2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition Review - Ridiculousness

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

Fast Facts

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition

1.6-liter turbocharged three (300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm, 295 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm)
Six-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
21 city / 28 highway / 24 combined (EPA Rating)
Base Price
$51,595 US
As Tested
$52,063 US
Prices include $1,695 destination charge in the United States. Morizo Edition no longer available in Canada.
2023 toyota gr corolla morizo edition review ridiculousness

Toyota is a sleeping giant. They’ve been building solid-but-boring cars, trucks, and crossovers for several decades, succeeding due to a legacy of anvil-like reliability. Of late, they’ve outsourced their sporty cars to other automakers or stuck the TRD badge on things like the Camry to which no sane mind would think to look for sportiness.

Disclaimer - I kinda dig the TRD Camry. 

But in the background, somewhere beyond the company that builds pickup trucks, SUVs, and even forklifts, you simply had to know there lingered a cadre of enthusiasts. A merry band of gearheads who would not rest until they had something they could build and enjoy by themselves. While it started with the rally-inspired GR Yaris overseas, we husky Yanks couldn’t be trusted to squeeze ourselves into such a wee hatch. Instead, we see this 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition. From what I can deduce using online translators and my butt dyno, Morizo roughly translates as batshit insane.

Take a gander, first, at the exterior of this car. Count the doors. I see five of them, assuming you include the rear hatch.

Now, take a look at the interior. Only two seats?

Yep. While you can indeed get a more normal GR Corolla with a traditional rear bench seat, this Batshit Insane Edition yanks it and gives you some bracing. Toyota quotes a savings of around 100 pounds for the Morizo Edition over the more typical GR Corolla. The rear windows don’t even open, which might be an oversight considering the number of people I see driving around with their dogs poking their snouts out of the rear glass. Whether it’s safe to fit dogs in the rear of a Morizo Edition without a real seat, I don’t know - I’m allergic to dogs and am, thus, a cat person. Our cats don’t like cars.

While I do what I can to properly test each vehicle that comes my way, I did not attempt to sit in the rear of the GR Corolla Morizo Edition except to climb back there for a photo. So I have no idea if the standard GR Corolla rear seating is comfortable, though I’d like to believe it’s the same as a standard Corolla hatchback. Up front, the well-bolstered seats are quite supportive without being overly aggressive. The Ultrasuede material is much more grippy than leather, keeping one’s butt dyno from shifting too harshly whilst cornering. 

It’s been mentioned before, but the GR badging on this GR Corolla stands for Gazoo Racing, the motorsports arm of Toyota primarily focused on rallying. As such, this hatch enjoys all-wheel drive. A knob on the console aft of the shifter allows to adjust the torque distribution front and rear. Options of 50/50, 60/40, and a rear-biased 30/70 torque splits are available, the last likely best for drifting action. While I’m fresh out of flat-billed ballcaps and closed-course racetracks to properly test the drift action, I can confirm that there is a noticeable difference when the torque ratios vary to the dual limited-slip differentials.

What’s remarkable is despite the all-wheel drive pulling and pushing through the bends, it doesn’t feel ponderous like many AWD hot-hatches. The GR Corolla simply disappears around the driver, begging you to go quicker. It’s a firm ride, certainly, and there is a mild buzziness to the wild turbocharged three-cylinder engine, but all of the numbers get lost as you open the throttle and unwind the wheel.

Incidentally, I’m told that Morizo doesn’t actually translate to “batshit insane.” Rather, Morizo is a nickname for Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota, and himself a driving nut. This goes to show that there are indeed people who enjoy driving scattered throughout the Toyota corporation, rather than just crossover fanatics. 

Chances are good that you won’t be buying a 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition. The package is limited to 200 units, all of which likely have traded hands on the popular auction sites a half dozen times by now after seeing a five-figure Additional Dealer Markup tag next to the Monroney at the dealer. But nearly all of my observations here apply equally to a more standard GR Corolla (which starts around $37k delivered), with the likely benefit of a rear seat for additional passengers to enjoy the ride. This is automotive absurdity at its finest, and you really need to share the joy.

[Images: © 2023 Chris Tonn/TTAC.com]

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2 of 16 comments
  • Lorenzo Another misleading article. If they're giving away Chargers, people can drive that when they need longer range, and leave the EV for grocery runs and zipping around town. But they're not giving away Chargers, thy're giving away chargers. What a letdown. What good are chargers in California or Nashville when the power goes out?
  • Luke42 I'm only buying EVs from here on out (when I have the option), so whoever backs off on their EV plans loses a shot at my business.
  • Dusterdude When there is a strike the union leadership talk about “brothers and sisters “ . They should give up that charade . Bottom line is they are trying to wring out every last penny they can and could care less ( putting it politely) about the future of the industry 5 - 10 years+ down the road
  • Ronin They all will back off, because the consumer demand is not there. Even now the market is being artificially propped up by gov subsidies.
  • Keith Some of us appreciate sharing these finds. Thank you. I always have liked these. It would a fun work car or just to bomb around in. Easy to keep running. Just get an ignition kill switch and you would have no worries leaving it somewhere. Those OEM size wheels and tires are comical. A Juke has bigger wheels!