Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Design 5dr CVT Hybrid Estate

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Including:
  • 3 Years Insurance
  • 3 Years Servicing
  • 3 Years Tax
  • 3 Years Warranty
Advanced payment £945

These prices are based on the Higher Rate Motability Component. Pricing and offers are correct at the date of publication and are subject to confirmation. Pricing may not be accurate as pricing is updated quarterly. Unless otherwise stated, metallic paint at extra cost. Library image for illustration purposes only.

Fuel: Hybrid

Body: Estate
Trans: Automatic

Rain sensor, Traction control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Bluetooth telephone connectivity, Reversing camera, Push button start, Automatic folding mirrors, 6 speakers, Shark fin antenna, Automatic headlights...

It's easy with Motability! You choose the car, we do the rest.

MPG

Combined - 79 mpg EC Extra Urban - 74 mpg EC Urban - 81.

Insurance groups range from 1 to 50 and dictates the cost of the vehicles insurance. The higher the group, the higher the insurance will be for the vehicle.

Insurance Group

BHP rates the engine performance of vehicles and stands for the brake horsepower.

Performance (BHP)

CO2 is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle in grams per kilometre travelled, the lower the CO2 emissions the cleaner the vehicle is for the environment.

CO2 (g/km)

The total number of seats in the vehicle.

Number Of Seats

Road Tax is based upon the CO2 emissions of the vehicle and is split into 13 bands from A to M. The higher the letter the greater the cost of tax paid to drive the vehicle on public roads. In addition to the road tax detailed below, any vehicle that had a manufacturers retail price in excess of £40,000 when first sold, attracts a road tax supplement of an additional £320 per year. This is charged until the vehicle is 6 years old.

Road Tax

Ten Second Review

Toyota wants to enter fresh territory with this Corolla and make hybrids more universally acceptable in the family hatchback segment. If that's going to work, this volume 1.8-litre petrol/electric model needs to be deeply impressive. We thought we'd try the hatch version to find out.

Background

The Corolla lineage is certainly impressive. It's still the world's most successful automotive model nameplate, dating back to 1966, since when 46 million cars have been produced. Away from naming semantics, there's much of interest here, not least the fact that the primary engines offered are petrol/electric hybrids. There are two of them from the brand this time round, a 1.8 and a 2.0-litre unit, both of the 'self-charging' non-plug-in variety. This Corolla also aims to change customer perceptions of Toyota in this sector, which tend to centre around expectations of drab interior quality, forgettable looks and boring drive dynamics. This car, we're promised, is a huge step forward from its Auris predecessor in all these areas. But will all that be enough to at last make this Japanese maker competitive at the sharp end of this class amongst Focuses and Golfs? There are three body styles on offer, a saloon variant joining the five-door hatch we tested and the alternative 'Touring Sports' estate. All are built on the 'TNGA' 'Toyota New Global Architecture' platform and the hatch and estate are constructed at the brand's British factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

Driving Experience

The 1.8-litre hybrid unit we tried works with a 53kW 600V electric motor to generate a combined system output of 122hp. That recipe might sound pretty similar to that of the old Auris hybrid, but the powerplant on offer here is now a much cleverer unit. There's an increased valve angle for a better fuel and air mix, plus it can switch at will between intake and direct injection to prioritise either performance or economy. Toyota says it's worked hard to better mate this package with the belt-driven CVT auto gearbox that all its hybrids have to have, pointing to the way that greater torque from the electric motor should now provide a more linear increase in revs under acceleration. And sure enough, if you've owned one of the brand's petrol/electric models before, you'll notice that this one is more driveable. But the whole point here is to garner conquest sales from customers previously used to a small diesel. These folk will still have to adapt to the way that big throttle inputs cause a flare of revs that the set-up initially struggles to translate into rapid forward movement. And they'll also still need to accept a vast reduction in mid-range pulling power; this engine's very modest 142Nm torque output is about 40% down on what you'd get from a typical 1.5 or 1.6-litre rival small diesel unit, something you'll really notice in give-and-take motoring; overtakes have to be planned much further in advance. Push on and you should find this Toyota far more dynamically able than its segment predecessors this time round. Throw the car into a corner and you'll find that though this Corolla is no Focus, it far from disgraces itself, with a decent level of front end grip and steering that's predictable and accurate, though rather light.

Design and Build

The Corolla nameplate may have been globally successful over half a century but it's never been applied to a really good looking family hatch - until now. As an alternative to this hatch body style, there are two further models, a 'Touring Sports' estate and a Saloon, both of which sit on version of the new GA-C platform lengthened by 60mm. All are sleeker, sharper looking and altogether more appealing than anything Toyota has previously offered in this segment. At the wheel, there are also big improvements. Material quality is impressive, with copious use of piano black and metallic-style surfacing. It's not all about the tinsel either. The cabin's ergonomically sound too, thanks to a reduction in instrument panel height that enhances your forward view and a wider centre console area that gives the cockpit more of a wraparound feel. Plus you also get comfortable seats, good forward visibility and reasonable amounts cabin storage. Further helping with the overall feeling of greater sophistication is the view you get through the much smarter three-spoke leather-stitched wheel - that of a new instrument binnacle that Toyota has chosen to present with a combination of digital and analogue design. Anything it can't tell you will probably be covered off by an 8-inch 'Toyota Touch 2' centre-dash screen that deals with the usual DAB audio, Bluetooth, navigation and online connectivity options. Though it isn't cutting-edge in terms of graphical sophistication, we appreciate the fact that it incorporates a standard rear view camera. There's reasonable rear seat space. And out back, the hatch offers a 381-litre boot.

Market and Model

Corolla hybrid pricing starts from around £24,000 - which gets you the hatch version we tried; Saloon and Touring Sports estate body styles are also available. The 1.8-litre Hybrid engine is the only unit in the range to be available with all trim levels - 'Icon', 'Icon Tech', 'Design' and top 'Excel'). As an alternative to the 122hp 1.8-litre unit, Toyota also offers a 180ho 2.0-litre hybrid unit, but it's only available with pricier trim levels and consequently, is priced from around £27,500. Equipment levels are pretty generous, with all models getting LED headlights, heated front seats and a reversing camera. And base 'Icon' trim also includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lamps, front fog lamps, a shark fin antenna, an alarm and dusk-sensing and manual levelling features for the headlamps. On the inside, there's dual-zone air conditioning and leather trim for the steering wheel and gear knob, plus the front seats feature powered lumbar support. Infotainment's taken care of by an eight-inch 'Toyota Touch 2' multimedia centre-dash display that lets you Bluetooth-in your smartphone and provides access to a six speaker DAB stereo system. There's also a 'Drive Mode Select' driving modes system and an 'eCall emergency assistance set-up, part of an extensive rosta of standard safety kit.

Cost of Ownership

We've got to the point where a 'self-charging' (ie. a 'non-plug-in') hybrid model costs hardly any more to buy than an equivalent small diesel. But have we also got to the point where such an engine can match or beat its diesel counterpart in terms of real-world fuel economy? Let's see. The version of this Corolla that most customers will buy - the 1.8-litre Hybrid on test here - manages between 55.4 and 65.9mpg on combined cycle WLTP tests. That's quite a span, reflecting our experience that official fuel results in a hybrid are much harder to achieve than they are in a diesel. To give you some perspective, for a comparable Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI DSG auto, the combined cycle span is 51.4 to 54.3mpg. And for a Ford Focus 1.5 EcoBlue 120PS auto, it's 49.6 to 54.3mpg. But even if a comparable small diesel family hatch does end up being slightly more economical than an electrified 1.8-litre Corolla, it won't be able to get anywhere near this Toyota's CO2 emissions showing. That's rated at up to 76g/km for a 1.8-litre Hybrid Hatch model on 16-inch wheels. For that Golf model we mentioned, the best official figure is 104g/km, while for the Focus, it's 109g/km. And all that'll add up when it comes to your Benefit-in-Kind tax status.

By Jonathan Crouch

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Key Standard Features*

  • Solid - Pure white
  • Solid paint
  • Fabric - Black
  • 17" alloy wheels
Specification
Body Glass
Rain sensor
Privacy glass
Automatic wipers
Full power windows
Power front windows
Power rear windows
Rear window wiper
Auto up and down function on all power windows
Anti-jam protection on power windows
Brakes
Traction control
Brake assist function
HAC-Hill-start Assist Control
Anti lock braking system + Electronic brake force distribution
Electronic parking brake
Chassis/Suspension
Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
Communication
Bluetooth telephone connectivity
Voice activation
E-call
Driver Aids
Reversing camera
Intelligent park assist
Adaptive cruise control
Rear parking sensor
Front parking sensor
Driver Convenience
Push button start
Electrically assisted power steering
Driving Mirrors
Automatic folding mirrors
Automatic rear view mirror
Auto dimming inside rear view mirror
Entertainment
6 speakers
DAB Digital radio
AM/FM radio
2 ring combimeters with 7" colour TFT screen
USB/AUX connectivity
Toyota touch 2 with go navigation system
8" multimedia and back monitor
Exterior Body Features
Shark fin antenna
Body coloured bumpers
Exterior Lights
Automatic headlights
LED daytime running lights
LED headlights
LED fog lights
LED rear combi lights with LED lightguide
Auto high beam
Heating/Cooling/Ventilation
Dual Zone automatic air conditioning
Pollen filter
Clean air filter
Interior Features
Leather steering wheel and gear knob
Power lumbar support
Fabric upholstery
Tilt/telescopic steering column
Packs
Toyota safety sense 2 - Corolla
Parking pack - Corolla
Safety
Front seatbelt reminder
Front passenger airbag on/off switch
Rear seat belt reminder
Supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags - 7 airbags including driver, front passenger, curtain, side and knee airbags
3x3 point rear seatbelts
Tyre pressure warning system
Seats
Heated seats
Seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters
WIL - Whiplash Injury Lessening seats
ISOFIX seat fixing (2 fixings on rear outer seats)
3 rear headrests
Front head restraints
Security
Alarm/immobiliser
Wheels - Spare
Tyre repair kit
Performance
Performance
0 to 60 mph (secs)
0 to 62 mph (secs)11.1
Engine Power - BHP122
Engine Power - KW90
Engine Power - PS
Engine Power - RPM5200
Engine Torque - LBS.FT105
Engine Torque - MKG14.5
Engine Torque - NM142
Engine Torque - RPM3600
Top Speed112

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