All the Best Toyota Compact Cars

The Toyota GR Supra might be the smallest Toyota on the market right now, but it’s got nothing on the sales numbers of the versatile Corolla.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The Toyota Corolla is the pint-sized, fuel-efficient, and affordable queen of the Toyota small car lineup. It also happens to be the #1 best-selling automobile in the world
But while the Corolla looms large in the world of Toyota compact cars, it’s not the only small Toyota on the market—or the only affordable compact. If you’re looking for a new car that’s small and affordable, you’ve come to the right place. 
In this article, we’ll go over all the compact Toyotas on the market right now. We’ll focus on cars you can buy new, but we’ll also take a look at some of Toyota’s smallest SUVs and the best used Toyota compacts. Finally, we’ll throw in some tips to help you save on
Toyota insurance costs
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2022 Toyota compact and subcompact car models

Currently, there are just five Toyota compact cars on the market—and three of them are Corollas. 

2022 Toyota Corolla ($20,425 MSRP)

With over 50 million sold worldwide as of 2021, the Toyota Corolla is the planet’s most popular car. 
Is the Toyota Corolla the best compact car you can buy? To be blunt, no. Edmunds gives it a somewhat tepid 7.4/10 rating, while Car and Driver graces it with a good-but-not-great 8/10. On J.D. Power’s list of Best Compact and Small Cars of 2022, the Corolla comes in at #4. Other small sedans, like the Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, and Honda Civic, all tend to get higher marks from experts. 
So why has the Corolla reached such great heights? This compact car’s gargantuan appeal comes down to three things: tons of safety features, high fuel economy, and that low, low starting price
Highlights of the Corolla include: 
  • Standard forward-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warnings on all models 
  • 5-star safety rating from NHTSA
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2022
  • 31/40 EPA-estimated mpg (city/highway)
  • Models from $20,425 to $29,735 MSRP
Weaknesses include: 
  • Slow acceleration
  • Limited cargo space
  • Unrefined ride quality 

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid ($24,050 MSRP)

It’s the Corolla, but a hybrid! Introduced in 2020, the Corolla Hybrid pairs a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and the fuel economy of the legendary Prius with the compact, sporty vibes of a Corolla. 
The hybrid is offered only in the sparsely-appointed LE trim. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad one depends on your perspective: for buyers in search of a truly affordable hybrid, it’s great news, but if you’d like the fuel efficiency of the hybrid powertrain in one of the Corolla’s more fun-loving guises (like the SE or APEX trims), you’re out of luck. 
Highlights of the Corolla Hybrid include: 
  • Combined 52 mpg EPA fuel economy rating
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 safety features including forward-collision mitigation, lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist
  • Available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts
Weaknesses include: 
  • Cheap-feeling LE trim
  • Abrupt braking 
  • Weak acceleration

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback ($21,165 MSRP)

Finally, there’s the Corolla Hatchback, which adds more than a fifth door to the Corolla sedan. In its hatchback form, the Corolla gets slightly better fuel economy, more cargo space, and a lot more driving fun
Toyota introduced the Corolla Hatchback in 2019, and while it’s not the perfect hatch—its 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space, for instance, aren’t competitive in the class—it does correct a lot of what the sedan gets wrong. The Corolla Hatchback has the smooth, peppy ride quality that’s missing in the OG Corolla, plus a marginal improvement of fuel efficiency. The availability of a manual transmission alone communicates what sets the Corolla Hatchback apart from its four-door brother: it’s a car built for people who like driving
Highlights of the Corolla Hatchback include: 
  • Three well-equipped, sporty trims (SE, SE Nightshade, and XSE)
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 driver assistance aids
  • 5-star safety rating from NHTSA
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2022
  • 32/41 EPA-estimated mpg (city/highway)
Weaknesses include: 
  • Cramped rear seat compared to the sedan
  • Less storage space than competitors

2022 Toyota GR86 ($27,700 MSRP)

Toyota’s two compact cars that aren’t Corollas are both sports cars, and the GR86 is the budget option. 
“Budget,” in this case, doesn’t mean cheap. The 2022 Toyota GR86 is one of the best sports cars you can buy if you’re not looking to shell out buckets of money. It costs less than a Subaru BRZ (its sister car), and it drives like a dream, especially on twisty roads with lots of swooping curves. The GR86’s 228-hp 2.4-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission, and a limited-slip rear differential helps to maximize traction, taking this compact coupe neatly around the gnarliest corners. 
Highlights of the GR86 include: 
  • Excellent manual transmission 
  • Smooth, dynamic handling
  • 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds
  • Available automatic transmission 
  • Available Toyota safety technology
Weaknesses include: 
  • Cramped back seat
  • Tons of road noise

2022 GR Supra ($43,540 MSRP)

The priciest of the Toyota compact cars is its halo car, the handsome and powerful GR Supra sports coupe. 
Designed in partnership with BMW (and containing a ton of BMW interior parts), the GR Supra is a delightfully affordable alternative to pricier sports cars like the BMW Z4 Convertible, its design twin, or the Chevrolet Corvette. It’s got all the good looks of the best sports cars, and unlike the GR86—which fares best on curves—the Supra brings power and smooth handling to any stretch of road.  
Highlights of the GR Supra include: 
  • 3.0-liter inline-six turbo on upper trims (382 horsepower, 368 lb-ft of torque)
  • Combined 25 mpg EPA fuel economy rating
  • 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds
  • Available Toyota Driver’s Assist safety features
Weaknesses include: 
  • Highest starting price of any Toyota compact car
  • Storage and rear seat space are limited
  • Poor visibility
MORE:Every Toyota sports car you should know
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Other small Toyota models

While the five models outlined above are the only true compact cars sold by Toyota these days, they’re not the only small Toyotas worth looking at. Here are a few more small Toyota models—both cars and SUVs—you should have on your radar: 
  • Toyota C-HR ($24,280 MSRP): This subcompact crossover is the
    smallest Toyota SUV
    and a great-looking mini! 
  • Toyota Corolla Cross ($22,445 MSRP): The Corolla’s grown-up big(ish) brother, the Corolla Cross SUV has the compact dependability of the Corolla and the verve of the larger RAV4. 
  • Toyota RAV4 ($26,975 MSRP): Small, practical, and wildly popular, the RAV4 is to the compact SUV class what the Corolla is to the compact car segment. 
  • Toyota Prius ($25,075 MSRP): You know it, you love it (or hate it). It’s got the best fuel economy in the lineup. It’s a snug hatchback. It’s the Prius—and its plug-in hybrid sister, the Prius Prime. 
Toyota’s other sedans include the midsize Toyota Camry and the full-size Avalon. If you’re looking for a truck, van, or large SUV, check out the Tacoma, Tundra, Sienna, 4Runner, and Highlander models. 
MORE:How to turn your Toyota Prius into a temporary generator

What is Toyota’s smallest car? 

The Toyota Corolla is the smallest regular car currently sold by Toyota. But it’s not the smallest overall—that distinction goes to the GR86 coupe! 
  • Toyota Corolla wheelbase: 106.3 inches 
  • Toyota GR86 wheelbase: 101.4 inches
  • Toyota Corolla passenger volume: 88.6 cubic feet 
  • Toyota GR86: 77.2 cubic feet 

What is Toyota’s cheapest car?

Surprise, surprise—it’s the Corolla! If you’re looking for something small and affordable, the Corolla is the Toyota for you. 
MORE:The best used Toyota to buy

How to save on Toyota insurance

You might think that smaller cars would come with smaller insurance premiums, and that’s true in some cases. But in fact, it’s more expensive, on average, to insure compact cars like the Toyota Corolla than larger SUVs like the RAV4 or Highlander due to the higher risk of damage associated with accidents. 
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