In-depth reviews

Toyota Corolla review - Interior, design and technology

The Corolla looks the part and is well made, although infotainment falls behind the best.

Toyota has given the Corolla a distinctive, sharp look that takes cues from the larger Toyota Camry saloon and C-HR SUV. Like the latter, the Corolla is based on Toyota’s TNGA platform that is designed with electrification in mind, along with rigidity and lightness. MacPherson strut suspension at the front and a multi-link rear axle mean the Corolla keeps pace with the best-in-class in mechanical terms. 

Inside, the Corolla boasts a similarly modern design that’s clearly laid out and generally very well made, although some materials used fall below the standards set by the Volkswagen Golf. The dashboard is dominated by an eight-inch touchscreen, while a second multi-information display sits in the instrument panel. Standard ambient lighting lends an upmarket feel, while fabric, part-leather and full quilted leather upholstery options are offered. 

There are various alloy wheel designs across the range, from 16- to 18-inches. Other styling choices include black and chrome trim packs. Solid ‘Pure White’ is standard, while a range of metallic and pearlescent paints are available for around £600 to £900. Excel models get the option of a two-tone paint job for £1,120.   

The GR Sport version has been added to the range to rival the Ford Focus ST-Line, along with the Ford Focus Active-rivaling Trek model being introduced to the Corolla Touring Sports estate line-up. The GR Sport includes a different front bumper, a wide mesh patterned grille, black 18-inch alloy wheels with machined-edge tips to the spokes and red-edged centre caps and black surrounds for Toyota badges front and rear.  

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Corolla’s infotainment system is called Toyota Touch 2 with Go, and has an eight-inch screen that matches the VW Golf’s unit for size. It features sat-nav, DAB, Bluetooth, voice activation, along with Android Auto and AppleCarPlay for all trim versions.

Sadly, it’s one of the weakest systems in the class. The graphics look old-fashioned and it misses out on functionality present in its rivals’ set-ups. Similarly, the digital dash is less configurable than you’ll find on a Volkswagen Golf’s optional Active Info Display, and doesn’t look as modern, either. 

The screen and interface are as responsive to the touch as the set-up in a Peugeot 308, which is to say a little behind that in a Golf, while the Corolla’s menu layout could be more logical and intuitive to speed up what should be simple processes.

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