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Estate Car of the Year 2023: Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

The Toyota Corolla Touring Sports is the Auto Express Estate Car of the Year with the BMW 3 Series Touring and Skoda Octavia Estate commended

Over the past few years, the winner of the Estate Car category has been one of the safest bets in our New Car Awards. However, that’s all changed for 2023, because the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports has barged its way to the top. 

It’s a well deserved result that has been achieved through improvements across the entire Corolla line-up that introduced uprated hybrid tech. The Toyota’s new battery has 14 per cent more power than before, yet weighs 14 per cent less, the electric motor is more powerful, and the transaxle is lighter. 

As a result, an already-slick hybrid system has become better than ever. The revised 1.8-litre hybrid slashed 1.8 seconds off its predecessor’s 0-62mph time, while the 2.0-litre now makes 193bhp, yet both achieve WLTP figures of over 64mpg – a number that our real-world testing proved to be entirely plausible in the right conditions. Through all of these changes, the Corolla has maintained its impressive balance of ride and handling, too. 

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One of the other reasons for its win this year is that Toyota’s updates have addressed what was previously one of the Corolla’s weakest areas: its infotainment system. Out goes the old clunky, frustrating set-up; a slicker, prettier system takes its place. This alone is a massive improvement to the overall package.

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Yet in an estate car, practicality matters the most. Boot space measures up to 596 litres with all the seats in place, and the low, square load area makes it easy to carry even the bulkiest items.

Our Choice

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Design (£33,115)

The 1.8 hybrid powertrain is the one to have. After Toyota’s revisions earlier this year, performance is great and the 1.8’s boot is slightly larger than the 2.0-litre car’s, while Design trim has all of the kit you really need at a competitive price.

Commended

BMW 3 Series Touring

If you’re willing to sacrifice a little load space for style and driver appeal, the BMW 3 Series Touring is for you. The car’s premium badge is backed up by a high-quality feel, while the decent 500-litre boot capacity is boosted by the versatility of a split tailgate.

Skoda Octavia Estate

Our formerly dominant winner of this category has to settle for a commended award this year. While the Octavia Estate is still one of the most spacious options around, current pricing and deals mean it’s not quite the best value in the class.

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You’ll find all the information on our New Car Awards 2023 winners and the reasons why we chose them on these pages. Just follow the links below to read more…

New Car Awards 2023: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

Auto Express Issue 1,787

For the full New Car Awards experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special 2023 New Car Awards collectors' edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

You can buy individual issues of Auto Express or subscribe for even bigger discounts on the print magazine cover price. You can currently subscribe or download individual issues of our digital edition direct to your desktop, phone or tablet as well.

Stay right up to date with the latest from the world of cars in 2023 and beyond, subscribe to our email newsletter and follow us on social media...

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