Toyota Corolla Hybrid review
IF ever there was a car that needed no introduction then it’s the Toyota Corolla. In production continuously since 1966, and with sales in excess of 44 million, it is the biggest selling car of all time.
In mid-2016 Toyota added a petrol / electric hybrid variant to the Aust ralian Corolla range for the first time.
The Japanese giant was one of the pioneers of volume production vehicles using this fuel-saving technology with its Prius hatchback which arrived here in 2001.
The original Corolla Hybrid only came in the base grade format but now, as part of the MY2018 upgrade, it is available in the same three variants as the rest of the range: Ascent Sport, SX and ZR. STYLING Apart from a ‘hybrid’ badge at the rear there is no visual difference between Corolla Hybrid and the rest of the range. Which makes sense because to our eyes this is the best- looking Corolla yet.
It’s longer, lower and wider than before with a more coupe-like silhouette which combine to give a much bolder st ronger road presence.
All models get LED headlights with automatic high beam, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights.
Ascent Sport and SX have 16-inch alloy wheels with ZR jumping up to 18-inch. All have a temporary spare wheel.
The interior is neat and tidy with everything in the right place. Seats are wide, comfortable and supportive. Headroom is fine in the front seats but marginal for taller rear seat passengers. There’s no sunroof option which would otherwise reduce space. ENGINE / TRANSMISSION Corolla Hybrid comes with the same powertrain as the current Prius. Called the Hybrid Synergy Drive it uses a 1.8-litre four- cylinder Atkinson Cycle petrol engine supported by a nickelmetal hydride battery to put out a maximum 90 kW of power and 207 Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is listed at 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres.
The batteries for the electric motor can be charged by the petrol engine when it no longer needs full power to drive the vehicle and also by the braking system that takes the energy from the car as it slows down or goes downhill. This is probably the biggest attribute of a hybrid vehicle in the real world.
The Toyota CVT has seven preset overrides via the gear shift lever with the SX and ZR also getting steering wheel shift paddles. There are three driving modes: ECO, Normal and Sport.
on front pageTRENDSETTER STILL: New Corolla Hybrid looks great and is excellent value for money.