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A red 2023 Toyota Corolla is shown driving near a forest.

Sporty Meets Practical in the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Comedian George Carlin always made humor out of the existence of the oxymoron in language. These are the strange, two-word phrases that, on their face, seem to be ironic or contradictory. The examples Carlin always used were “jumbo shrimp,” “military intelligence,” and “drive on the parkway, but park in the driveway.” Maybe the folks at Toyota had that on their mind when they decided to create the Toyota Corolla Hatchback. This version of the popular Corolla compact sedan was unveiled as its own model in 2019, even though earlier models of the Corolla had featured a two-door hatchback option. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is that odd oxymoron, the juxtaposition of a sporty vehicle that is incredibly practical, or if you prefer, a practical vehicle that is amazingly sporty.

Although the 2023 Corolla Hatchback shares the same size and many of the same features as the Corolla Sedan, it ends up providing an overall sportier look and feel, with a number of other features that increase its practicality. This is why drivers like you who are looking for the best of both worlds would be well-served by making their next vehicle a 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Each 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback features the same powertrain. This is a 2.0L Dynamic Force I-4 gas engine paired with a Dynamic-Shift CVT. This stands for continuously variable transmission, and features a pair of paddle shifters to emulate the performance of a manual transmission without the hassle of working a clutch. This is the same engine that is in the Corolla Sedan. The engine itself has a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) configuration, with 16 valves for its four cylinders. It utilizes a combination of direct and port fuel injection to capture the benefits of each system. As a result, this engine delivers 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

This output translates into both solid acceleration and exceptional fuel economy. This is part of the sporty and practical duality of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The sporty side gives you 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 8.3 seconds, with a top speed of 114 miles per hour. This makes the Corolla Hatchback a quick subcompact designed to handle highways with ease. Meanwhile, the Corolla Hatchback will give you 32 miles per gallon in city driving, 41 miles per gallon on the highway , and a combined fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon. This makes it a very practical choice, especially for commuters looking for a vehicle that will save them money on gasoline.

The suspension and steering systems on the 2023 Corolla Hatchback also give you the best of both worlds. You get a design that allows you to get through traffic safely and easily, providing comfort and handling. The rack-and-pinion steering provides exceptional road feel with precise cornering, while the electric power steeringt system on the steering wheel reduces driver fatigue. Similarly, the independent MacPherson strut in the front suspension and multi-link rear suspension help improve passenger comfort without reducing the Corolla Hatchback’s handling capabilities.

A Place for Your Stuff

The 2023 Corolla Hatchback provides room for up to five passengers, while still delivering on the cargo space in the trunk. While the EPA lists this model as having 84.6 cubic feet of passenger space, that figure can sound a little misleading. This is because Toyota has done an exceptional job of apportioning enough space in the front and rear that all of your passengers should feel quite comfortable. The front has an impressive 38.4 inches of headroom and 42 inches of legroom, while the back seats provide 37.6 inches of headroom and an acceptable 29.9 inches of legroom.

Toyota has done a good job of making the most of the space available on the Corolla Hatchback. Whether you choose the SE or XSE models, you are going to get standard features like USB terminals for charging your devices, cup holders in both rows, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. The SE model has fabric upholstered sport seats that are quite comfortable. If you opt for the XSE, your Corolla Hatchback will also feature a power adjustable driver’s seat, a Qi wireless charging system for your phone, and Softex-trimmed sport seats.

This model gets its name from its prominent hatchback, which comes in place of a conventional trunk. The lift gate on the Corolla Hatchback opens up to an impressive 17.8 cubic feet of space for your belongings with the back seats folded up. If you opt for the available enhanced cargo space that removes the spare tire, you will get an expansive 23 cubic feet of cargo room. If you need more space, simply fold down the 60/40 split folding bench in back to give you plenty of space for moving large objects.

A person is shown touching the dashboard screen in the interior of a 2023 Toyota Corolla.

Technology for Safety, Staying Connected, and Fun

Toyota has always placed on an emphasis on using technology to improve the safety, practicality, and enjoyment of its vehicles. This is certainly the case with the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. Each model features the Toyota Audio Multimedia system on an eight-inch touchscreen. This combines connectivity for you to stay in touch, with an audio system that will keep you entertained wherever you go. This includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can keep those annoying charging cables at home. As a result, you can make hands-free calls and texts, and access your favorite apps. This allows you to stream music through the audio system on the Corolla Hatchback. The SE model has a six-speaker audio system, while the XSE comes with a JBL Premium Audio system with eight speakers. In addition, you get a complimentary three-month Platinum Plan subscription to SiriusXM. This provides access to the best in commercial free music, talk, sports, and news radio programming.

The other important use of technology is to keep you and your passengers safe no matter where your Toyota takes you. The 2023 Corolla Hatchback is well protected with the standard Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. This is a platform of eight different active driver assistance systems, and is a big reason why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback a Top Safety Pick in the small car category.

A major cause of highway accidents is drivers becoming distracted and drifing out of their lane. The Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist will let you know if your Corolla Hatchback has begun to drift into an adjacent lane, and then will use slight steering adjustments to get you back on the straight and narrow. If you keep the Lane Tracing Assist active, the system will actually help you stay in lane as well by following the lane markers.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback will also help you avoid front end collisions. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection will alert you if you are too close to the vehicle in front of you. If that happens, the system will also engage the brakes to either avoid a crash or reduce the damage caused by an impact. The system is designed to detect pedestrians and bicycles with Daytime Cyclist Detection and Daytime and Low-Light pedestrian detection. In addition, the Auto High Beams will turn your high beam headlights on when driving in areas of low light, and then automatically turn them off as soon as lighting improves or if the system detects another motorist.

Part of safe driving involves maintaining a proper speed in line with the posted speed limit. The Road Sign Assist will post the current speed limit on the Toyota Audio Multimedia screen so you can easily keep track while driving. In addition, the Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will allow you to set a speed on your Corolla Hatchback in line with the posted speed limit. If you encounter slower moving traffic ahead, the system will reduce your speed accordingly. This is because the system’s radar is set to keep a safe distance between your Corolla Hatchback and the vehicle in front of you. If traffic improves, the system will return your Corolla Hatchback to the speed you initially set when you engaged cruise control. This will help keep you safe, reduce driver fatigue, and also improve the fuel economy on your vehicle.

A close-up on the badge of a white 2023 Toyota Corolla LE is shown.

The Best of Both Worlds in a Compact Hatchback

It is not often that you get the best of both worlds in life. Too many folks have to trade off between practicality and enjoyment. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is one of those rare instances when you can have a practical vehicle that is also fun to drive. I bet if George Carlin was still alive, he’d add this compact hatchback to his list of oxymoron terms. Anyone care for a jumbo shrimp?