There’s more to love in Toyota’s new Corolla Hybrid
Toyota’s Corolla has always been about satisfying the head, not the heart. If you wanted a love affair you looked elsewhere. If you just wanted the job done with minimum hassle and cost – funnily enough, a high priority for a huge chunk of the car-buying population – you set your compass for your Toyota dealership.
But there’s a change in the air at Japan’s biggest carmaker, as evidenced by its fun-driving 86 coupe, fierce-looking C-HR small SUV and surprisingly un-beige new Camry. There’s an all-new version of its top-selling Corolla small car on the streets, too, and like its new siblings, it’s been designed to be something different indeed – a Corolla you can love.
Will I see it coming?
Corollas don’t usually make a scene but this one’s gaping mouth, slitty headlamps and lower, broader, more sculpted form make for one bold-looking small hatch, especially in some of the more eye-searing tints on the paint chart. Extroverts will appreciate the effort, but what will Nanna think?
What technology does it have?
Aside from uniquely offering access to hybrid technology, the last Corolla was a bit passé on this front. The new one is much more up to date, boasting safety tricks such as autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control and speed-limit recognition across the range. As you step up the range, wireless phone charging, head-up display and other toys are available, if not – as with other Toyotas – Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.
What’s under the bonnet?
These hybrid versions of the new Corolla run an upgraded version of their predecessor’s 1.8-litre petrol/electric drivetrain. It’s usefully responsive and impressively hushed in urban driving and comes with an economy rating of just 4.2L/100km. But it’s also no ball of fire and needs to be worked hard on the open road.
Is it nice to drive?
Toyota is making big noises about the new Corolla’s fun-driving qualities, and there’s more than some truth in it – it’s smile-rousingly agile and surefooted through the bends, if not showing quite the ultimate poise of a Ford Focus, VW Golf or other benchmark small-car drives. And there’s no unruly or noisy ride to detract from its commendable dynamic qualities.
Is it practical?
While it ticks design, ambience and comfort boxes, the Corolla falls short on space. The back seat is noticeably tight for a small car and its 217-litre boot pales to Honda’s Civic (414 litres) and the Mazda 3 (364 litres). Topline ZR models up the ante to a more competitive 333 litres but lose the spare tyre.
Can I afford it?
Previously there was just a single Corolla Hybrid, but you can now have hybrid power with any trim level, from this base Ascent Sport Hybrid (from $25,870) right up to the topline ZR Hybrid (from $31,870). Like all Toyotas, they’re covered by a three-year warranty/capped-price servicing deal.
The Smartleasing deal
The Corolla is an almost permanent fixture in our top ten bestseller list, and with the great new design, safety features and affordable hybrid option, it’ll be one to watch.
As a novated lease, the deal gets better: with our buying power discount and instant 10% saving on GST, the Corolla Hybrid Ascent Sport comes in with a starting price of $328* which includes your finance, fuel, registration, full comp insurance, tyres, and maintenance.
Can we do you an even better deal on the new Corolla Ascent Hybrid Sport? Request a quote now.