The Toyota Corolla Touring Sport Hybrid is one of the most well-rounded and desirable estate cars on the market

“The Toyota Corolla Touring Sport Hybrid is one of the most well-rounded and desirable estate cars on the market”

  • Sporty styling upgrades give it a premium look and feel

  • Beautifully finished and exceptionally spacious interior

  • Impressive infotainment and safety features

90%

Overall Rating

  • Infotainment graphics could be better

  • Noisy on acceleration

  • No larger powertrain option available as there is in the hatch

Overall Rating

Overview

The new Toyota Corolla range has been a huge hit with Irish buyers since its arrival earlier in the year. Sales have been particularly strong for the saloon and the hatch but the stylish Touring Sport estate might just be the best looking and most practical of them all.

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Space & Practicality

At just shy of 600 litres, it’s right up there with all the major players in this class including the Volkswagen Golf Estate, Skoda Octavia Combi, and Hyundai i30 Tourer which are all in and around the same size, give or take a few inches. This is a feat made all the more impressive by the fact like the rest of the Corolla range, the Touring Sports is now a Hybrid. Despite being one of the very few estates to offer this powertrain, it doesn’t appear to have sacrificed any cargo space to battery storage and is more than 30 per cent larger than that of the Ford Mondeo Hybrid estate.

The loading area is usefully flat, with no load lip to speak of and a handy scuff plate and clever reversible boot floor which makes it suitable for carrying all types of cargo. The back seats can be dropped at the pull of a lever should you need to extend that load area further.

Like the saloon, the Touring Sports has a longer wheelbase than the hatch which means extra leg room for backseat passengers. Both head and knee room are generous and a small transmission tunnel and wide bench means even the middle seat passenger doesn’t get such a raw deal.  The only slight disappointment is a lack of USB charging ports but comfort is otherwise very good with a pull down centre armrest, door pockets and Isofix points that are easy to access.

Equipment and Safety

There are just two trim choices available on the Touring Sports in Ireland in the Luna and Sol. The Luna starts at around €28,500 and gets a generous range of equipment including the Touch 2 Multimedia system, a reversing camera and an excellent suite of safety features such as Adaptive Cruise control, pre-collision warning, and road sign recognition.

It’s also worth noting that an added bonus of being Hybrid only is an automatic transmission built in as standard. With this taken into account, it offers significantly good value for money.

The Sol model takes things up a gear in terms of styling with 17 inch alloy wheels, tinted windows and some more functional features inside the cabin like SatNav, DAB digital radio and heated front seats with lumbar support for the driver, and still manages to come in at a shade under €32,000.

Performance & Running Costs

There’s just one powertrain for the Touring Sports in Ireland and that is the 1.8l petrol electric Hybrid system. It has a total power output of 122hp which feels like more than enough to pull it around, even with the extra weight and length of the bigger boot. It remains a very pleasant and capable system to use although it can still get a bit vocal when you ask for power too quickly. However, this has minimal impact on what is otherwise a very peaceful and refined experience behind the wheel.

Tight steering and a well-judged suspension make for a comfortable and engaging drive, and while there’s very little to get excited about, there’s not a whole lot to complain about either. One thing you certainly won’t be complaining about is the fuel economy which is shockingly close to the claimed figure of 4.5l per 100km. We managed an average of 4.9l/100km over a mix of different conditions and were pleasantly surprised at just how often it seems to be running off battery power in EV mode.

Reliability & Residuals

Reliability is generally a non-issue with Toyota and their well-developed Hybrid systems seem to be standing the test of time with few known issues. The Touring Sports is an attractive, spacious, efficient and well specced machine that in this case proves that while SUVs might be fashionable, an estate sometimes makes a lot more sense.

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