An updated Toyota Corolla has been unveiled for the US market – providing a visual preview of the upgrades confirmed for Australia later this year.
The updated 2023 Toyota Corolla range has been revealed for the US, ahead of first Australian arrivals in the second half of this year.
Previously detailed by Toyota Australia without photos, the updated Corolla – which will serve as the hatch and sedan’s mid-life facelift – adds revised exterior styling, upgraded interior and safety technology, and performance improvements for the hybrid.
While Australia will receive an updated Corolla before the end of this year, details published by Toyota Australia last month suggest not all features introduced for the US market will make their way to Australia.
Australian models are built in Japan, compared to the North American models, which are built in the US.
Headlining the upgrades for the US is the addition of a hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain, enabled by a third electric motor positioned on the rear axle for increased traction off the line.
While the all-wheel-drive option is yet to be confirmed for Australia, the US looks set to gain the power boost locked in for our market, boosting the 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid system to 98kW, up 8kW.
Other updates to the hybrid system for the US market include a lithium-ion battery (replacing nickel-metal hydride) under the rear seat, a redesigned front-axle electric motor, revised “brake control” system, and retuned steering for certain models.
As hinted at by Toyota Australia, a number of subtle styling changes have been made, which in the US include new LED headlights (shared with the GR Corolla, as predicted by Drive), new rear bumpers, and a new restyled front grille for the hatch with metallic accents.
Revised 18-inch grey alloy wheels feature on certain variants, joining tweaked tail-light innards, and new colours including Inferno (orange) and Blue Crush Metallic for the hatch, and ‘Underground’ and Midnight Black Metallic for the sedan (though these could wear different names in Australia).
Inside, the 8.0-inch central touchscreen now runs Toyota’s latest software – confirmed to form part of the Australian upgrades – with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cloud-linked satellite navigation and over-the-air updates.
A nine-speaker (plus subwoofer) JBL sound system continues to be available, while the 4.2-inch and 7.0-inch driver instrument displays have been “redesigned” with new graphics, according to Toyota USA.
No changes have been made to upholstery, with US buyers able to select between grey, black/red and cream trim, in cloth or synthetic leather. Higher grades – the SE and XSE in the US, or Australia’s ZR hatch – offer sports front seats.
The Corolla’s safety suite has been upgraded to match Toyota’s latest models, with updated versions of autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high beams.
The 2023 Toyota Corolla is due on sale in the US in the coming months, alongside the GR Corolla hot hatch.
Meanwhile, Australian deliveries of our Japanese-made model are due to begin in the second half of 2022. For more details on the specific upgrades bound for local showrooms, click here to read our full story.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.