Review - Toyota GR Corolla

By Alexi Falson on 06 Sep 2023
image for Review - Toyota GR Corolla
Overall Rating
out of 10
  • Fun-loving, charming personality
  • Rapid performance from turbocharged four-pot
  • Immense handling abilities
  • Firm suspension on country roads
  • Less practical than the standard Corolla
  • Lengthy waitlists (and growing)
    • 50L
    • 191
    • 6500 / 3000
    • Unrated
    • Manual
After blowing collective minds with the hardcore GR Yaris, Toyota’s hardcore, rally-inspired treatment for its bigger brother, the GR Corolla has been quick to make a lasting impression with buyers.

The GR Corolla takes everything buyers loved about the GR Yaris and turns the dial up a little more, in an attempt to make the ultimate road-going Corolla that stays true to GR’s rally heritage.

Just how well has Toyota managed to transform the previously mundane Corolla into a road-munching rally car for the street? Read on and find out.

Toyota GR Corolla Competition

Toyota GR Corolla

Hyundai i30 N
Honda Civic Type R
Volkswagen Golf (GTI & R)
Subaru WRX
Cupra Leon VZx
Mercedes-AMG A35

Starting Price: $64,190

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How Much Does It Cost?

Retail prices for the Toyota GR Corolla kick off from $64,190 for the GTS Manual, with prices rising to the limited-edition GR Morizo Edition which is priced at $76,427.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

You could save by hiring one of OnlineAuto’s car buying experts to assist you in finding the best value model for you.

Toyota GR Corolla (GTS) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Series GZEA14R
Variant GTS
Transmission 6 SP MANUAL
Drive AWD
Engine TMPFI
Engine capacity 1618
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 12 valves
Engine RPM 6500 / 3000
Cylinders T3
Torque 370
KW 221
Fuel tank size 50.0
Fuel usage specs 8.4 / 0
CO2 191
ANCAP security rating Unrated

What Features Does the Toyota GR Corolla Have?

The entry-level Toyota GR Corolla GTS comes riding on a set of 18-inch Enkei alloys wrapped in 235/40R Yokohama tyres and receives an adjustable AWD system, LED headlights, a rear spoiler, front and rear limited-slip differentials, three exhaust tips, and power-folding mirrors.

Inside you’ll find a set of heated sports seats wrapped in leatherette and suede, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, a wireless charging pad, a rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors, as well an 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto paired with an eight-speaker JBL sound system.

Stepping up to the hardcore GR Corolla Morizo Edition rips out the back seats, heated steering wheel, parking sensors and wireless charging pad while adding a carbon fibre roof, unique gear lever and a set of 18-inch BBS alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect rubber.

2023 toyota gr corolla australia interior

2023 toyota gr corolla australia instrument cluster

Toyota GR Corolla Range Features:

  • 18-inch Enkei wheels with 235/40R Yokohama tyres 

  • Adjustable AWD system 

  • Front & rear limited-slip differentials 

  • LED headlights 

  • Three exhaust tips 

  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster

  • Rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors 

  • Heated sports seats and steering wheel 

  • Head-up display 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Rear seats removed (Morizo Edition)

  • Carbon fibre roof (Morizo Edition)

  • 18-inch BBS alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyres (Morizo Edition)

Is the GR Corolla Fun to Drive?

There are fun times a-plenty in the latest GR Corolla, which looks well on its way to cementing itself as one of Toyota’s all-time best hot hatches.

Similar to the GR Yaris, the recipe for the GR Corolla is relatively simple: take the standard platform and use Toyota’s rally know-how to extract far more power from the engine, update the suspension and sharpen up the handling.

The end results have been nothing short of remarkable, making the GR Corolla one of the most engaging cars on the road, and entertaining drivers of all levels.

2023 toyota gr corolla australia wheels

Power for the GR Corolla comes supplied by the same 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder you’ll find in the GR Yaris, though the Corolla has received a tune-up to 221kW of power and 370Nm of torque.

Over the standard GR Corolla, the Morizo Edition produces 30Nm more torque, bringing its total to 400Nm.

Both throw power to all four wheels via Toyota’s all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed manual transmission only, in a clear sign that this package is for automotive purists that want to feel connected to their machine.

“One of the all-time most popular hot hatches in Australia, definitely a contender to explore when comparing hot hatches,” Arnaud - OnlineAuto vehicle specialist.

Everything from the steering to the gear changes and hardcore braking package makes the GR Corolla feel like a completely different beast to the standard car… in reality, there’s very little of the original Corolla hardware underneath the GR Sport bodywork.

2023 toyota gr corolla australia rear

It’s agile on its feet, keen to switch direction and handles high-speed corners with ease - all while giving the driver important feedback which makes it one of the best driving cars on the market.

All that cornering prowess has, however, come at the cost of ride comfort, which was the same story for the little GR Yaris.

On a trip around town, the GR Corolla is relatively well-behaved, though once you leave smooth city streets it comes clear that the sports suspension doesn’t work as quite as magically for ride comfort as it does while screaming around corners.

As a complete package, though, the GR Corolla confidently ticks all the important design brief boxes that have made Toyota’s GR division one of the most exciting on the mass market.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

In its pursuit of speed, Toyota’s tiny little 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder has lost the fuel efficiency of the standard Corolla, though we’d argue this was necessary to ensure the GR Corolla continued to excite buyers.

The GR Corolla’s combined cycle fuel economy figures stand at 8.4L/100km in the standard GTS, while the Morizo Edition is slightly thirstier at 8.6L/100km.

2023 toyota gr corolla australia engine

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Step inside the GR Corolla and you’re presented with a familiar layout and practicality package in the front of the cabin with a handful of added sporty touches.

That means that headroom and the adjustable driving position are similar to that of the standard Corolla hatchback, while a seat of sports seats hold you in place in fast corners far more than the standard seats.

Sporty touches include a set of metallic driving pedals, a sporty GR steering wheel and shift lever, the digital instrument cluster with GR graphics, while the hardcore Morizo Edition throws out the rear seats entirely in the name of weight savings.

“The cabin picks up some sporty touches while the Morizo Edition throws out the rear seats entirely - in the name of weight savings.”

Practicality is far from outstanding in the GR Corolla’s cabin, which offers a small storage tray in the centre console, a pair of cupholders and some decent-sized door bins either side of the cabin, but nothing else to swallow up loose items.

2023 toyota gr corolla australia exhaust

Move to the rear of the cabin and there’s just enough space on offer to squeeze in a pair of adult legs, though you might start to hear complaints on longer journeys. The second row is no doubt more suited to kids, which also picks up a set of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts if you have plans to terrify your young ones.

Finally, the GR Corolla has a compact boot measuring in at 213L - 4L smaller than the standard hatch - which ultimately restricts its practicality, but, considering how well it drives - we’re sure owners won’t mind too much.

Is it Safe?

The GR Corolla is yet to receive a specific ANCAP safety rating, while the wider Corolla range has been given the five-star tick.

The GR Corolla GTS comes fitted with a wide range of safety tech, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, emergency steering assist, lane-departure alerts, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, seven airbags, intersection assist and a rear-view camera with front and rear mounted parking sensors.

Our Verdict: Is The GR Corolla Worth it?

With just a few minutes behind the wheel of the GR Corolla, we’re convinced that you’ll be sold.

As a package, it’s a refreshingly pure take on performance motoring, and has transformed the plain-Jane Corolla into a fire-breathing beast that is accessible for drivers of all levels.

While it’s less practical and rides far firmer than the standard Corolla, Toyota has knocked it out of the park with the GR Corolla which is quite deserving of its reputation as an instant cult classic… the only problem is getting your hands on one.

2023 toyota gr corolla australia drift

On that note, if you’ve been searching high and low for a hot hatch, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine (221kW/370-400Nm) 

  2. Manual transmission only 

  3. All-wheel-drive system with front & rear limited-slip differentials 

  4. 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds 

  5. No official ANCAP safety rating; standard Corolla is rated five-stars


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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