Performance & Running Costs
There are two Hybrid options available for the new Corolla hatch, one which is paired with a 1.8l petrol engine and combined power output of 122 hp, or an enticing 2.0l 180 hp warm hatch version that is exclusive to the Luna Sport trim.
Hybrids, particularly ones with a Toyota badge on the front, need no introduction at this stage. The Irish market in particular has very much warmed to the idea, with sales figures continuing to climb rapidly as people look for an alternative to diesel.
The real-world WLTP combined fuel economy figure for our test car (the 1.8l Luna Sport on 17 inch wheels) is 4.9l/100km, which we managed to get respectably close over a weeklong mixed bag of driving. Some of our more efficient journeys showed an average of 5.1l/100km on the trip computer. The smaller wheels on the Aura and Luna models claim to reduce that to 4.5l/100km.
Granted, on long stretches of motorway, this can climb a little higher, and driving at high speeds for prolonged periods is not where a Hybrid is at its most comfortable. However, for the right type of driver, being able to float around town on purely electric mode the majority of the time does tend to balance that out.
It is a wonderfully effortless car to drive. Hybrid systems need to be automatic to work, which is a nice little benefit wrapped up in the pricetag, and the eCVT transmission does a great job of delivering power in a much quieter way than some of its Hybrid predecessors. It can still get a little bit more vocal at higher speeds, but for the most part you’re sitting in a pretty peaceful cabin.
The handling is also surprisingly sharp. Changes to the battery placement and layout mean a lower centre of gravity for the new Corolla hatch which makes for some very planted cornering. One slight downside to this is a tendency to take any lumps and bumps in the road very flatly, with a ride quality that can have a tendency to be on the firm side over poorer road surfaces.
Other than that, the power uptake is delightfully quick and seamless, with no hesitation and great elasticity at higher speeds which makes for confident overtaking. Overall, it’s a thoroughly impressive experience.