2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

The Toyota Corolla was introduced way back in 1966 and has been one of the best sellers around the world since 1974. That many decades of success say a lot about the Corolla being a reliable, practical and comfortable compact car.

Base Price: $24,865
As Tested: $28,154
Horsepower: 169
Mileage: 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway/33 mpg combined

The Corolla has several worthy competitors these days, including the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte and Mazda3, as well as its new sibling, the 2022 Corolla Cross. Drivers who want a compact vehicle have several excellent candidates.

The Corolla got a makeover for the 2020 model year. For 2021, the Apex Edition, which includes some performance and styling tweaks, was introduced and Android Auto was added. There are no major changes for 2022.

The 2022 Toyota Corolla is available as a sedan and hatchback. Sedan trims are L, LE, XLE, SE and XSE. The hatch is available in just the SE and XSE trims. Starting prices range from $20,075 to $28,360 which is about average for the class. There’s room for five passengers.

Two engines are available. The L, LE and XLE trims get a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 139 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. The SE and XSE models get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 169 horses and 151 pound-feet. The standard transmission is a continuously variable automatic. A six-speed manual is available with the larger engine.

Easy is the key word when describing how the 2022 Corolla drives. The ride is smooth, and the Corolla is a breeze to navigate in busy traffic and tight parking lots. While it’s definitely not a sports car, there’s enough power for everyday driving situations and the larger engine even makes the Corolla kinda fun to drive on twisty backroads. Visibility is good all the way around.

Fuel economy is excellent for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 30 mpg city and 38 mpg highway with a combined rating of 33. I got 31 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

The interior is comfortable and attractive. There are some hard plastics but also soft-touch plastics, and most materials have a nice look and feel. My tester has the snazzy two-tone faux leather seating with white stitching. Controls are logically laid out and easy to see and reach. The front seats are supportive and accommodate taller adults. Two average-size adults will be ok in the backseat but may wish for more leg- and headroom.

Standard features include a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi hot spot, and automatic high-beam headlights

Available features include keyless entry, push-button start, automatic climate control, synthetic leather seating, heated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, navigation, a third USB port, wireless device charging, adaptive headlights, and a moonroof.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection and road sign recognition.

Available driver assistance technologies include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

The infotainment system has either a seven- or eight-inch touchscreen. Menus are logically laid out and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. The graphics could use updating but otherwise the system works well. And there are handy physical knobs for adjusting audio and climate settings.

The Corolla hatchback has 17.8 cubic feet of storage which is decent for a compact car but rivals such as the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra GT have more space.

The good:

Easy to drive

Smooth, comfortable ride

Excellent fuel economy

Lots of standard features and tech

User-friendly infotainment system

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Backseat is tight for adults

Less cargo space than some rivals

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $24,865. Adaptive front headlights are $415. The XSE Preferred Package is $1,600 and adds premium audio system, eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, eight JBL speakers with amplifier, and wireless smartphone charging. The Carpet Mat Package is $249. Delivery fee is $1,025 bringing the grand total to $28,154.

Bottom line:

Any car model that’s been a top seller for so many decades is obviously doing something right. The 2022 Toyota Corolla continues to impress with its smooth ride, excellent fuel efficiency, comfortable and upscale cabin, dependability, and long list of standard features and tech. No doubt it will continue to be a best-seller in the years ahead.

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