Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE vs XSE: Which Is Better?

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE adds several convenience, interior, and safety improvements for an additional $2,950 compared to the SE trim.
Written by Amber Reed
Edited by Pat Roache
The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE and XSE trims are nearly identical in space and powertrain, but the XSE adds some desirable convenience, safety, and interior features for an additional $2,950.
  • Both hatchback trims come standard with FWD, a 168-hp 2.0-L four-cylinder engine, and manual transmission—though automatic CVT is available for $1,100.
  • The 2022 Corolla SE Hatchback with automatic transmission is the most fuel-effienct configuration with 32 city/41 highway/38 combined mpg.
  • The 2022 Corolla XSE adds heated leather sports seats, dual-zone climate control, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Pricing: The XSE costs $2,950 more

The 2022 Toyota Coralla
is available in two primary trims with the following prices:
The 2022 XSE trim starts at nearly $3,000 more than the SE, and more expensive MSRPs translate to more expensive
car insurance
and costs of ownership. Consider the following five-year true costs to own according to Edmunds:
  • 2022 Corolla SE Hatchback: $30,972
  • 2022 Corolla XSE Hatchback: $33,154
Available upgrades: Automatic transmission (CVT) can be added to either trim for an additional $1,100. The SE can also be upgraded to the
SE Nightshade Edition
with black styling accents for an additional $2,000.

Performance: Identical powertrains

The hatchback SE and XSE come standard with front-wheel drive (FWD) and a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with the following specs:
  • 168 horsepower 
  • 151 pound-feet of torque
There are no modification options for the Corolla Hatchback’s engine or drivetrain, but buyers can choose between the following transmissions:
How it drives: The 2.0-L four-cylinder is engaging enough with responsive handling according to most reviewers. However, its not the peppiest hatchback out there—drivers reportedly complain of sluggish acceleration.

Fuel efficiency: The SE Automatic is the most economical

Although they have the same powertrain, the SE and XSE see some slight variations in fuel economy when paired with the Automatic CVT transmission. Take a look at the EPA’s numbers:
Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined)
2022 Toyota Corolla SE Hatchback
Manual transmission
28/36/31 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla XSE Hatchback
Manual transmission
28/36/31 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla SE Hatchback
Automatic CVT
32/41/35 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla XSE Hatchback
Automatic CVT
30/38/33 mpg
These are respectable numbers for a gasoline-only vehicle. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go for a Corolla sedan configuration if you want the improved fuel-efficiency of a
Hybrid Toyota
—a hybrid powertrain is not offered in the hatchback. 

Technology: The XSE offers more standard and available features

Both the SE and XSE share a nice amount of standard convenience and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 driver-assistance features :
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatability
  • 8-inch touchscreen and multi-information display
  • Available Wi-Fi integration
  • Smart keyless entry with push-button start
  • Automatic climate control
  • LED headlights with automatic high beams
  • Forward collision warning 
  • Emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
Maximize your tech with the XSE trim: The Corolla XSE Hatchback adds the following standard features:
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
Technology packages: Both the 2022 SE and XSE come with Preferred Package upgrades for additional tech, but the XSE already comes standard with many of the SE’s upgrades and adds more favorable tech features:
Corolla SE Preferred Package
Corolla XSE Preferred Package
Audio Plus multimedia
Premium Audio with eight-speaker JBL audio system
Blind-spot monitoring
Dynamic Navigation with three-year free trial
Rear cross-traffic alert
Wireless charging
Voice recognition

Reliability: Shared Toyota excellence

Toyota has an
impressive reliability rating
as a maker, and there shouldn’t be any difference expected in reliability ratings between the 2022 Corolla SE and XSE trim levels:
  • J.D. Powers: 85/100 predicted reliability score
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4/5.0 
  • RepairPal: 4.5/5.0; ranked #1 among all compact cars

Interior: The XSE uses nicer materials

The SE and XSE are identical in size and measurements, but there’s a stark difference in the quality of materials. The 2022 Corolla SE Hatchback is upholstered with simple fabric seats while the XSE trim adds the following finishing touches:
  • Leather-trimmed upholstery
  • Heated sport seats
  • Power driver’s seat
Learn more about the shared interior dimensions for the SE and XSE hatchback trims below:
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Cargo volume (seats up)
17.8 cubic feet
Headroom (front seats)
38.4 inches
Legroom (front seats)
42 inches
Headroom (rear seats)
37.6 inches
Legroom (rear seats)
29.9 inches
2022 Toyota Corolla interior review highlights: 
Good quality materials
Snug backseat for taller passengers
Excellent visibility
Less cargo space than some rivals
Streamlined dashboard design
Excellent driver visibility
The Corolla Hatchback’s cargo space can be increased by 6 cubic feet on either trim by choosing the Enhanced Cargo Space option, but be aware—you’ll lose the spare tire. 

The final word: The SE is good but the XSE is better

Both the 2022 Toyota Corollla SE and XSE Hatchbacks check off identical marks for performance and convenience:
  • Capable enough engines
  • Comparable fuel economies (With the SE Automatic leading the pack)
  • Standard safety features including forward collision warning, emergency braking, lane-keeping warning and assist, and adaptive cruise control.
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Androir Auto with 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreens
  • Phenomenal reputations for reliability and value
The deciding factor: At the end of the day, the best 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback trim will depend on your personal preferences:
  • Low upfront costs: The SE model is the way to go as a fairly well-equipped base trims considering its price.
  • Tech, comfort, and safety features: The XSE is well worth the additional $2,950 for the interior and technology improvements you’ll get.
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