Toyota Yaris Vs. Toyota Corolla: Which Is Better?

Yaris vs. Corolla: which Toyota comes out on top?
Written by Cassandra Hamilton
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
With great fuel efficiency, superior technology, and fun driving performance, the 2022
Toyota Corolla
edges out the 2020
Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris and Corolla are both small sedans that are also available as hatchbacks, both of which display the quality and efficiency Toyota is known for. 
While both makes are trustworthy Toyotas, taking a closer look will reveal the distinctions between them.
Jerry
is here with a guide to telling the Yaris and Corolla apart, plus tips on how to save on your insurance to make your
car loan
payment easier

Pricing 

The Corolla and the Yaris are both economy options for Toyota, but the Yaris is the cheaper of the two. The Yaris was sadly discontinued in 2020. Check out the table below to see how the two compare in terms of price:
Model
MSRP
Model
MSRP
2022 Toyota Corolla L
$21,450
2020 Toyota Yaris L
$16,645
2022 Toyota Corolla LE
$21,900
2020 Toyota Yaris LE
$17,645
2022 Toyota Corolla SE
$23,900
N/A
N/A
2022 Toyota Corolla XLE
$25,850
2020 Toyota Yaris XLE
$19,745
2022 Toyota Corolla XSE
$27,350
N/A
N/A
With a difference of roughly $5,000 at each trim level, you’ll probably go for the Yaris if the MSRP is your biggest issue when choosing a new car. There’s one other factor when it comes to cost that’s less apparent, though: the true cost of ownership.
Let’s take a look at the Edmunds five-year ownership cost projections for each car’s LE trim: $30,416 for the Toyota Corolla LE and $35,163 for the Toyota Yaris LE. Looks like you’ll end up spending that $5,000 you saved at the time of purchase over the first five years of ownership anyway.
Now, let’s consider insurance costs: The five-year
Corolla LE insurance costs
are $4,804, and five-year
Yaris LE insurance costs
are $4,561. So where else could you be losing that extra money? Depreciation — a difference of $3,762 between the two cars. 
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Performance

When it comes to performance, the Corolla takes the cake again due to its more powerful engine and better suspension and steering systems.
The 2022 Corolla has a 1.8-liter engine that produces 139 horsepower. This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than the Yaris’ 1.5-liter engine with 106 horsepower. Plus, the Corolla is available with a 2.0-liter engine with 169 horsepower. The Yaris offers no such upgrade.
Both cars are available with manual transmissions, though a continuously variable transmission comes standard. The Corolla’s manual transmission is only available with the upgraded engine, though, leaving you with a bit more power and a bit more in tune with your vehicle. 
So what does this mean for each vehicle’s driving experience? The Corolla can zip around effortlessly while the Yaris buzzes along after. The Yaris especially struggles to accelerate, whether on a city street or an open highway. The Corolla doesn’t do much better, but its larger engine does give it a slight advantage. For drivers looking for a finely tuned experience, they’d best look elsewhere because neither model is designed for performance. 

Fuel efficiency

You can’t beat the Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE’s 52 mpg. While this isn’t as efficient as a PHEV or fully electric vehicle, it fares better than the other vehicles we compared. 
Hybrid aside, the Corolla and Yaris are competitive in terms of fuel economy. We’ve broken it down in a table below with the EPA ratings for each model and powertrain configuration.
Model
Engine
Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined)
2022 Toyota Corolla
1.8L four-cylinder (base)
30/38/33 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla
2.0L four-cylinder
31/40/34 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
1.8L four-cylinder
53/52/52/ mpg
2020 Toyota Yaris
1.5L four-cylinder
32/40/36 mpg
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Overall, the Yaris fares slightly better than the Corolla. Don’t forget that you’ll experience a drop in fuel efficiency with a hatchback body or a manual transmission, usually totaling two to three mpg lost.

Technology

Thanks to its status as a newer vehicle, you can’t beat the Corolla’s technology options, which are more sophisticated and plentiful. 
Both cars come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but that’s where the similarities end. The Yaris has Bluetooth connectivity and a couple of USB ports, but as a budget car, there’s not much more worth mentioning when it comes to technology. 
Meanwhile, the Corolla doesn’t offer much differentiation between trim levels with available technology, meaning you aren’t necessarily getting more tech for your money as you ascend through the trim levels. You can add an inch to the touchscreen, but that’s about it. 
The Corolla also benefits from Toyota’s Safety Sense™ driver assistance technology, while the Yaris doesn’t have this included. You’ll enjoy forward collision warning, automated braking assist, and more with the Corolla.   

Reliability

Both vehicles are Toyotas, which means they both have unbeatable reputations when it comes to reliability.
While J.D. Power hasn’t rated the 2020 Yaris, it gives the 2022 Corolla an 85/100 reliability score. RepairPal gives both cars an incredible 4.5/5.0 rating for reliability, and both cars are rated as #1 in their class (compact and subcompact). Both are also recommended by Consumer Reports for reliability. 

Interior

Once again, the Corolla slightly edges the Yaris out. While the Yaris is comfortable and designed thoughtfully, it doesn’t have quite as much space as the Corolla. 
If you regularly carry backseat passengers, you may want to opt for the Corolla sedan over the Yaris due to the size difference, which we’ve broken down in the table below:
Measurement
Toyota Corolla Sedan
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Toyota Yaris Sedan
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
Cargo volume
13.1 cubic feet
17.8 cubic feet
13.5 cubic feet
15.9 cubic feet
Headroom (front seats)
38.3 inches
38.4 inches
38.2 inches
38.2 inches
Legroom (front seats)
42 inches
42 inches
41.9 inches
41.9 inches
Headroom (rear seats) 37.1 inches
37.6 inches
36.8 inches
37.2 inches
Legroom (rear seats)
34.8 inches
29.9 inches
34.4 inches
33.4 inches
The Toyota Corolla effectively maximizes the available space to give you a superb balance between passenger and cargo space without sacrificing drive quality or comfort. The hatchback in both models will leave rear passengers looking for a bit more space, but if a hatchback is important to you, opt for the Yaris here.

The final word

Even though the 2020 Toyota Yaris is less expensive upfront than the 2022 Toyota Corolla, the Corolla is the better overall choice when it comes to performance, technology, and fuel efficiency.
If the only thing that matters to you when purchasing a new car is the upfront cost, then yes, the Yaris might be the better option for you. Keep that five-year cost of ownership in mind though — the money you save now will still be spent over time. Think about the things that really matter in car ownership: drive ability, rear legroom, cargo space, technology, etc. If you can afford it, the Corolla is the clear winner here. 

How to find cheap car insurance for a Toyota Corolla

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FAQs

With a wheelbase of 101.2 inches, the Yaris is smaller than the Corolla, whose wheelbase measures 106.3 inches.
The Yaris gets 32 mpg combined while the Corolla gets 31 mpg combined — a negligible difference. When it comes to overall performance though, the Corolla wins out thanks to its optional hybrid powertrain.
The Yaris’ engine is smaller than that of a Corolla. While both engines are four-cylinders, the Yaris’ engine has a displacement of 1.5 liters. The Corolla’s engine displacement is either 1.8 liters or 2.0 liters depending on which engine option you choose.
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