TOY­OTA COROLLA HY­BRID

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

The Hy­brid comes in ZR spec and is well equipped for the money. It’s the only Corolla with dou­ble-wish­bone rear sus­pen­sion for im­proved ride and han­dling. There are Eco drive mode, dual-zone air­con, sat­nav and key­less en­try with push-but­ton start but no leather. War­ranty is three years/100,000km. Three years’ capped ser­vic­ing costs $840 for six ser­vices at 10,000km in­ter­vals.

DE­SIGN/TECH

Chrome body trim and LED head­lights add a pre­mium look. The roomy and space-ef­fi­cient cabin has high-grade steer­ing wheel and de­cent size cen­tre info screen with apps. Three drive modes pro­vide Power, Econ­omy and EV-only driv­ing for short pe­ri­ods. Sat­nav, de­vel­oped here, is among the best.

EN­GINE

Toy­ota’s Hy­brid Syn­ergy Drive — es­sen­tially a 1.8-litre petrol en­gine, elec­tric boost mo­tor and a bat­tery pack un­der the rear seat — is good for 103kW/207Nm com­bined. It has fuel com­sump­tion edge at 4.1L/100km com­bined. Range from the 45L tank is a claimed 1100km. Front-drive is through a con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion, which isn’t as user-friendly as the i30’s dual-clutch set-up.

SAFETY

De­spite its lack of ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance tech­nol­ogy, the Corolla still scores a five-star crash rat­ing. Re­verse cam­era is handy, as are the auto-lev­el­ling head­lights. Spare is a space-saver.

DRIV­ING

The Corolla is slug­gish in Econ but bet­ter to drive in Sports mode — even then, it’s hes­i­tant off the mark. The CVT slurs away, which can be an­noy­ing but seems to have no ad­verse ef­fect on per­for­mance or fuel ef­fi­ciency. The car han­dles with com­pe­tence al­though it’s no sporty drive. The new rear sus­pen­sion en­hances the (lo­cally cal­i­brated) dy­nam­ics and suits nor­mal driv­ing. No tow­ing, though.

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