Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year 2019: Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is the 2019 Auto Express Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year, with the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in and Toyota Prius commended
Toyota has been a pioneer when it comes to hybrid technology. While many more manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon now in a bid to offer more efficient models, Toyota has continued development of the tech diligently to the point where the brand offers some of the best petrol-electric cars on sale today – and the new Corolla is one of them.
After a hiatus, the Corolla is back in the UK, replacing the firm’s Auris model, and to great effect. There’s an all-new TNGA platform that underpins this car, with hatchback, Touring Sports estate and even a saloon model on offer. The hybrid choice comes down to a 1.8 or a 2.0-litre petrol engine linked to a battery and electric motor set-up that delivers relaxed performance, superb around-town refinement and low running costs.
The new platform, with sophisticated double wishbone rear suspension, is the root of the car’s talent. It handles well, rides with composure and is nicely refined, thanks to a powertrain that’s less harsh than in previous hybrids.
The CVT automatic gearbox keeps a lid on revs, helped by a big enough boost from the electric motor. The Corolla isn’t rapid, but it’s far from slow and makes the kind of easy-going progress you want from a hybrid, while returning decent economy.
You don’t have to make allowances for style by choosing a hybrid now, either. It’s fair to say that the Toyota Prius, split opinion with its adventurous styling, but the ‘safer’ Corolla is much less divisive.
Even though we’d still like an improved infotainment system, the Toyota does offer plenty of practicality, with room for five and a decent 361-litre boot (compromised slightly by the location of the car’s battery), but the way all of these features interact – especially the two power sources – makes the Corolla a great hybrid and a genuine proposition if you want a family car with some form of electrification, but aren’t convinced that a pure-electric car is the way forward.
Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVT-I Icon Tech (£24,805)
Because the Corolla gets no smartphone connectivity, we’d opt for Icon Tech trim, which features built-in sat-nav. All models get LED headlights, AEB, a reversing camera, heated seats and dual-zone air-con, so it’s well equipped. The 1.8 hybrid offers more than enough performance and plenty of economy, and the hatchback is practical enough.
Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid
We achieved 71mpg when we tested the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid back in 2017. With plug-in capability giving an all-electric range of nearly 40 miles, there’s massive efficiency potential. The solid infotainment set-up is about to be improved, too.
The Toyota Prius is a great hybrid, with similar underpinnings and tech to the Corolla. An updated version is imminent, with a four-wheel-drive option, but we’d stick to the regular front-wheel-drive hybrid for the best balance of economy and cost.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2019
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2019 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the YearThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2019 is the all-electric Tesla Model 3
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2019 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2019 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2019 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Skoda Scala is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2019 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 3 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Mercedes C-Class commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2019 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended
- 11Small SUV of the YearThe Citroen C3 Aircross is the 2019 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the Dacia Duster and Volkswagen T-Cross commended
- 12Mid-size SUV of the YearThe Skoda Karoq is the 2019 Auto Express Mid-size SUV of the Year with the Peugeot 3008 and Toyota RAV4 commended
- 13Large SUV of the YearThe SEAT Tarraco is the 2019 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq commended
- 14Small Premium SUV of the YearThe Range Rover Evoque is the 2019 Auto Express Small Premium SUV of the Year, with the Audi Q3 and Lexus UX commended
- 15Mid-size Premium SUV of the YearThe BMW X3 is the 2019 Auto Express Premium Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Porsche Macan and Volvo XC60 commended
- 16Large Premium SUV of the YearThe Land Rover Discovery is the 2019 Auto Express Premium SUV of the Year, with the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne commended
- 17MPV of the YearThe Citroen Berlingo XL is the 2018 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer and Renault Grand Scenic commended
- 18Roadster of the YearThe Mazda MX-5 is the 2019 Auto Express Roadster of the Year, with the Audi TT and Porsche 718 Boxster commended
- 19Coupe of the YearThe Alpine A110 is the 2019 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the Porsche 718 Cayman and Toyota Supra commended
- 20Hot Hatch of the YearThe Honda Civic Type R is the 2019 Auto Express Hot Hatch of the Year, with the Cupra Ateca and Ford Fiesta ST commended
- 21Performance Car of the YearThe Porsche 911 is the 2019 Auto Express Performance Car of the Year, with the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera and McLaren 600LT commended
- 22Luxury Car of the YearThe Mercedes S-Class is the 2019 Auto Express Luxury Car of the Year, with the Bentley Continental GT and Range Rover commended
- 23Affordable Electric Car of the YearThe Kia e-Niro is the 2019 Auto Express Affordable Electric Car of the Year, with the Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf commended
- 24Premium Electric Car of the YearThe Tesla Model 3 is the 2019 Auto Express Premium Electric Car of the Year, with the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace commended
- 25Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year - currently readingThe Toyota Corolla is the 2019 Auto Express Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year, with the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in and Toyota Prius commended
- 26Premium Hybrid Car of the YearThe Mercedes E 300 de is the 2019 Premium Hybrid Car of the Year, with the Range Rover P400e and Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine commended
- 27Pick-up of the YearThe Ford Ranger is the 2019 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara commended
- 28Van of the YearThe Vauxhall Combo Cargo is the 2019 Auto Express Van of the Year, with the Citroen Berlingo Van and Peugeot Partner commended
- 29Technology AwardLand Rover wins the Auto Express 2019 Technology Award for its ClearSight Ground View system
- 30Driver Power AwardLexus has scooped the 2019 Driver Power Award after taking the customer satisfaction survey by storm once again
- 31Design AwardWe asked you what your favourite car design is for 2019, and the Alfa Romeo Tonale has taken the crown