The Serbian legend, who has won the last two Grand Slams, took the first set 6-3 as he outclassed 21-year-old Coric.
Djokovic broke to go ahead when the Croatian went long at the end of a rollercoaster sixth game and that was all the second seed needed to close out the opener.
This was a fourth Shanghai crown for Djokovic and he is homing in on a return to number one, having fallen as low as 22nd in May as he struggled following elbow surgery in February.
The 14-times Grand Slam champion extended his winning streak to 18 matches as he continues to chase Rafa Nadal's world number one crown, with the Spaniard skipping the Asian swing to recover from a knee injury. Borna Coric of Croatia in action against Roger Federer of Switzerland.
Three-time Shanghai Open victor Djokovic stormed past German Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1 in Saturday's earlier semi and claimed the world number two ranking from Federer.
Djokovic is on a hot run of form that has seen him claim the Wimbledon, Cincinnati Masters and US Open titles.
"Obviously the last three, four months have been terrific for me", Djokovic added.
It is almost two years since Djokovic topped the rankings and he has made it his mission to topple the injured Nadal before the year is out.
Coric had the extensive thigh strapping changed for the second set, but he was immediately broken when he somehow sent a routine volley out.
And Shanghai was his 32nd career Masters final.
"I didn't enjoy it as much, to be honest", Coric said. "I think it was a really good week for me".
But he had fulsome praise for Djokovic, saying: "He's probably the best player in the world right now". I think it was a really good week for me, from basically me thinking on Monday morning I'm going to fly out on Monday evening after my first match [against Stan Wawrinka] to playing my first Masters 1000 final. An increasingly exasperated Zverev issued more punishment to his racquet at 3-1 down, earning a code violation and tossing the battered piece into the crowd.