‘Hybrid-only Toyota Corolla shows the market is shifting towards electrification’

Deputy editor John McIlroy thinks more and more people in the UK are now willing to give electrified vehicles a try

Opinion - Toyota Corolla

It may be a name from the past as far as UK buyers are concerned, but the reborn Toyota Corolla has every chance of looking bang up to date when it lands in British showrooms next spring.

The Corolla is Toyota’s best crack at a proper Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf rival for a generation – and not just because the Japanese manufacturer has at last delivered the sort of decent chassis that family car buyers demand. The fact that it’s built in Britain isn’t the key factor, either.

New Toyota Corolla prototype review

No, the Corolla feels like the right car at the right time because, while there is technically a 1.2-litre pure-petrol version available in some other markets, UK Toyota dealers won’t be stocking it or selling it – officially. The new model’s line-up is exclusively electrified, therefore, and mainly based on a 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain that has a lot in common with that in the Prius and C-HR.

However, the scale of Toyota’s ambition (and opportunity) with the Corolla is really demonstrated by the new 177bhp 2.0-litre hybrid that we’ve tried this week. Prices and specs mean that it may not ultimately prove to be the pick of the range, but the fact that it has been created at all, specifically for European customers who may consider switching from a 150bhp-odd turbo petrol or even a 2.0 diesel, shows Toyota’s engineers are well tuned to the way the new-car market is shifting.

Will this all-hybrid hatch succeed where its predecessors failed? There’s no doubt that Toyota’s hybrid powertrain still requires a different driving technique. But the ever-increasing number of people looking for reviews of electrified vehicles on our website – and our recently launched sister site DrivingElectric.com – suggests more potential customers than ever are willing to give it a try.

Click here for our list of the top 10 hybrid cars currently on sale...

Recommended

Toyota Corolla review
Toyota Corolla - front
Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla review

The new Toyota Corolla is safe and well-built with genuine green credentials
9 Jul 2020
Skoda Octavia Estate vs Toyota Corolla Touring Sports
Estates

Skoda Octavia Estate vs Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Skoda’s new Octavia Estate has moved upmarket. We find out if it’s a better wagon than the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports
4 Jul 2020
New Toyota Corolla Trek 2020 review
Toyota Corolla

New Toyota Corolla Trek 2020 review

Chunky Toyota Corolla Trek joins Touring Sports line-up, but it lacks any real off road ability
4 Jun 2020
New Toyota GR Corolla nameplate trademarked ahead of 2023 release
Toyota GR Corolla - front (watermarked)
Toyota Corolla

New Toyota GR Corolla nameplate trademarked ahead of 2023 release

The new Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch will reach the UK in 2023, sporting the same turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine as the GR Yaris
1 Apr 2020

Most Popular

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020
Best mini jump starter packs 2020
Best jumper starter packs header
Product group tests

Best mini jump starter packs 2020

Don’t get caught out with a dodgy battery as we test eight of the best jump starter packs
18 Nov 2020
New Volkswagen Golf GTE 2020 review
Volkswagen Golf GTE

New Volkswagen Golf GTE 2020 review

Is the new 242bhp plug-in hybrid Volkswagen Golf GTE the pick of the range? We find out...
19 Nov 2020