Toyota Corolla

Design Hybrid

Touring Sports

Toyota Corolla Sports Touring, front
Toyota Corolla Sports Touring, side
Toyota Corolla Sports Touring, rear
Toyota Corolla Sports Touring, interior
Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, 2019, boot
Toyota Corolla Sports Touring, rear

THE government might be pushing motorists looking to buy a new car to go all electric but for many the halfway house option of a hybrid is the more appealing choice.

There's no hassle trying to find somewhere to charge your car, no stress with range anxiety because your battery is running low and you still have the satisfaction of knowing you are being kind to the environment.

One of the newest hybrids to take to the road is Toyota's Corolla which charges itself on the move so no need to plug anything in, it's all done automatically.

And with a beefy 2.0-litre petrol engine under the bonnet - working in conjunction with an electric motor - you have no need to worry about running out of power.

Built at Toyota's British plant near Derby the Corolla Touring Sports - a hatchback and saloon are also available - is a svelte, stylish, highly aerodynamic, low slung estate car that catches the eye.

And when you get behind the wheel you can't help but be impressed by the way it delivers its power, whether in all-electric mode or with the engine cutting in when you need to push on more rapidly.

For long periods it operates in almost complete silence ensuring a superbly refined drive and leaving passengers stress free.

A lot of sound absorbing and insulating materials have gone into the car including a triple-layered dashboard inner silencer and an integral floor silencer with impressive results.

I loved the ride too. Relaxed, a little on the soft side even but perfectly compliant thanks in part to its low centre of gravity.

The Corolla shares its platform with the Toyota Prius and the C-HR so from the outset the company knew it had a basis for good driving dynamics but managed to improve on it for this new model.

The engine is mated to a CVT automatic gearbox and there are paddles behind the steering wheel for when you want to take full control.

There's a switch near the gearshift which allows you to change the driving set up from eco to normal or sport. And if you want to hold on to the gears for longer you can flick the gearshift to the right for more responsive motoring.

And while you will use more fuel by doing this because you'll be running at higher revs it's always tempting to use it to ensure more lively performance.

With a 0-62mph miles per hour time of a whisker over eight seconds the Corolla is no slouch and almost bordering on hot hatch territory.

On the practical front it can accommodate a generous 581 litres of luggage with all the seats in use, there's a wide tailgate opening and a double decker boot floor with compartments beneath.

Standard features include automatic LED headlights, heated front seats, a reversing camera and alloy wheels not to mention a whole raft of safety features.

And the centre-set eight-inch touch screen which allows you to operate most onboard functions has very accurate speed camera alerts on its satellite navigation system.

The new Corolla, the 12th generation of a model first created 50 years ago, is a genuinely rewarding car to drive.

FAST FACTS

Toyota Corolla Design Hybrid Touring Sports

Price: £28,825

Mechanical: 178bhp, 1,987cc, 4cyl hybrid/petrol engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 8.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 50.4

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions: 89g/km

Bik rating: 22%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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