THE world’s all-time best-selling car is the Toyota Corolla with global sales of more than 44 million, and the latest version seems set to boost this remarkable sales total.
The 2019 Corolla’s full-hybrid status – it can run on electric power only – gives it a head start on ‘mild’ hybrid rivals which do not store power, and new body styling gives the car a more purposeful look and a new chassis delivers a lower centre of gravity which improves ride quality and handling.
Corolla prices start at €23,761 (£21,305) for reasonably kitted models, but you need to move up the range to get more comfort, convenience and safety features.
My test model was an Excel specification which includes sat-nav, online connectivity, rear-view camera, dual-zone air-conditioning and part-leather upholstery. Safety features include pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, auto high-beam, hill-start assist and tyre-pressure warning. This version is €30,503 (£27,350).
With a 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor giving 120 hp, the 0-100 kph time is 10.9 seconds and top speed 180 kph (112 mph). Emissions are very low at 83 g/km and average fuel economy is 21.4 kpl (60.5 mpg).
Underway, the Corolla provides smooth progress with excellent ride quality and the new chassis enhances the handling, with grippy cornering and good steering feedback. The auto transmission makes seamless changes and with its easy and effortless manner, the Corolla displays outstanding driving dynamics.
Facts at a glance
Model: Toyota Corolla Excel Hybrid
Engine: 1.8 litre petrol-electric
Transmission: CVT Automatic
Performance: 0-100 kph 10.9 seconds, top speed 180 kph (112 mph)
Economy: 21.4 kpl (60.5 mpg)
Emissions: 83 g/km
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.
The car has three driving modes – EV is electric power only for use in city traffic or over short distances; Eco allows the car to automatically select the optimum blend of petrol and electric, and Power is for when you need faster more sporty response.
Inside, there is ample occupant space front and rear and the 351-litre boot, though not largest in the class, is perfectly adequate for typical everyday requirements and can be greatly enlarged by dropping the split-fold rear seats.
The revised design gives Corolla a crouched and more potent appearance which helps it stand out in what is often a very conventionally-styled family car sector, and with its hybrid credentials and Toyota’s solid reputation for durability, the Corolla will have no difficulty in significantly boosting that epic 44 million sales total.