‘Yes’ from me for the new Corolla. Toyota has made a good car even better with this latest update.

The Corolla looks great in Luna Sport trim and benefits from all those little enhancements to the interior like the larger touchscreen and digital instrument cluster. The cabin feels more modern and stylish now, which gives it a bit more longevity in the market.

Toyota’s hybrid is as good as ever and works particularly well in the Corolla, delivering consistently good fuel economy and a nicely refined drive and throttle response.

The hatchback is a little compromised when it comes to rear legroom, though some of the other models in the range have the advantage there.

But overall this is a fine hatchback and one of the best of the genre.

Model tested: Toyota Corolla Hatchback Luna Sport
1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid
Power: 140hp
Torque: 185Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.1 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€180 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The 2023 Toyota Corolla is on sale now
The 2023 Toyota Corolla is on sale now