Toyota Corolla review
The new Toyota Corolla is safe and well-built with genuine green credentials, but lacks latest infotainment technology
The latest Toyota Corolla represents a massive improvement over the outgoing Toyota Auris and is a great way for the famous model name to return to the UK market.
The Corolla is a return to form for Toyota in the family car segment, holding up well against its nearest rivals in every area that’s important. The British-built hatch offers great refinement, a pliant ride, fantastic build quality and handling that’s precise and controlled if not the last word in entertainment. There’s very little to dislike – its hybrid powertrains offer a good combination of performance and economy, even if its CVT gearbox can feel a little ponderous.
The Toyota Corolla has returned to the range after its hiatus while the Auris stood in its place – and now it’s better than ever. Historically, the Corolla has been one of the world’s best-selling cars and the latest model is aimed squarely at the world market but it’s built in the UK and was developed to suit European roads and consumer tastes.
Toyota’s fondness for petrol-electric ‘self-charging’ hybrid power has continued here; the 1.2-litre petrol is no longer available, leaving the 1.8-litre hybrid, joined by a more powerful 2.0-litre version - both coming with a CVT automatic gearbox.
The Corolla is available in five-door Hatchback, four-door Saloon or Touring Sports estate versions. The hatch has a choice of six trim levels – Icon, Icon Tech, Design, the new GR Sport, Excel and the snappily titled Excel with Panoramic Roof. The saloon is available with Icon, Icon Tech and Design trim, while the estate comes in Icon, Icon Tech, Design, Trek, GR Sport and Excel versions.
The Corolla faces stiff competition in a very competitive corner of the market. Family-favourite hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia are tough acts to follow, while excellent hybrid offerings like the Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota’s own Prius all offer a great blend of practicality, comfort and economy.
The latest Corolla is based on the same basic platform as the Prius and C-HR SUV. It’s a platform that focuses not only on electrification, but also lightness and rigidity – a combination that has helped make the Corolla the best-driving Toyota hatchback in years.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe new Toyota Corolla is safe and well-built with genuine green credentials, but lacks latest infotainment technology
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Toyota Corolla has an impressive chassis, but hybrid powertrain isn’t the most exciting
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Corolla offers better fuel economy and emissions than many rivals thanks to clever hybrid tech
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Corolla looks the part and is well made, although infotainment falls behind the best
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceBoot space is average; head and legroom generally good
- 6Reliability and SafetyCorolla build quality is excellent, along with a five-star safety rating