Toyota GR Corolla launch at Sydney Motorsport Park

Is the GR Corolla any good

GR Corolla – Toyota have just released the hot hatch, GR Corolla. It comes in a highly specified GTS version priced from $62,300 plus the usual costs. 2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Glacier White) The GR Corolla joins other Toyotas in the GR stable, the GR 86, GR Supra and GR Yaris. It looks awesome, especially in the Feverish Red colour but there are four choices available.

Inside its well-equipped and comfortable.

I had the opportunity to drive the GR Corolla around Sydney Motorsport Park on the launch and I have to say it’s a LOT OF FUN.

It’s powered by the same high-output 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine found in the GR Yaris, that has been tuned to produce a boosted 221kW of power at 6500rpm and 370Nm of torque over a wider rev band, from 3000-5550rpm.

All GR Corollas come equipped with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission and the sophisticated GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system, supported with Torsen®2 limited-slip differentials on both the front and rear axles.

The GR Corolla is available now but there are only 700 vehicles available in the first year and a number have already been pre ordered. So if you want one better get in quick

This is a Motoring Minute

I’m Rob Fraser

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) on race track

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 Motoring Minute GR Corolla Video

Quick GR Corolla Thoughts

  • It looks bloody good and sound better.
  • GR Corolla is a more practical and logical vehicle than the GR Yaris.
  • Comes with all the typical Corolla benefits and some restrictions, like small boot space.
  • It immediately feels a part of you.
  • Its comfortable.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) red brakes

GR Corolla suspension, wheels, and tyres

For the enthusiasts!

The most important thing readers need to note is that the GR Corolla is based on the acclaimed TNGA-C architecture, that offers excellent torsional rigidity, low weight and precise handling.

The tightness needs to be felt to be appreciated.

The suspension layout has been thoroughly reworked, increasing the track by 60mm at the front and 90mm at the rear compared to the Corolla hatch, to improve stability and lower the centre of gravity.

At the front, a light and rigid MacPherson strut type suspension set-up is used with increased camber and optimised suspension geometry to allow for the best possible road contact and steering feel.

Suspension components offer increased rigidity compared to the Corolla hatch, with newly designed shock absorbers, coil springs, strut bearing spacer and absorber knuckle bracket.

A highly modified trailing double-wishbone suspension arrangement is used at the rear, with newly-designed components including shock absorbers, coil springs, suspension arm bushings, stabiliser and axle carrier.

Like the front, initial camber has been expanded by reducing the span of the upper arm, with optimised rigidity for each suspension component.

Stopping power comes courtesy of four-piston aluminium monobloc front calipers and 356mm ventilated two-piece disc brakes, with two-piston aluminium monobloc calipers and 297mm ventilated discs at the rear. A feature is the red brake calipers emblazoned with the GR logo.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red)

Drive modes.

Three distinct drive modes are available that allow drivers to change the parameters of the powertrain, suspension and steering, and air conditioning system with Eco, Normal and Sport modes. A fourth Custom mode allows users to tailor each of the three variables to their preferred setting.

A VSC OFF switch allows users to set a range of vehicle stability control and traction control parameters, including the new ‘Expert Mode’ for circuit driving which completely disables the vehicle stability and traction control settings.

One cool feature is the ability to choose the drive ration between front and rear wheels, from 60:40, 30:70, 50:50 for different responsiveness and handling. Its was extremely noticeable on the skid pan.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Glacier White) on road

GR Corolla driving impressions.

Its quick at 5.29 seconds from 0-100kmh.

Surprisingly the 1.6 L 3 Cylinder tuned engine is easy to potter around town in as we found out in peak hour traffic and school zones. The wide spread of torque from a reasonable 3000rpm allows for both relaxed cruising and spirited acceleration in most gears.

Likewise the close ration 6 Sp i-MT was slick and smooth on the road and excellent on the track.

We happily pottered around the suburbs in 4th and 5th gear. 6th was a bit tall for 50kmh.

Adding the third exhaust brings a raspy blatt to the exhaust note.

The ability to disconnect the drive to the rear wheels proved particularly useful on the skid pan with handbrake slides. But it proves that Toyota designed this car purely for FUN.

With the GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system the grip is outstanding and allows controlled slides in the right conditions.

The electric power steering system has a good feel. Its weighted nicely, light at low speeds and becomes more directly responsive the faster you go. This was especially noticeable in the difference between driving in school zones then on the track.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) 6 speed close ratio manual transmission

Safety features

The GR Corolla features the latest Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance technology.

GR Corolla offers the pre-collision safety system (PCS) with audible warnings and autonomous braking. PCS also has intersection collision avoidance support.

Other TSS features include:

  • Emergency steering assist
  • high-speed active cruise control
  • lane trace assist (LTA)
  • Lane departure alert
  • Automatic high beam

In addition to the Toyota Safety Sense suite of technologies, all GR Corolla versions feature

  • blind spot monitor
  • Rear cross traffic alert.
  • Front and rear parking sensors are included on GTS,
  • reversing camera
  • Seven SRS airbags.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) steering wheel and dash

GR Corolla final thoughts

Here is a sports hatch that can be driven every day as well as having fun on the track. Not many cars achieve that balance.

It takes a sometimes-bland Corolla style and brings the WOW factor. It looks great!

Balance is the key word here. Everything works in harmony, the responsiveness, ride and handling, steering weight, and aural sensitivity.

It engenders confidence. You simply feel good driving it.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) on race track

What is good?

  • Purposeful and stylish looks
  • Engine performance and responsiveness
  • Balanced ride/handling – FUN FUN FUN

What is not so good?

Also look at.

Sports hatchbacks are few and far between these days.

Buyers could look at the Subaru WRX Sportswagon, Hyundai i30N, Honda Type R, Renault Megane RS, Audi S3.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) engine

Toyota     

Model

GR Corolla GTS

Model Price$62,300 MLP*
Engine1.6L 3 Cyl Turbo Petrol Euro 5C
DrivetrainGR-FOUR AWD 6Sp i-MT
Battery Capacity / typeN/A
Power221kW @ 6,500rpm
Torque370Nm @ 3,000 – 5,500rpm
Fuel ADR8.4L/100km
Fuel on TestN/A
Fuel capacity50L
Range (WLTP) / efficiency595km ADR
Fast Charge / Home (240V)N/A
Safety5 Star ANCAP (Tested Nov 2019)
CO2 Emissions191g/km
0-100kmh/Top Speed5.29 sec / 230km/h
Servicing12 Mth / 15,000km – Capped Price service pack
Warranty5yr/ unlimited km
Roadside Assist5Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) interior

Overall Rating    

92/100

Behind the Wheel9
Comfort9
Equipment9
Performance9
Ride and Handling10
Practicality9
Fit for Purpose10
Style / appeal9
Technology / connectivity9
Value for Money9

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Glacier White)

Dimensions

 
Overall Length4407mm
Wheelbase2640mm
Width1851mm
Height1479mm
Wheels18 x 8.5J ENKEI cast alloy
TyresYokohama ADVAN V601 235/40ZR18 tyres
Max ground clearanceUp to 120mm
Wading DepthN/A
ApproachN/A
RampoverN/A
Departure angleN/A
Turning Circle KTK11.52m
Boot Capacity MinN/A
Boot capacity Max213L
Battery WeightN/A
Kerb Weight1470kg
Payload (kg)445kg
GVM (kg)1915kg
GCMN/A
Towing CapacityN/A
Tow Ball ratingN/A

TOYOTA GR COROLLA MODEL BY MODEL

GTS

Mechanical

  • 221kW/370Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine
  • Six-speed intelligent manual gearbox (i-MT)
  • Drive mode select with NORMAL, SPORT, ECO and CUSTOM modes
  • GR FOUR all-wheel drive system
  • AWD modes (60:40, 30:70, 50:50)
  • Front and rear Torsen® limited slip differentials
  • Front MacPherson strut and rear trailing double wishbone suspension
  • Ventilated 356mm front and 297mm rear disc brakes
  • Electric power steering

Exterior

  • LED lights
  • Daytime running lights
  • 18-inch ENKEI cast alloy wheels
  • 235/40R18 Yokohama ADVAN tyres
  • Tyre repair kit
  • Auto power fold and heated exterior mirrors
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Rear spoiler
  • Triple exhaust tips
  • Four colours with solid, metallic, and mica metallic paint finishes

Interior

  • Synthetic leather and suede sports seats with manual adjustment
  • Heated front seats
  • 60/40-split rear seatbacks
  • Heated, leather-wrapped, manual tilt and telescopic adjustable sports steering wheel.
  • Leather-wrapped manual parking brake
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument display
  • Aluminium pedals
  • 2x front and 2x rear cupholders.

Safety

  • Toyota Safety Sense:
    • Pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and daylight cyclist detection
    • High speed active cruise control (above approx. 30km/h)
    • Intersection assist
    • Emergency steering assist
    • Lane departure alert
    • Lane trace assist
    • Road sign assist (speed signs only)
    • Automatic high beam
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Rear cross traffic alert!
  • Reversing camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Seven SRS airbags
  • Immobiliser and alarm
  • Toyota Connected Services
  • Two rear ISOFIX points

Comfort and convenience

  • Dual zone climate control
  • Smart entry & start
  • USB Type-C port in centre console
  • Power windows
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Door pockets with bottle holders

 

Infotainment / Multimedia

  • 8.0-inch touchscreen
  • 8-speaker JBL® audio system
  • Satellite navigation
  • AM/FM/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth® compatibility
  • Android Auto™ / wireless Apple CarPlay® compatibility
  • Steering wheel controls

Morizo Edition – additional features over GTS

Mechanical

  • 221kW/400Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine.

Exterior

  • Carbon fibre roof
  • GR badge on intercooler
  • 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels
  • 245/40ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyres
  • Three colours with metallic, metallic matte and pearl paint finishes2

Interior

  • Heated synthetic leather and suede unique sports seats.
  • Unique design Morizo Edition shift knob
  • Delete: rear seats

Comfort and convenience

  • Single-zone air conditioning
  • Delete: dual zone climate control
  • Delete: heated steering wheel
  • Delete: Wireless phone charger
  • Delete: Parking sensors

Infotainment / Multimedia

  • 2 speaker audio
  • Delete: Satellite navigation

2023 Toyota GR Corolla GTS (Feverish Red) exhaust

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About Rob Fraser 2469 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.