It’s good to have the name Corolla back on the roads, as this Toyota saloon shows…
By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay. Follow on Instagram @tbarnesclay.
Saloon cars have gone out of fashion. Think about it – back in the day it was all about boots, hatchbacks and estates. Then sport utility vehicles (SUVs) came along and stamped all over them.
These SUVs are often anything but sporty, yet their high-riding position and bolder styling are making them mega-popular. There’s also the perception that they’re safer because they’re chunkier. And guess what? Some people are buying them just because everyone else is. But that’s fashion for you, right?
Whatever the case, it’s uplifting to see a new saloon back in the mix – especially one that isn’t a “premium” badged German car. BMWs, Mercs and some VWs have stayed the course for whatever reason.
Anyway, the Corolla saloon is a good-looking car, with space for five-up and a boot that’s surprisingly large. At 471 litres, it’ll swallow a load of shopping bags as well as a child’s buggy. And if you’re away from the kids, you’ll be able to slide a set of golf clubs in there.
The Toyota has just enough space for three kids across the rear bench. It’s not the biggest car, but the ride is comfortable with minimal body roll when cornering. The electric CVT automatic box makes an irritating whirring sound, but other than that, the vehicle suppresses road and wind noise well.
Next booted family car
Frankly, it’s just good to see the name Corolla come back. After all, the name vanished in 2006 and was superseded by the Auris. But the model was ushered back into British dealers earlier this year. It’s probably because the moniker represents reliability – and now the term “environmentally-friendly” will undoubtedly be added to the public consciousness. This is because the car is being made with electrified powertrains, including the 1.8-litre unit, driven for this review.
The maximum power in this version is 120ps – enough to get the hybrid saloon from 0-62mph in 11 seconds. Okay, it’s not that quick, but efficiency is what the Corolla is about these days. My test car could get up to 62mpg, and its CO2 figure is low at 83g/km.
The re-embodied Corolla comes not just in saloon form, but also in hatchback and estate guises. All hold the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Sure, the saloon may not be quite as practical as its siblings, but it’s the best-looking, in my opinion. So, it’s a no-brainer if you’re after your next booted family car. Oh, and it’s not an SUV – yay! You might start a new trend. That would be refreshing, wouldn’t it?
Fast Facts – Toyota Corolla Design 1.8 hybrid saloon as tested:
- Max speed: 112mph
- 0-62 mph: 11 seconds
- Combined MPG: 53.83 – 62.77
- Engine layout: 1798cc 4-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid
- Max. power (PS): 120
- CO2: 83g/km
- Price: £25,830