Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2022 Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade Edition is shown driving on a city street.

Which Toyota Corolla Model is Best?

Finding a sedan or hatchback these days is often overshadowed by the explosion of SUVs and crossovers. While many drivers love the higher driving position and the versatility of an SUV, plenty of others prefer the luxury and handling that a sedan offers. Fortunately, Toyota recognizes as much and continues to improve best-selling models like the Corolla. Any visit to your Toyota Corolla dealership will prove as much.

So, how do you know which Corolla model best suits your needs? As a whole, the Corolla is affordable, practical, and efficient. But it’s also diverse because Toyota recognizes that drivers have unique needs. As a result, Toyota offers the Corolla as a sedan, hatchback, and hybrid to better meet those needs. So, which model is best for you? That’s what we’re here to find out!

Toyota Corolla Sedan

The Corolla sedan is by far the most popular in the lineup and one that you’re likely used to seeing on the road. The sedan is classified as a compact car and is no stranger to high praise as one of the best-selling sedans in the industry for decades. It comes with Toyota’s stellar reputation for reliability and quality in addition to exceeding drivers’ expectations mile after mile. And, as with every other Toyota, the Corolla historically holds its value for a long time.

The 2022 Corolla introduces drivers to a host of premium features. It offers a sleek and sporty design along with the addition of unique special editions to the lineup, including the Apex Edition and Nightshade Edition. Inside, the Corolla’s cabin ensures everyone is comfortable from your co-pilot to your passengers in the backseat. It’s also laden with the latest technology, including an 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability that helps you stay connected and entertained.

Safety remains a top priority for Toyota, and it shows in the 2022 Corolla, which comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense suite. The combination of automatic emergency braking, driving alerts, and driver-assist features is becoming a standard throughout the industry. Toyota, however, takes that standard to the next level in the Corolla and offers an array of advanced features like blind-spot monitoring with rear traffic alert that keeps an eye on the side and rear of the sedan at all times.

And while the Corolla isn’t a thrill-seeker, it’s no slouch when it comes to performing when the available 2.0L Dynamic Force engine is under the hood. This powerhouse adds mounted paddle shifters and Sport Mode that gives you a more engaging experience in the driver’s seat. If you’re looking for a little more edge, opt for the Corolla with the 6-speed manual transmission.

A person is shown driving a 2022 Toyota Corolla SE Apex Edition at a Toyota Corolla dealership.

Benefits of a Toyota Corolla Sedan

The Corolla sedan is a well-rounded car that works well for commuters and families. It also offers some features that the hybrid and hatchback models don’t, which might be a dealbreaker for some drivers. For example, if you often have passengers riding with you, the sedan is a better option than the Corolla Hatchback. The 2022 Corolla sedan offers 34.8 inches of legroom in the backseat, while the hatchback only offers 29.9 inches of room.

For budget-savvy shoppers, another significant factor to consider is price. The 2022 Corolla has the lowest starting price in the fleet at $20,175. The Corolla Hatchback starts at $20,915, and the 2022 Corolla hybrid starts at $23,750. These price differences are important when shopping on a budget and are essential to ensuring you get the most for your hard-earned money.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Now in its third year, the Corolla Hybrid continues to prove that it only gets better with age. From the outside, the Corolla Hybrid looks almost identical to the Corolla sedan. It shares the sedan’s body style and many of the same features but distinguishes itself in several unique ways beyond its hybrid powertrain.

Most people opt for the Corolla Hybrid because of its efficiency, and it certainly delivers. The 2022 Corolla Hybrid offers a combined fuel economy of 53 MPG, which means less money spent on fuel and more miles logged on a single tank of gas. In addition, Toyota makes the Corolla Hybrid’s efficiency even more enticing by outfitting the sedan with different drive modes like Hybrid Mode that allow you to prioritize performance over efficiency, vice versa, or a balance of both.

The good news with the Corolla Hybrid is that Toyota doesn’t require you to make any sacrifices when you opt for the more efficient sedan. The hybrid not only delivers plenty of power and efficiency, but it’s also replete with innovative technology. For example, it’s equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety and driver-assist tools. You’ll also find exclusive standards like the Smart Key System.

Benefits of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Without question, if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient sedan, the Corolla Hybrid is the best option. The 2022 Corolla Hybrid offers the same spaciousness as the Corolla sedan, which means you aren’t sacrificing space for efficiency. And while the 2022 Corolla Hybrid fetches a higher starting price, you’ll recover this in the first year with fewer stops at the gas station.

A silver 2022 Toyota Corolla XSE Apex Edition is shown driving on a city street.

Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Rounding out our guide to the Corolla lineup is the Corolla Hatchback, which made its first appearance in 2019. The hatchback delivers everything you’ve come to love about the Corolla and expect from the Toyota brand in a unique and versatile design. So what can you expect from the Corolla Hatchback?

The 2022 Corolla Hatchback’s sporty exterior design makes a bold statement that you can take even further with the Hatchback SE Nightshade Edition or by opting for a two-tone exterior paint scheme. Inside, the Corolla is just as bold with its premium piano black design accents and high-quality finishes. When you combine this with its suite of innovative technology and the standard suite of safety and driver-assist tools, the Corolla Hatchback delivers a premium driving experience that’s hard to beat.

Benefits of Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The 2022 Corolla Hatchback offers many unique benefits thanks to its versatile design. For example, where the sedan excels at hauling passengers, the hatchback excels in carrying cargo. The 2022 Corolla Hatchback offers 17.8 cubic feet of cargo storage, while the Corolla sedan offers only 13.1 cubic feet. In short, the Corolla Hatchback gives you the best of both worlds–sedan-like handling and additional room for cargo without sacrificing efficiency or performance.

Which Model is Best?

Back to our original question: “Which Toyota Corolla is best–the sedan, hybrid, or hatchback?” Each Corolla offers unique benefits that make sense to different drivers. Together, the sedan, hybrid, and hatchback speak volumes to Toyota’s commitment to meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of its customers.

Deciding between the models may not be easy, but it starts with a test drive to experience everything the Corolla has to offer. From there, it’s a matter of weighing your wants and must-haves against your budget. Just know that, whatever you choose, you’re getting behind the wheel of one of the most popular models in the segment and investing in a brand that you can always trust to have your back wherever the road takes you.