FAMILIAR NAME - FINER TECHNOLOGY (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Toyota's Corolla returns the brand to prominence in the family hatchback segment. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 43
Toyota returns the Corolla name to the family hatchback segment with a more class-competitive hybrid-focused model line-up of hatches, saloons and estates. If you'd previously dismissed the Japanese brand as an also-ran in the Focus class, it might be time to think again.
Backgroundword count: 130
Why would you change the name of the world's best selling automotive model line? The reasons are difficult to understand, yet that's exactly what Toyota did back in 2007, changing the badging from its volume family hatchback model from 'Corolla' to 'Auris'. Now though, the 'Corolla' name in back. Indeed for Toyota, it's like it's never been away. The brand describes this as the '12th generation' model. Away from naming semantics, there's much of interest here, not least the fact that the primary engines offered are petrol/electric hybrids. There are three body styles this time round too, a saloon variant joining the usual five-door hatch and 'Touring Sports' estate. All are built on the 'TNGA' 'Toyota New Global Architecture' platform and constructed at the brand's British factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire.
Engines and Tech Specword count: 219
We're looking forward to the chance to try this latest Corolla. For this car, there's an important advance in the development of Toyota's self-charging hybrid technology, this being 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. Toyota hasn't carried over much from the previous Auris model but an exception to that rule is the installation of that older model's conventional 115bhp 1.2T direct injection turbocharged engine in entry-level Corolla variants. This comes only with a manual gearbox.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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