Toyota’s handsome estate vehicle could well make you the envy of other dads on the school run.
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What’s a ‘Touring Sports’? In this case, it’s not a high-speed gentleman’s car, that’s for sure. It’s just a posh term for an ‘estate’. And not the net worth of an individual kind, either. Simply put, the Corolla Touring Sports is like the Corolla hatchback and saloon, but with a larger load area grafted on. And that’s what makes it a top family wagon.
The new Corolla – in whichever shape you go for, is a handsome, chiselled vehicle. Inside and out, the Japanese motor is every bit a model you’d be happy to take the kids to school in. You might even make some other parents green with envy.
You don’t get that badge snobbery thing with Toyota like you do with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. But this marque seems to make you acceptable on the road – and in the school playground. You get nods of approval, rather than scowls. You’re let out at junctions instead of being ignored. And you never get the finger from other drivers in heated traffic situations. The Corolla Touring Sports makes motoring in Britain almost pleasant again.
“A top estate”
Inside, there’s room for four people – or five, if you really want to sit someone in the middle of the rear bench. My eldest daughter was sandwiched between two child seats on the way to Alton Towers. The trip was just under two hours – and she only started complaining an hour into the drive. The thought of the entertainment at the end of the journey was the only thing to keep her from losing the plot with her siblings. So, think of this as a four-seater car – and only a five-up machine if you have a small human being willing to take the short straw.
Luggage-wise, you’ll get a lot into this estate car. It’s by no means the biggest of its type, but the 2.0-litre hybrid, on test here, boasts 581-litres of load space. Of course, if you fold the rear seats, and kick the kids out, the Corolla turns into the perfect tip-run workhorse.
The Touring Sports is not just a practical set of wheels, though – it can have its moments of madness. The £30,345 flagship ‘Excel’ version lent to me will hit 62mph from a standing start in 8.1 seconds. That’s reasonably swift. And because a petrol and electric mix propel it, the model is frugal, managing between 50-60mpg. CO2 emissions are low at 89g/km – making this a cheap vehicle to tax. It’s perfect company car material, too.
A top estate in many ways, then – apart from one thing – the price. You may have noticed I slipped that £30k figure into the last paragraph. It’s a lot of money. Mind you, this is for the top Excel trim – and the most basic Touring Sports is £22,575. That only has a 1.2-litre unit, though – with 0-62mph taking 10.8 seconds and mpg is around 58. Still, its cargo capacity is larger than the 2.0-litre version at 596-litres. And if you have an aversion to Toyota, then the similar priced Ford Focus estate might work for you – but the load area is a bit smaller. The choice is yours, dads.
Fast Facts (Toyota Corolla Excel 2.0 Hybrid Touring Sports – as tested):
- Max speed: 112mph
- 0-62 mph: 8.1 seconds
- Combined mpg: 50.43 – 60.62
- Engine: 1987cc 4-cylinder petrol/electric hybrid
- Max. power (ps): 180
- CO2: 89g/km
- Price: £30,345