John M. Vincent/U.S. News and World Report
Stellar Corolla Substitutes
The Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling car in history until the late 1990s, when it was surpassed by the Corolla, a modestly priced compact car from Toyota. The Corolla has always emphasized value and practicality, which resonates with car buyers.
Now in its 12th generation, the Corolla is as capable and value-focused as ever. The 2024 version offers strong fuel economy, making it a practical choice for commuting and road trips. It’s affordable, starting at $21,900, and has many standard features. Sedan models have 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space, and hatchback models offer 17.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats.
But for all of its appealing attributes, the Corolla is hardly the only small car worth buying. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 12 alternatives to Toyota’s compact car.
We’ve ranked our selections in ascending order based on each model’s U.S. News overall score. If there’s a tie, the model with the lower price gets the higher placement.
We frequently update data in our reviews as new insights emerge. For that reason, the information in this slideshow may differ from facts shown elsewhere on our site.
Next:2023 Toyota Prius
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2023 Toyota Prius
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $27,450
The Prius costs more than the Corolla, but you get lots of bang for your buck. Toyota redesigned the Prius for the 2023 model year, and the overhaul gave this car a new lease on life. Gone is the frumpy sheet metal of yesteryear, replaced with an exterior design that looks sporty and stylish.
Of course, the Prius’s main draw has been and continues to be fuel economy. The base LE trim returns 57 mpg in city driving and 56 mpg on the highway, making this car one of the most fuel-efficient hybrids you can buy. The Prius also has more cargo room than the Corolla, providing up to 23.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats.
More on the 2023 Toyota Prius
Next:2024 Subaru Impreza
Subaru of America, Inc.
2024 Subaru Impreza
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $22,995
Subaru redesigned the Impreza for the 2024 model year. It’s now available exclusively as a hatchback, and its features list is improved. The Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive, so it’s an excellent pick for drivers who face frequent rain and snow and need extra traction. Also, its poised handling makes this car a comfortable choice for daily driving.
The Impreza offers a base 152-horsepower four-cylinder and an available powertrain with 182 horses. The base engine is underwhelming, so we recommend the optional upgrade.
This Subaru surpasses the Corolla in cargo capacity, offering 20.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats.
More on the 2024 Subaru Impreza
Next:2023 Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen of America, Inc.
2023 Volkswagen Jetta
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $20,655
Comfort is one of the Jetta’s key strengths. Both rows of seats are comfortable and provide ample head- and legroom.
This sedan has 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than you get with the sedan version of the Corolla. And the Jetta’s gas mileage is excellent. This car returns up to 31 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, so it can save you money at the gas pump.
While the Jetta’s cabin is roomy, the materials used are a bit downmarket; other cars in this class have more upscale cabins. Base models have a 158-horsepower engine, and a 228-horsepower upgrade is available.
More on the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta
Next:2023 Nissan Versa
Nissan North America, Inc.
2023 Nissan Versa
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $15,980
The Versa is a subcompact car, so it’s a bit smaller than the Corolla. Still, you may not notice the difference; this Nissan has a fairly roomy cabin for its class, with rear seats big enough to fit adults comfortably. Plus, with up to 15 cubic feet of cargo room, the Versa has more trunk space than the Corolla sedan.
Base models start at just under $16,000, so the Versa costs significantly less than the Corolla.
Nissan equips this sedan with desirable safety features. All models have forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, forward and reverse collision warning, pedestrian detection and lane-departure warning.
More on the 2023 Nissan Versa
Next:2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.8/10 | $23,050
If you’re thinking about getting a Corolla, it’s wise to consider the Corolla Hybrid. With a base price of $23,050, this model is only slightly more expensive than the gas-only Corolla while offering significant fuel-economy benefits. The Corolla Hybrid returns up to 50 mpg in city driving and 43 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive, so it’s an outstanding choice for drivers seeking gas-sipping transportation.
Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available if you need extra grip for navigating wet or icy roads. This hybrid has 138 horsepower, which is a bit less than the 169 horsepower provided by the standard Corolla’s base engine.
More on the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Next:2023 Kia Forte
2023 Kia Forte
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.8/10 | $19,690
The Kia Forte is in the top half of our compact car rankings. It starts at $19,690, undercutting the Corolla’s $21,900 base price. And with 15.3 cubic feet of room in its trunk, the Forte has more cargo capacity than the Corolla sedan.
This Kia returns excellent fuel economy. Models with the base engine get between 28 and 30 mpg in city driving and 39 to 41 mpg when traveling on the highway. The cabin is well-built and relatively roomy, with an attractive design.
The Forte’s straightforward and responsive infotainment system is a pleasure to operate. Standard features include wireless smartphone integration, an 8-inch touch screen and automatic high-beam headlights.
More on the 2023 Kia Forte
Next:2023 Kia Rio
2023 Kia Rio
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.8/10 | $16,750
The Kia Rio does well in our subcompact car rankings and won our 2023 Best Subcompact Car for the Money award. Though smaller than the compact Corolla, it has much to offer.
Starting at $16,750, the Kia Rio is significantly less expensive than the Toyota. It has a smooth ride and a user-friendly infotainment system, and its fuel economy is excellent. The Rio returns 32 mpg in the city and 41 mpg in highway driving.
Kia sells this car in sedan and hatchback body styles. The sedan has 13.7 cubic feet of cargo room, more than the Corolla sedan’s 13.1 cubic feet. The Rio hatchback has 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, slightly less than the Corolla hatchback’s 17.8 cubic feet.
Next:2023 Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Motor America
2023 Hyundai Elantra
U.S. News Overall Score: 7.9/10 | $20,950
The Elantra sits near the top of our compact car rankings. It offers powertrains that provide peppy acceleration. The base engine has 147 horsepower, and options are available with 201 and 276 horses.
This Hyundai does well at the gas pump, returning up to 33 mpg in the city and 42 mpg in highway driving. With 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, the Elantra has more cargo room than the Corolla sedan.
Standard features include an 8-inch touch screen, remote keyless entry and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also, all models have driver aids like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist and driver-attention monitoring.
More on the 2023 Hyundai Elantra
Next:2023 Chevrolet Bolt
2023 Chevrolet Bolt
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.0/10 | $25,600
Have you considered an all-electric substitute for the Corolla? The Bolt is an excellent candidate and won our 2023 Best Electric Car for the Money award. Starting at $25,600, it’s just a bit more expensive than the Toyota and gives you a lot for a reasonable price.
The Bolt’s 200-horsepower powertrain delivers the instant torque and eager acceleration that have become synonymous with electric vehicles (EVs). This little Chevy’s athletic handling makes it a fun car to drive. It travels 259 miles on a fully charged battery, which is excellent for a non-luxury EV.
The Bolt’s cabin is well-made and features high-quality materials. However, this hatchback has 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, less than a Corolla of the same body style.
More on the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt
Next:2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
Hyundai Motor America
2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.3/10 | $24,550
The Elantra Hybrid offers superb fuel economy at a reasonable price, so it’s unsurprising that it won our 2023 Best Hybrid Car for the Money award. It returns up to 53 mpg in city driving and 56 mpg on the highway.
This sedan has 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, more than a Corolla in the same body style. The Elantra Hybrid’s cabin is nicely crafted with a modern design, but the interior materials could be better.
An 8-inch touch screen and wireless smartphone integration are standard. All models have driver-assistance features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and forward and reverse automatic emergency braking.
More on the 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
Next:2023 Mazda Mazda3
Mazda North American Operations
2023 Mazda Mazda3
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.6/10 | $22,550
The Mazda3 sits near the top of our compact car rankings. Like many Mazdas, it treats passengers to an upmarket cabin similar in quality to some entry-luxury cars. And its enjoyable handling makes this Mazda one of the most entertaining picks in its class.
You can choose from sedan and hatchback body styles. Sedans have 13.2 cubic feet of space in the trunk, a shade more cargo room than the Corolla sedan. The Mazda3 hatchback has a generous 20.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats, more than the 17.8 cubic feet provided by a Corolla in the same body style.
More on the 2023 Mazda Mazda3
Next:2023 Honda Civic
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
2023 Honda Civic
U.S. News Overall Score: 8.7/10 | $23,750
The Civic is an annual challenger for the top spot in our compact car rankings. It won our 2023 Best Compact Car for the Money and 2023 Best New Car for Teens awards, so it’s clearly a star in its segment.
This Honda offers excellent fuel economy, returning up to 33 mpg in the city and 42 mpg in highway driving. Its handling is nimble and energetic, and the engine lineup includes options with outputs ranging from 158 to 315 horsepower.
Honda sells the Civic as a sedan and hatchback, and both have more cargo room than their Corolla counterparts. The Civic sedan has 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space, while the hatchback has 24.5 cubic feet behind its rear seats.
More on the 2023 Honda Civic
Next:More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report
When you find the vehicle you want, an easy way to save some cash on a purchase or lease is by taking advantage of the U.S. News Best Price Program. It connects shoppers with local dealers, offering significant savings with pre-negotiated prices, home delivery and online sales options.
Next:Alternatives to the 2024 Toyota Corolla
U.S. News and World Report
Alternatives to the 2024 Toyota Corolla
- 2023 Toyota Prius – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $27,450
- 2024 Subaru Impreza – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $22,995
- 2023 Volkswagen Jetta – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $20,655
- 2023 Nissan Versa – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | $15,980
- 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.8/10 | $23,050
- 2023 Kia Forte – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.8/10 | $19,690
- 2023 Kia Rio – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.8/10 | $16,750
- 2023 Hyundai Elantra – U.S. News Overall Score: 7.9/10 | $20,950
- 2023 Chevrolet Bolt – U.S. News Overall Score: 8.0/10 | $25,600
- 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid – U.S. News Overall Score: 8.3/10 | $24,550
- 2023 Mazda Mazda3 – U.S. News Overall Score: 8.6/10 | $22,550
- 2023 Honda Civic – U.S. News Overall Score: 8.7/10 | $23,750