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Toyota Corolla Hybrid
With an ADR combined cycle fuel figure of 4.1 litres/100km, the new Hybrid is the fuel miser of the Corolla hatch and sedan range. This is between 2.0 and 2.9 litres/100km better than its 12 conventional siblings.
The Hybrid is also the most emissions efficient, with 96g of CO2 leaving its tailpipe per kilometre, compared with between 143 and 162 for the rest of the range. But as environmentally conscientious as the Corolla Hybrid is, it doesn’t sneak into the Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide of Top 20 performers – unlike the dearer (by some $8000) Prius.
And though much depends on how and where you drive, a requirement to use 95 RON premium unleaded eats into the projected cost savings of running the Hybrid over other (91 RON-compatible) Corollas. (In the year to late-October 2016, the difference in the Brisbane price between the fuels averaged nearly 12 cents/litre).
The Corolla’s hybrid drivetrain has been poached from the third-generation Prius that Toyota replaced in 2015. This equates to a 1.8-litre, 73kW/142Nm petrol-driven four-cylinder and 60kW electric motor – more power and torque than the current Prius – mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission). When the electric motor kicks in, combined power/torque is 100kW/207Nm.
The choices include EV, Eco and Power drive modes, the former enabling the car to be driven for up to two kilometres at up to 45km/h with zero tailpipe emissions – depending on the level of battery charge and driving conditions.
At 1365kg, the Hybrid weighs in about 100kg heavier than a conventional Corolla. It’s a little slower under hard acceleration (0-100km/h comes up in 10.9 seconds compared with 10.1).
A departure from other Corollas is the Euro-spec double wishbone independent rear suspension. However, vehicle dynamics and overall feel are like any other Corolla hatch, especially around town; ditto ride quality on the Michelin GreenX tyres. The steering could do with a little more feel at speed.
The Hybrid offers the same (360-litre) boot as a conventional Corolla hatch and the interior is familiar and user-friendly – relatively roomy, comfy and fuss-free. Standard features include satellite navigation, Toyota Link connectivity, dual zone auto airconditioning and bi-LED headlights.
So is this the Corolla to buy? Unless you lean towards green, go the Ascent Sport for $6k less.
Low emissions and fuel economy, comfy and roomy cabin.
Requires 95 RON PULP, spacesaver spare wheel.
||1.8-litre petrol, DOHC 4-cyl + electric.
||95 RON PULP
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.