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By Jonathan Crouch
The Toyota Corolla Touring Sports is the estate version of Toyota's practical family hatchback. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 58
With their Corolla Touring Sports model, Toyota aims to bring us a compact yet very spacious estate that's a cut or two above the class norm. This version boasts a sharp look, a smart interior and a hi-tech hybrid pair of engines. And it's still very practical, with a decent 598-litre boot. It's a car that's been rehabilitated.
Backgroundword count: 161
You might well think of the Toyota Corolla as a rather sensible but broadly uninteresting thing. If so, you're a little behind the curve. These were sentiments reasonably applicable to this car's Auris predecessor but its Corolla replacement has quite a bit more attitude. Here, we're looking at the 'Touring Sports' estate bodystyle. The old Auris Touring Sports tried for a younger, more fashionable audience. People who wanted more from their transport than sense and sensibility. It was a worthy effort, but one slightly hobbled by a rather dull interior and unremarkable driving dynamics. Outside of the expensive top petrol/electric hybrid variant, the engine range was a little behind the curve too. So Toyota has had another go. This improved Corolla Touring Sports model gets a much sharper look, but the important stuff lies inside and beneath the bonnet in a package that still manages to be one of the most practical choices in its class. Let's check it all out.
Driving Experienceword count: 194
This generation Corolla design was the first of the brand's models in Europe to offer customers a choice of two hybrid powertrains - a revised 120bhp 1.8-litre system and a fresh 178bhp 2.0-litre unit that's engineered for more power on demand and more effortless acceleration, without compromising overall fuel and emissions efficiency. As full hybrids, both powertrains have the advantage of offering an all-electric drive capability, with zero emissions and fuel consumption. Both, as you would expect, are also matched to a seamless belt-driven CVT automatic transmission with six speeds. There are wheel-mounted paddleshifters supplied as part of this transmission package, but it's unlikely that typical buyers will make much use of them. For the record though, the 2.0-litre hybrid variant should get from rest to 62mph in around 8 seconds, which is reasonably rapid by class standards. Expect refinement to be excellent; certainly far better than it would be in a rival rumbly diesel. There are no conventional petrol engine options - and of course, no diesels. At the top of the range, an SUV-style 'TREK' variant has been introduced. It doesn't get any mechanical or ride height changes over the standard versions.
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Category: Spacious Family Cars
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