LITTLE TOUCH GOES A LONG WAY
SUMMER’S no time to be turning off the aircon but that’s exactly what we did in our search for a new low fuel consumption number in our long-term test of the Toyota Corolla hybrid.
The results were eyeopening. We reckon the price of a cool cabin in summer is about 1.0L/100km, judging by our new personal best — in peak hour — of 3.5L/00km, a scooter-like return yet with a roof over your head.
We also messed around with the “B” mode in the automatic transmission which makes the engine braking more aggressive so that you feed more charge back into the battery. You can feel the effects immediately and it allows you to coast to the lights and go easy on the brake pedal.
Cabbies we’ve spoken to say the brakes on Camry hybrids last longer because they use this feature. As you get better at judging stopping distances you barely have to touch the brake in bumper to bumper traffic.
It’s not all good news, though. We’re not a fan of the Corolla’s centre touchscreen. In fact, we’re not a fan of touchscreens full-stop. They are too fiddly and distracting to use when you’re on the move because the screen moves up and down as you go over bumps. You also can’t pair a phone unless the car is stopped. We get that drivers shouldn’t be doing it, but what if the kids want to listen to songs from phones?
The Corolla beeps loudly like a truck when reversing. It makes you think you’ve got parking sensors when you haven’t, which could end badly with some drivers.
Overall, we’re impressed with how normal the Corolla hybrid feels – and how long it can go between refills.