Toyota has combined the popularity of its Corolla hatch with the company’s dominant hybrid technology to launch a new model that promises impressive fuel economy, strong value and keen pricing.
The new Corolla hybrid claims to offer the best fuel economy in its class with official consumption of just 4.1 litres/100km in the combined cycle, providing a theoretical driving range of almost 1,100km.
The new Corolla hybrid is equipped with driver-focused features not offered on any other Corolla in Australia, starting with the handling, stability and comfort advantages of double-wishbone rear suspension.
It is the only Corolla fitted with electronically controlled brakes, larger 296mm x 28mm ventilated front discs, three selectable drive modes (power, economy and electric) and a hybrid display in the instrument cluster.
Available in a single highly specified grade, Corolla hybrid picks up premium features from the range-topping ZR – dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, auto-levelling bi-LED headlamps, LED daytime running lamps and keyless smart entry and ignition.
Satellite navigation, SUNA live traffic updates, Toyota Link connected mobility and a colour 4.2-inch thin-film transistor multi-information display – all standard features on Corolla SX and ZR – are included in the hybrid offering.
Reflecting its comprehensive equipment list, the Corolla hybrid with standard automatic (CVT) transmission is keenly priced from $26,990 plus on-roads – placing it between the petrol-only SX and ZR hatches.
It is the fifth hybrid car in Toyota’s local line-up, joining Camry, Prius, Prius c and Prius v and arrives just four months shy of the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first Corolla in Japan in October 1966.
Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the new Corolla is the third hybrid model introduced in a little over a year, along with the latest Camry and the fourth-generation Prius.
“Corolla hybrid offers Australian motorists all the advantages of the world’s all-time best-selling car and the world’s best-selling hybrid technology,” Mr Cramb said.
“The hybrid version of the popular Corolla represents great value for money with its impressive equipment levels, exceptionally low running costs and the proven performance and fuel-efficiency of Toyota’s full hybrid technology,” he said.
“With unique features such as its independent rear suspension, Corolla hybrid will also deliver the driving enjoyment, remarkable quietness and smooth operation that will make it an ideal choice for everyday motoring.”
The Corolla’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system delivers combined output of 100kW from its Euro 5 certified Atkinson Cycle 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and 60kW electric motor.
Efficiency features for the petrol engine include cooled exhaust-gas recirculation, an electric water pump and a compression ratio of 13.0:1 (compared with 10.0:1 on petrol-only Corolla).
Official fuel consumption of 4.1 litres/100km compares with 6.1 litres/100km for automatic Corolla petrol hatches. This expands the theoretical maximum driving range by almost 280km to 1,097km, even with the fuel tank slimmed from 50 to 45 litres.
Around town, the official fuel economy at 3.9 litres/100km is more than twice as good as that achieved by the automatic petrol-only variants at 8.0 litres/100km, boosting the driving potential on a single tank to more than 1,150km.
Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology is capable of operating in petrol and electric modes alone, or a combination of both, depending on driving conditions.
The newest addition to the Corolla range retains the standard hatch’s 360 litres of luggage space with the hybrid battery placed under the rear seat.
Other standard features include seven airbags, reversing camera, stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, black fabric upholstery and any of the eight exterior paint colours available across the Corolla range.
Corolla hybrid’s arrival follows news that Toyota has sold more than nine million hybrid vehicles globally. Prius leads the world with cumulative sales of more than 3.7 million cars while Camry is Australia’s best-selling hybrid vehicle.
Read ForceGT’s Toyota Corolla Review here.