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2022 Toyota Corolla Matches Tesla Model 3's Safety Rating

Toyota makes changes to the Toyota Corolla resulting in the industry’s highest safety rating.


The 2022 Toyota Corolla has earned the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety’s highest possible rating, the TOP SAFETY PICK+. The democratization of vehicle safety continues. This rating is the same one that the Tesla Model 3, costing up to triple what the Corolla does, has earned.

The new rating comes after Toyota made some modifications to the headlights of the Corolla to enable it to earn the “+” designation. The Corolla was already a TOP SAFETY PICK. To earn the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK award, at least one good or acceptable headlight system must be available on one of the model’s trims. For a model to earn the higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+, good or acceptable headlights must be standard across all trims. For 2022, Toyota offers two LED projector-based headlight systems. A curve-adaptive and one which is static. Both earn the required acceptable rating.

Like the Tesla Model 3, the Toyota Corolla has earned the highest rating of “Good” on every crash test conducted by IIHS. In addition, the Corolla earns a score of “Superior” in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian active accident avoidance evaluations. Child seat anchors are also rated by IIHS and the Corolla scored higher than the Tesla Model 3 in that regard.

The Toyota Corolla is offered in both sedan and hatchback body styles. The new TOP SAFETY PICK+ applies to all new Corolla vehicles. The changes that resulted in this higher rating from IIHS are present on vehicles built after November 2021, when Toyota made improvements to the headlight system.

The Toyota Corolla is one of America’s top-selling vehicles. It ranges in price from about $22,000 to just under $30K for the top XSE Apex Edition. The Corolla Hybrid trim earns EPA estimated MPG ratings as high as 53 MPG City. Unusual for any automobile today, Toyota still offers the Corolla with a stick shift on a few trims for those who like to select their own gears. Check out our review this week of the 2022 Toyota Corolla SE M/T for our first-hand impressions.

Top of page images courtesy of IIHS.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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