Toy­ota Corolla Hy­brid re­view

Alpine Observer - - Motor Guide - By ALIS­TAIR KENNEDY

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.

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