Eco hatch has no match

The petrol-elec­tric ver­sion of Toy­ota’s top-seller puts Prius in the shade

Herald Sun - Cars Guide - - THE TICK -

THE world’s favourite hy­brid is cop­ping a kick­ing this year in Aus­tralia. The Toy­ota Prius is be­ing out­sold more than fourto-one — by a sur­pris­ing ri­val that sits right across the show­room.

Aus­tralia’s new hy­brid hero is the Toy­ota Corolla, which has at­tracted more than 800 buy­ers in less than six months.

Hy­brids are still bat­tling for sup­port, with over­all sales show­ing a dou­ble-digit de­cline from 2015, but the Corolla shows a po­ten­tial way for­ward for the petrol-elec­tric con­tenders.

It has the right badge, is rea­son­ably well priced, uses less fuel, ticks the green box and de­liv­ers the rest of the fa­mil­iar Corolla pack­age.

Toy­ota has con­trived to en­gi­neer the Corolla con­ver­sion with­out com­pro­mis­ing boot space for the on-board bat­ter­ies, although it’s 100kg heav­ier than the petrol contender and the price jumps from $19,790 for the base model to $26,990, although you get more gear.

The price is way tastier than other Toy­ota hy­brids. The Prius starts at $35,690, the smaller Prius C costs $23,450 and the Prius V wagon peaks at $45,380.

The hy­brid Corolla has been around for years in Europe wear­ing the Auris moniker.

The hy­brid pack­age is one of those same-same but dif­fer­ent deals, as it gets dif­fer­ent pieces from the Corolla parts bin.

For a start, it’s the only Corolla with in­de­pen­dent rear sus­pen­sion and Euro tun­ing. The in­te­rior trim and al­loys are from the As­cent Sport but the rest of the deal is more like the $29,570 ZR flag­ship in­clud­ing sat­nav, LED head­lamps and push-but­ton start.

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