The automotive world has been eagerly anticipating the release of the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla, and I can confidently say that it does not disappoint. As a high-performance variant of the Corolla lineup, the GR Corolla takes the renowned practicality and reliability of the Corolla and elevates it to a whole new level.

There are three versions of the GR Corolla, the Core, the Circuit, and the Morizo, all are basically a Corolla on steroids but the Morizo differs from the other two in a number of ways especially since it is limited to 200 units.


First and foremost, the design of the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is a testament to its sporting intentions. The aggressive and aerodynamic styling cues give it a distinct and bold appearance. The body is sculpted neatly with larger front and rear wheel arches to house the bigger wheels which at the back remind me of the Lancia Delta Integrale.

Morizo Edition

My tester is the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo edition, which comes from Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda who uses Morizo as his racing name.

The Morizo gets a close ration transmission, shorter differential gears, exclusive forged wheels, mon-tube shock absorbers, a stiffened chassis, front brake ducts, Alcantara-trimmed seats, and no back seats. It also gets wider Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with 14-inch vented front rotors and 11.7-inch rotors at the rear.

Two standard front and rear differentials help keep the car planted and you can select between 40, 50 or 70% of the torque to be sent to the rear axle but since the dampers are the fixed rate variety there’s no toggling between soft and firm, you simply get what Toyota gives you.


Toyota fitted the car with a two-stage intake and exhaust and a blow-off valve that wooshes almost on demand, but sadly it doesn’t sound that impressive, however, the triple exhaust setup in the redesigned rear valance is definitely eye-catching,

Under the hood

Under the hood, the 2023 GR Corolla boasts a potent powertrain that delivers impressive performance. It’s a 1.6 liter turbocharged 3-cylinder which on the Core and Circuit have 300 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The Morizo gets a power bump, the same 300 hp but 295 lb-ft thanks to a little more boost.

All this power is fed through a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission and the clutch has been beefed up to cope. 0-60 as per Toyota takes a shade under 5 seconds but driven gently expect to get 28 mpg on the highway.


Get it out on a twisty back road and the 2023 GR Corolla truly shines, it’s been a long time since I’ve driven a car with chassis balance as good as this. Its low weight (3,186 lb) means you can throw it around corners in confidence and with way more speed than you think. Track mode offers an even 50/50 split and I think it is the best compromise for on-road driving as well, the car just scythes through the turns and the grip from the Cup 2’s is astonishing.

One negative is the throttle and brake pedal are quite far apart so to heel-toe shifts are somewhat difficult, however, the GR has a fix for that, Intelligent Manual Transmission which will help you rev match.

The GR has very quick and precise steering and the brakes are flawless providing a perfect feel and solid stopping power.  It’s quick, it’s nimble, and it stops as good as it goes.

You’ll get plenty of exercise for your left foot since the GR needs to be kept in the right rev range to maintain its rapid forward motion. The car does its best work in third and fourth gear but the RPMs will bounce the redline id f you don’t keep an eye on the tachometer.

Bottom line whether you’re navigating tight city streets or enjoying a spirited drive on a winding road, the GR Corolla delivers a grin-inducing experience.


Inside the cabin, the GR Corolla showcases a sporty and driver-focused interior but it’s still very obviously a Corolla.  The supportive bucket seats, upholstered in premium materials, hug you tightly, thanks to good bolstering. GR logos are embossed on the seats and the floor mats lest you forget you are in the GR version.

The 12.3-inch driver’s gauge cluster is sporty with enough features for both your daily driving and track driving, with important data like temperatures, boost, and g-force.

The layout of the controls is intuitive, and the cockpit design creates a sense of purpose and focus. The infotainment system is user-friendly and packed with features, including smartphone integration, navigation, and a premium sound system, ensuring that you stay connected and entertained on your journeys.

Without a back seat, you get almost 37 cubic feet of space but the downside is you can only carry one passenger.


Toyota hasn’t compromised on safety either. The 2023 GR Corolla comes equipped with a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.


Core models start at $35,900 which is not bad, the Circuit will run you $42,900, and this Morizo trim, due to its low volume, will set you back $53,283 including destination.



The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla is a remarkable addition to the hot hatch segment. It successfully combines the practicality and reliability that Toyota is known for with an injection of thrilling performance and driving dynamics. It’s one of those cars that you’ll make any excuse to drive but preferably on your own.

There are some downsides, it rides very hard, it’s stiff and bumpy but get it out on a twisty road and it absolutely comes alive. There aren’t too many cars I’ve enjoyed this much in a long time.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Numbers

BASE PRICE: $49,900
VEHICLE TYPE: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 4-door hatchback
ENGINE TYPE: 1.6 liter turbocharged inline 3
POWER: 300 hp @ 6,500 rpm
TORQUE: 295 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual with rev-matching
CURB WEIGHT: 3,186 lb
ZERO to 60 mph: 5.0 sec
TOP SPEED: 143 mph (limited)
TIRES: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, Front: 245/40 ZR-19, 245/40 ZR-19

EPA FUEL ECONOMY: Combined/city/highway 24/21/28
OUR OBSERVED: 19.2 mpg 
PROS:  Incredible chassis balance and grip, Scintillating handling,  Superbly quick
CONS: Hard ride, exhaust could be more aggressive