Herald Sun - Motoring - - IN THE GARAGE - Richard Black­burn

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.

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