The Toyota Corolla name has returned to replace the Auris in the brand's line-up, and is available with one petrol and two hybrid options

The latest Toyota Corolla represents a massive improvement over the outgoing Toyota Auris and is a great way for the famous model name to return to the UK market.

The Corolla is a massive return to form for Toyota in the family car segment, holding up well against its nearest rivals in every area that’s important. The British-built hatch offers great refinement, a pliant ride, fantastic build quality and handling that’s precise and controlled if not the last word in entertainment. There’s very little to dislike – its hybrid powertrains offer a good combination of performance and economy, even if its CVT gearbox can feel a little ponderous.

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Toyota Corolla 1.8 Petrol Hybrid Automatic Design

The Toyota Corolla has returned to the range after its hiatus while the Auris stood in its place – and now it’s better than ever. Historically the Corolla has been one of the world’s best-selling cars; the latest model is aimed squarely at the world market – it’s built in the UK and was developed to suit European roads and consumer tastes.

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Toyota’s fondness for petrol-electric ‘self-charging’ hybrid power has continued here; the pick of the range is the 1.8-litre hybrid, joined by a more powerful 2.0-litre version and an entry-level, non-hybrid 1.2-litre petrol. Both hybrids come with a CVT automatic, while the entry-level petrol gets a six-speed manual.

The Toyota Corolla has an impressive chassis, but hybrid powertrain isn’t the most exciting
The Corolla offers better fuel economy and emissions than many rivals thanks to clever hybrid tech
The Corolla looks the part and is well made, but infotainment is sub-par
Boot space is average; head and legroom generally good
Build quality is excellent; Toyota’s reputation for reliability bodes well

The Corolla is available in five-door Hatchback, four-door Saloon or Touring Sports estate versions, with a choice of four basic trim levels – Icon, Icon Tech, Design and Excel, the snappily titled Excel with Panoramic Roof.

It faces stiff competition in a very competitive corner of the market, however. Family-favourite hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia are tough acts to follow, while excellent hybrid offerings like the Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota’s own Prius all offer a great blend of practicality, comfort and economy.  

The latest Corolla is based on the same basic platform as the Prius and C-HR SUV. It’s a platform that focuses not only on electrification, but lightness and rigidity too – a combination that has helped make the Corolla the best-driving Toyota hatchback in years.

Last updated: 
3 Jun, 2019