Toyota Hybrids are the most reliable cars in the vehicle industry. Toyota is the first company that invented hybrid technology and brought the Toyota Prius around 2000. Since then, Toyota has refined this tech to a near-perfect level.
Corolla Hybrid is the perfect vehicle if an owner plans to keep a car for 10-12 years.
Pros of Toyota Corolla Hybrid:
These are the pros of the Corolla Hybrid.
Corolla Hybrid is the cheapest car in the Toyota lineup. It’s economical, reliable, and gets the job done.
However, the Corolla Hybrid costs $1,000-$2,000 more than the non-hybrid Corolla. But an owner can recoup this extra cost on 30,000 miles of driving. Here’s the cost breakdown –
For a Non-Hybrid Corolla at 26 mpg, $4/gallon gas, total cost to drive 30,000 miles is 30,000 miles / 26 mpg = 1,154 gallons x $4 = $4,616.
For Hybrid Corolla, at 50mpg, the total cost is 30,000 miles / 50 mpg = 600 gallons x $4 = $2,400.
Savings on Gas Mileage:
No other gas vehicle except for Corolla Hybrid cars achieves high gas mileage. The Corolla Hybrid has a gas mileage of 53 in the city and 52 on the highway. This MPG is comparable to the Toyota Prius.
On a traditional gasoline vehicle, if the manufacturer says that their car has 30 mpg in the city, it will achieve less than 25 mpg on real-life tests. But in the Corolla Hybrid, countless owners report that they regularly get more than 50 mpg combined on their daily driving.
The Corolla Hybrid has an 11.5 gallon or 43 Liter fuel tank capacity. Therefore, you can go more than 500 miles (800 km) on a single refill.
At 50 average mpg, $4/gallon gas, the total gasoline cost on a 10 year / 150,000 miles ownership is 150,000 miles / 50 mpg = 3,000 gallons x $4 = $12,000.
In comparison, to drive a non-Hybrid Corolla that gets an average of 26 mpg in a real-world scenario, the total gasoline cost to go the exact 150,000 miles is 150,000 miles / 26 mpg = 5769 gallons x $4 = $23,076.
Therefore, on the Corolla Hybrid, an owner will save more than $11,000 on 10-year vehicle ownership. Even if someone pays $1,000-$2,000 extra for the Hybrid model, still the savings is around $9,000. These savings can fund the insurance cost of the Corolla Hybrid for about 48 months.
Unprecedented Hybrid Battery Warranty:
Since 2020, Toyota has given every Corolla Hybrid car a 10 Year 150,000 miles Hybrid battery warranty. Toyota also provides an 8 Year 100,000 miles Hybrid system warranty. Therefore, if you purchase a new Corolla Hybrid, you don’t need to worry about this high voltage traction control battery. Toyota will service and replace this battery free of cost if any problem arises.
The notion that the Corolla Hybrid HV battery needs replacement after 12-15 years is overblown. With minimal maintenance, a Corolla Hybrid owner can expect the High Voltage battery life of more than 15 years.
Even if the Corolla Hybrid HV battery fails, the cost to replace it is far lower than the total gas savings over the vehicle’s lifetime.
A new Corolla Hybrid battery costs around $3,500 without labor. But the labor cost isn’t that high because the battery is under the passenger seat, and replacing it is straightforward. But still, for 10 Years of Corolla Hybrid ownership, you don’t need to worry about it because it’s under warranty.
The Corolla Hybrid uses one of two types of Hybrid batteries — a Nickel-Metal hydride battery or a Lithium-ion battery.
Longer Lasting Transmission:
The Corolla Hybrid has eCVT transmission. Even though the name has CVT in it, eCVT is an entirely different type of transmission that uses a planetary gear mechanism. There’s no v-belt, starter, alternator, drive chain, torque converter, etc. Thus this eCVT lasts a long time.
The transmission oil change is easier compared to an Automatic transmission oil change. There’s no need to measure the fluid temperature. Only drain and refill are required. There’s no transmission oil filter because it’s not needed.
There’s a misconception that Toyota eCVT transmission oil doesn’t need to be changed. However, it’s not true. This false notion comes from the fact that the Toyota Owners manual says that no fluid change is necessary for the lifetime of eCVT transmission. But according to Toyota, this lifetime is 60,000 miles.
Every oil will degrade over time, and eventually, the transmission oil will break. Therefore, a periodic transmission oil change is crucial to keep the Toyota Corolla Hybrid for more than 200,000 miles. At 60,000 miles / 5 years interval is an optimal time to change the fluid.
Long-Lasting Brake Pads and Rotors:
The Corolla Hybrid uses regenerative braking technology. Toyota is the first company to invent and use it on the Prius. Since then, Toyota has refined the technology.
There are motors indirectly connected in the Corolla Hybrid tires. These motors act as a generator during deceleration and convert the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electric energy. It recharges the high voltage (traction control) battery and slows down the Corolla.
The brake pads and rotors on Corolla Hybrid are less used due to this regenerative braking and last longer. Some Corolla Hybrid owners reported that their brake pad lasted more than 100,000 miles. For comparison, on a non-Hybrid Corolla, the brake pad lasts a maximum of 20,000.
No Manual Charging Required:
Corolla Hybrid is not a 100% electric vehicle. It has a gasoline engine that recharges the onboard battery. Therefore, an owner doesn’t need to recharge the Corolla Hybrid.
Long Term Savings:
In the Corolla Hybrid, there is no alternator, starter motor, drive chain, v-belt, mechanical differential, drum, cone, etc. The design is robust, doesn’t break, and requires less long-term maintenance.
Moreover, an owner would save thousands of dollars on gasoline. Furthermore, the traction battery warranty makes the Corolla Hybrid ownership stress free.
Cons of Toyota Corolla Hybrid:
These are the drawbacks of the Corolla Hybrid.
No Trim Choice:
Every Toyota model comes with various trims such as LE, XLE, SE, XSE, XSE Premium, etc. Corolla Hybrid, however, comes in LE trim only.
Moreover, this single trim comes with a 1.8L engine. There’s no 2.0L engine similar to the non-Hybrid Corolla.
Only Forward Wheel Drive:
Corolla Hybrid comes in Forward-Wheel-Drive (FWD) model only. There’s no AWD version. Therefore, the Corolla Hybrid may not be the best choice for those who live in a snowy and hilly area.
Similar to all other sedans, Corolla Hybrid can’t tow. Therefore, if towing is essential, the RAV4 Hybrid is a better choice.
Low Ground Clearance:
The Corolla Hybrid has a 5.3-inch ground clearance. It’s pretty low to the ground. Moreover, the approach angle and departure angle are also smaller. It could be an issue if you live in a dirt road area.
The Corolla Hybrid is a smaller vehicle compared to Camry or RAV4. However, it’s an intentional design to achieve high gas mileage. Therefore, it’s not a perfect vehicle for camping or long road trips. Camry or RAV4 Hybrid is better if cargo storage is crucial for you.
A hybrid system works differently than a gasoline engine. For example, during slow down or reverse, the Corolla Hybrid electric motor makes strange noises that are normal but takes some time to get used to for many owners.
The Corolla Hybrid uses start-stop technology. When your Corolla is stopped, the engine will stop. The hybrid battery and electric motor will drive the car at low speed. When a driver presses the accelerator more, the engine comes on. When the driver stops the vehicle, the Corolla Hybrid engine stops again. For many, it feels unnatural and takes some time to get used to. We want to point out that this start-stop technology doesn’t harm the engine.
No Long Term Storage:
One drawback of the Corolla Hybrid is that it can’t be left parked for 5-6 months, such as at an airport or vacation home. If it is parked for an extended period, the high voltage or the traction battery will slowly discharge. If it discharges 100%, it could be tough to restart the Corolla Hybrid. (Vehicle jump starts are necessary for this scenario.)
Toyota recommends driving the Corolla Hybrid at least once a month for 10 miles or 30 minutes. It will recharge the battery to 100%, and everything will work perfectly.
No Jump Start:
The Corolla Hybrid has a giant traction control battery. Thus, the 12V battery on the Corolla Hybrid is smaller than a typical gasoline vehicle. Therefore, one can’t use a Corolla Hybrid to jump-start another gasoline vehicle.
Even though driving preference depends on car owners, many Corolla Hybrid owners complain about the underpowered Hybrid powertrain. However, if you don’t plan to race with this car, it’s a non-issue.
No Recharge During “Neutral”:
The Corolla Hybrid doesn’t recharge the High Voltage Hybrid (traction control) battery when the shift lever is in the “Neutral (N)” position, even if the engine is running. If an owner unknowingly keeps their vehicle on the “N” for an extended period, the traction battery may discharge entirely and cause possible problems, such as the engine may not restart again if stopped.
Overall, Corolla Hybrid is an excellent choice if you are on a budget.