The Toyota Corolla is an iconic nameplate; as a global best-seller since 1966 (it was launched around 8 years before the VW Golf joined the party), its absence in the UK has been well and truly noted over the last decade.
And that is why the reintroduction of the Corolla is such a big deal.
Taking the Auris out of the model line-up and replacing it with the All New Corolla was a bold statement by Toyota.
This British-Built revival vehicle is a potential class leader; it is, quite literally, a reinvention of the Corolla wheel.
The 2019 Corolla Hatchback, Touring Sports estate and Saloon are all based on the TNGA platform - Toyota’s New Global Architecture.
The powertrain has is around 10mm lower, resulting in a drop in the centre of gravity,greatly improving handling and grip.
Independent rear suspension is standard, and MacPherson struts at the front axle have been tweaked to make for more responsive steering.
The All New Corolla is available in two choices of hybrid engine.
There is a 120ps 1.8 petrol hybrid version - which is the one I will be testing - and a 2.0 178bhp variant.
The 1.8 Design model boasts 83g/km CO2 emissions and returns 55.4mpg.
In Icon trim with 16” alloy wheels, it has an even lower CO2 emissions rating of 76g/km and fuel economy is slightly improved with the official combined figure listed as 65.9mpg.
This makes the 2019 Corolla Hybrid an ideal choice for company car drivers seeking to keep their Benefit in Kind Tax bills down and also anyone who has economy down as one of their main priorities.
There is also a 1.2 Petrol Turbo 116bhp 6-Speed Manual Corolla available, but Toyota expect that Hybrid models will make up 9 in every 10 sales.
Will the All New Corolla Hybrid deliver everything that it says ‘on the tin’? Will driving one save me time at the fuel pumps as well as money? If it does, will it be fun to drive? Can any car really be thrilling and practical at the same time?
Will it be stylish enough to turn heads, and will it have the latest technology including good in-car connectivity and excellent safety kit?
Personally, I consider this car as being a pretty stand-alone choice; sure, there are plenty of PHEVs and plug-in electric cars out there but there aren’t that many viable contenders in the ‘self-charging’ mid-size hybrid sector to choose from.
So, I am expecting greatness as only one would when looking to the manufacturer that spawned the phenomenon that is the Toyota Prius.
Over the course of the next 7 days I will be living with the Toyota Corolla Hybrid 1.8 Design hatchback to see how it fares in the following areas:
... not necessarily in that order.
And maybe with a few curve-balls, fun facts, 'serious' research, random dogs and excited kids thrown in.
As day 1 draws to a close, I am pleased to have taken delivery of the lovely - and rather futuristic - looking test car from Farmer and Carlisle Toyota, Leicestershire. I am also pleased to report that my first impressions are good.
I can already tell you that a) it is very spritely to drive, b) it does indeed turn heads (my youngest son asked if we could keep it as soon as he saw it - before he even got inside!) and c) it returned 56.2mpg tootling around our village today after the school run.
So far, so good. Roll on day 2!
Click here to view my Motor Mistress All New Toyota Corolla Hybrid 1.8 Hatchback Design video review 'Vlog' and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn - why not like our pages on Facebook and Instagram, too?
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If you are interested in the new Toyota Corolla, Farmer & Carlisle Leicester & Loughborough have some excellent value contract hire, leasing, finance and outright purchase offers.
We also have a new Corolla available for test drive – find out more and enquire about the new Corolla by clicking here or call us on 0116 285 2851 today!