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2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Review

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid offers great fuel economy and predicted reliability, but a small trunk and subpar seating prevent it from standing out in its class.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Stellar fuel economy estimates
  • Long list of standard features
  • Undersized trunk
  • Struggles to get up to highway speeds

New for 2021

  • Android Auto now standard
  • Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert now available

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid's #7 ranking is based on its score within the Hybrid and Electric Cars category. Currently the Toyota Corolla Hybrid has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 13 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 6.0
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.8 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Toyota Corolla Hybrid a Good Car?

Yes, the Corolla Hybrid is a good car. It's not overly exciting in any one area, but it does most things well. This Corolla returns more than 50 mpg, making it one of the most fuel-efficient hybrid and electric cars. It also comes loaded with plenty of infotainment and safety technology, it has a nice cabin, and its driving manners are pleasing.

Notable downsides to this hybrid include below-average cargo space, so-so front-seat comfort, and muted power at higher speeds.

Why You Can Trust Us: 13 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 13 Toyota Corolla Hybrid reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2021 Corolla Hybrid is the right new car for you.

This 2021 Corolla Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2020.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

The Corolla Hybrid isn't the sexiest alternative fuel vehicle, but it's a great option for those looking for a no-nonsense, fuel-efficient small car. It has a low base price for the class, and with only one trim, a long list of standard features helps create an excellent value.

Find a 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: What's the Difference?

Toyota introduced the Corolla Hybrid as an all-new car for the 2020 model year. For 2021, the Corolla Hybrid gains standard Android Auto compatibility along with optional blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Corolla Hybrid »

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2020 Corolla Hybrid review to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Cost?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid starts at $23,400, which is one of the lowest MSRPs among hybrid and electric cars. With only one trim level and few notable options, you likely won't see a large range of prices for a new Corolla Hybrid.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Versus the Competition

Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. Toyota Prius

The Corolla Hybrid and the Toyota Prius receive similar overall scores, but these hybrids have some noticeable differences. The hatchback Prius delivers a lot more cargo space, a roomier second row, and features that the Corolla Hybrid doesn't offer, such as navigation, a JBL stereo, a head-up display, and a nearly 12-inch infotainment screen. These Toyotas have the same 121-horsepower hybrid powertrain, but the Prius’ fuel economy estimates of 58 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway trump the Corolla Hybrid’s estimates.

However, driving the Prius would only save you an average of $50 annually in fuel costs, so there's little reason to buy one over the other for efficiency. You can get the Prius with all-wheel drive, which isn't available in the Corolla Hybrid. One area that the Corolla Hybrid solidly defeats the Prius is in predicted reliability.

Compare the Corolla Hybrid and Prius »

Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Toyota Camry Hybrid secures a top ranking in the hybrid and electric car class thanks to a perfect safety score, solid predicted reliability, and satisfying acceleration. The hybrid Camry's best mpg estimates are nearly identical to the Corolla's, and you'd spend about the same amount in fuel per year with either car.

As a midsize sedan, the Camry Hybrid offers extra trunk and seating room, along with exclusive amenities like leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and a surround-view parking camera system. A Camry Hybrid could cost you anywhere from about $5,000 to around $15,000 more than the Corolla Hybrid. If you have room in your budget, it's a better buy. If that stretches your budget too far, the smaller Toyota is a fine option.

Compare the Corolla Hybrid and Camry Hybrid »

Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. Toyota Corolla

Choosing between the Corolla Hybrid and the gas-only Toyota Corolla comes down to your budget, the features list of each car, and how much you prioritize fuel economy. The gas-only Corolla’s fuel economy estimates fare well in the compact car class, with up to 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. However, it would cost you about $300 to $400 more in annual fuel costs compared to the Corolla Hybrid.

The hybrid model has a pretty small price range of $23,400 to about $24,000, while the gas version starts at a little under $20,000 and goes up to about $26,000. The Corolla Hybrid has a shorter list of features, and it lacks optional amenities such as synthetic leather upholstery, a moonroof, and wireless device charging that you can get in the Corolla.

Compare the Corolla Hybrid and Corolla »

Compare the Corolla Hybrid, Prius, and Camry Hybrid »

Corolla Hybrid Interior: Pretty Plain

Corolla Hybrid Cargo Space

The Corolla Hybrid's trunk measures 13.1 cubic feet. That's below average for the class, and utility is further hampered by a back seat that doesn't fold completely flat. Also, the overly pronounced trunk hinges cut into storage space.

How Many People Does the Corolla Hybrid Seat?

This Toyota sedan seats five people. Typical of a car this size, passenger accommodations are merely OK. You may not be able to find a perfect driving position because there's only a handful of manual seat adjustments. The front seats are adequately comfortable but don't offer a ton of support for long trips.

In back, taller riders may feel a bit short on headroom and may have to duck when entering or exiting. Adults of average height should find sufficient space to ride comfortably.

Corolla Hybrid and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

Corolla Hybrid Interior Quality

The Corolla Hybrid's interior has many soft-touch surfaces, and low-quality harder plastics are few and far between. The overall design is more minimalist than upscale, but it still impresses.

Corolla Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

New for 2021, Android Auto joins the Corolla Hybrid's list of tech features and complements an already user-friendly touch-screen setup.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display, two USB ports, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, and satellite radio
  • Additional standard features: proximity keyless entry and automatic climate control
  • Other available features: a universal garage door opener

Read more about interior »

Corolla Hybrid Performance: Efficiency above All

Corolla Hybrid Engine

The Corolla Hybrid comes with a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine to make 121 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is also standard.

Acceleration from a stop is swift and quiet. As you continue moving, the powertrain seamlessly transitions from electric to inline-four gas power, though the Corolla can feel underpowered if you try to accelerate hard at higher speeds.

Corolla Hybrid Gas Mileage

The 2021 Corolla Hybrid returns an EPA-estimated 53 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. Few rivals in the hybrid and electric car class eclipse those figures. Other segment leaders for fuel economy include the Honda Insight and variants of the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq.

Corolla Hybrid Ride and Handling

This small hybrid is very composed for an eco-friendly commuter. The Corolla Hybrid rides smoothly over bumps in the road, and handling is secure. However, athletic it is not.

Most hybrid vehicles use a regenerative brake system that many critics say feels grabby or unnatural. This Corolla's brakes do a good job of mimicking traditional brakes, but if you've never driven a hybrid before, they may take a bit of getting used to.

Read more about performance »

Corolla Hybrid Reliability

Is the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Reliable?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid has an excellent predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Warranty

Toyota covers the Corolla Hybrid with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid-related components have an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, and the hybrid battery has a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Corolla Hybrid Safety

Corolla Hybrid Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid five out of five stars in the frontal crash test and four stars in the rollover test. The Corolla Hybrid did not go undergo side crash testing, and the NHTSA did not give it an overall safety rating.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

Corolla Hybrid Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane tracing assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert

Read more about safety »

Corolla Hybrid Dimensions and Weight

The Corolla Hybrid is 15.2 feet long, and its curb weight is 2,850 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Built?

Toyota builds the 2021 Corolla Hybrid in Japan.

Which Toyota Corolla Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is only offered in the LE trim level, and it has a starting MSRP of $23,400. Standard features include cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, proximity keyless entry, automatic climate control, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display, and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, two USB ports, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

The Corolla Hybrid also comes standard with driver assistance features such as forward collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane tracing assist, traffic sign recognition, and a rearview camera.

Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are optional for $500, and a universal garage door opener is available for $175.

We review the nonhybrid Toyota Corolla separately.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is one of the best values among hybrid and electric cars thanks to its healthy list of features, fuel-friendly powertrain, and low, straightforward pricing. However, if you need more passenger or cargo space, or prioritize livelier performance, look elsewhere in the class.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Consider the Corolla Hybrid a strong option for affordable and economical transportation." -- Edmunds
  • "The Corolla Hybrid is a winning prospect. It's superior to the Prius C it replaces in terms of content, quality and drivability." -- Autoblog (2020)
  • "There's really no obvious downside to driving the Corolla Hybrid. With no weird exterior styling (see: Prius and many other hybrids) and no huge decline in driving performance, going hybrid doesn't feel like much of a sacrifice. I just drive it like any other car and watch as the fuel-economy readout steadily climbs into the high-40-mpg range." -- CNET (2020)
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