The Toyota GR Corolla hit the market in extremely limited numbers late last year, leading to a frustrating situation for anyone unwilling to shell out extra for dealer markups or scalper pricing. The automaker released 6,600 GR Corollas for the 2023 model year and did not implement a reservation system or help buyers avoid paying extra at dealers. Things aren’t improving on that front, but the automaker recently announced an increase in production numbers and an extension of the Circuit Model’s availability, which could significantly improve the situation for many buyers.
Toyota initially planned to cap the Circuit Edition to one model year, but its popularity has led the automaker to extend its availability into 2024. It adds a limited-slip differential, an exclusive hood, a spoiler, and a unique interior over the entry-level Core model. An ultra-limited Morizo Edition will be available in exceptionally small numbers later this year.
The GR Corolla’s exclusivity is entirely manufactured, as Toyota executives have said the company plans to build “one too few” to meet demand. That it is expanding production and loosening restrictions on a previously limited model may be a sign that Toyota recognizes how bad the situation feels from buyers’ perspectives. Even so, there has been no news that the company plans to take reservations or help prevent dealer markups for the car.
Your Test Driver called more than two dozen dealers late last year, finding that dealers were charging an average of $15,000 more than MSRP for the GR Corolla. Though we’re now a few months out with presumably more inventory available, the markups have continued and have grown in some cases. A cruise through markups.org shows that several dealers want $20,000 or more over sticker.
While annoying, markups on limited-run cars like the GR Corolla can almost be expected. What’s not expected, however, are markups on everyday cars built in massive numbers. The Toyota RAV4 Prime and RAV4 Hybrid are both regularly listed with thousands in added charges that do nothing to add value.