In-depth reviews

Toyota Corolla review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

With hatch, saloon and estate models on offer, the Toyota Corolla offers plenty of practical options

There’s a Corolla model to suit just about every family car buyer. All have five-seats and varying levels of boot space, but the hatchback, saloon and estate models all remain practical cars. Boot space is average for the class, while the cabin boasts good-sized door bins and a large glovebox. 

All round visibility in the hatchback and estate is good; with the large glasshouse and relatively high-set driver’s seat making for a good view out. The view out of the rear of the saloon isn’t quite as good, but still fine for a car of this type.


All Corolla models are the same height (1,435mm), with the saloon just 10mm narrower than the hatch and estate, at 1,780mm. There are obviously variances in length - the hatch is 4,370mm long, the saloon 4,630mm and the Sports Tourer estate is the longest at 4,653mm. Volkswagen Golf models are marginally wider by comparison at 1,799mm; the hatch is marginally shorter than its Corolla counterpart, as is the estate.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

There’s generous head, leg and elbow room up front; the Corolla feels airier than some rivals inside and is a comfortable place to sit as a result. Rear seat space is good across the board too, but taller passengers may struggle slightly with headroom. Those looking for the last word in rear passenger space in this class will be better served by the Skoda Octavia, but the Corolla is more or less on par with the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus in this area. There are Isofix points on the outer rear seats and there’s decent access to the rear seats in all models.     


The hatchback has a 361-litre boot in the 1.8-litre forms, but this shrinks to 313 litres in the 2.0-litre version thanks to a larger battery for its hybrid system encroaching on the boot floor. For comparison, the Volkswagen Golf hatch boasts a 380-litre boot (1,270 litres with the seats folded) and the Ford Focus gets 375 litres with a total of 1,354 seat-down litres. The Skoda Octavia hatch is still one of the best in class with its 590 litres, or 1,580 with the seats folded. 

The Corolla saloon gets closer to the Octavia hatch in terms of space with 470 litres, but the rear seats don’t fold. By contrast, the Audi A3 Saloon has 425 litres, while the BMW 3 Series saloon has 380 litres. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those looking for the most space available in the Corolla range are best served by the estate: its 581 or 598 litres (depending on engine) come in just shy of the Ford Focus Estate’s 608 litres.  The load area itself is nice and square and boasts a low load lip – a practical choice for heavy luggage or pets. The rear seats fold down via a pull-handles in the boot.


Both the 1.8- and 2.0-litre models manage 750kg of braked weight or 450kg unbraked. Towing packs cost from £550 to £650, but aren’t available on the hatchback.

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