– Article/Photos by Rod Fuller –
Corolla has been with us for over 50 years I’d say the 12th generation is the best yet. Very stylish and exceptionally well equipped, make this evolution well positioned to maintain the title of ‘world’s most popular small car’.
Straight up, I have to say that, this is the best looking Corolla – ever. It’s very aggressive front end style helps accentuate its lower stance and gives it a strong, demanding road presence that defines a new direction for Toyota. Coupled with the attractive 18” alloys on the ZR model and sculptured DRL’s the Corolla hybrid is one sweet looking hatchback.
I drove both the SX and ZR variants of Corolla Hybrid and they are quite zippy cars to drive, both around town and out on the highway. The 1.8lt four cylinder VVT–i Hybrid engine (72kW/142Nm) engine powers the Corolla very effectively and efficiently. Fuel economy is listed at an impressive 4.2lt/100km with a calculated range over 1,000km. Although the average economy I saw was in the 5-6lt/100km range with a best range of 800km.
The CVT auto has three drive modes (normal, eco and power) and is very smooth providing a comfortable drive experience just as you’d expect in a Corolla. ‘Power’ mode does liven the engine’s performance up a bit. Ride comfort in both cars is very good with steering response and handling slightly better in the ZR which is fitted with wider and lower profile tyres than the SX (205/55R16 on SX compared to 225/40R18 on ZR). A temporary spare is provided on SX, but only a tyre sealant kit on ZR.
Both cars feature an impressive array of standard safety features and driver aids, including:-
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Lane Trace Assist
- Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep assist
- Pre-Collision Safety System with Pedestrian and Cyclist detection
- Radar Cruise Control
- Speed Sign Recognition and School Zone speed warnings
- Automatic High Beam
- Hill Start Assist
- Head Up Display (ZR only)
A reversing camera and display is also provided but Rear Cross Traffic Alert is not available.
Inside, Corolla is surprisingly spacious in the front with good head, leg and shoulder room for both occupants. Rear seat passengers have reasonable space, but have to duck their head to get in. Seating is quite comfortable with cloth seats in the SX and a leather suede combination on the ZR. Fronts seats in the ZR are heated and the driver’s seat has lumbar support (which I was very happy about). Boot space is limited (217 litres on SX and 333 litres on ZR due to no spare tyre), but the 60/40 folding rear seats quickly allow for additional luggage space as required.
SX and ZR both feature dual zone climate control and a 12V and USB in the front as well as ‘wireless’ charging for your phone. An eight inch touchscreen dominates the centre of the dashboard and provides all the infotainment functions. Bluetooth connectivity for your phone, Sat Nav with SUNA live traffic, DAB radio (which has excellent reception) and voice control. SX has a six speaker stereo while ZR has an eight speaker JBL system. Toyota Australia though is yet to embrace Apple Car Play/Android Auto despite it being available in Toyotas in other countries.
Toyota offers a five year unlimited kilometre warranty, with capped price servicing and roadside assistance packages are available.
Corolla Hybrid provides fuss free motoring that all Corolla’s are renowned for. It’s a great small car about town, or a country trip for a couple. And with its stunning, redefined ‘new’ looks it’s sure to please. So if you’re looking for a small car maybe it’s time to Keep Corollin’ along.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|RRP (including GST)||$30,724|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$2,494|
This data is from the 2019 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.