Toyota Corolla (2019) Review

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Toyota Corolla (2019) At A Glance

Far better to drive than the Auris. Hybrid models are very efficient. Interior feels upmarket. Plenty of equipment as standard.

Not as practical as rivals. No diesel option.

On average it achieves 95% of the official MPG figure

How do you compete with cars like the ever-popular Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic? Toyota thought it had it sussed with the old Auris. The Auris played on Toyota’s excellent reliability record and offered something different in the form of a hybrid engine - but it was lacklustre to drive and the interior felt generations behind, even when the outgoing model was new in 2013.

In a segment that now includes the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq, more effort is required. Enter the return of the Corolla. Although a conventional petrol engine is available, the majority of buyers will opt for what Toyota controversially describes as a ‘self-charging’ hybrid.

Essentially, buyers can choose between 1.8- or 2.0-litre petrol engines, combined with an electric motor. Most of the time it runs under a combination of the two, aiding efficiency, but for short periods at low speeds, it'll run under electric power alone.

Taking the trick engine out of the equation for a moment, the Toyota Corolla is a likeable family hatch. Its interior is modern (to even compare it to the Auris would be unfair), with a large eight-inch touchscreen display sitting on top of the dash. It’s easy to operate and, if you prefer old-fashioned buttons, don’t fear - there are plenty of those too.

The front seats are very comfortable, with plenty of adjustment. Things aren’t quite so positive in the rear, when head and legroom is quite limited for adults. The space is fine for children, with a reasonable view out of the window - but this is a car that’s primary aimed at buyers who’ll only occasionally wish to use the rear seats.

The boot also falls short compared to rivals - especially in the hybrid models, with the batteries eating into boot space. It’s fine for a weekly shop, but you’d be better with a Honda Civic if space is important.

While enthusiastic drivers should buy a Ford Focus, the Toyota Corolla remains surprisingly composed on twisty roads, without too much in lean. The steering gives you lots of confidence, and around town it's light enough to make darting in and out of traffic a breeze.

Unfortunately, the Toyota Corolla isn’t a cheap option. It’s pricier than the equivalent Volkswagen Golf - which is traditionally seen as one of the more premium cars in the class (although it is showing its age compared to the Corolla). If you’re after a hybrid, the Hyundai Ioniq is cheaper.

Even the cheapest models are very well equipped, however, with the central touchscreen display, a reversing camera and heated front seats standard across the range. Toyota's Safety Sense features - including automatic high beam and lane deperature alert - are also standard on all trim levels.

In a time when more car buyers than ever are considering a hybrid, the Corolla is a car that can be legitimately recommended for reasons other than its eco-credentials. It's loaded with kit, has a comfortable interior and - surprisingly - is good to drive. Combine that with low running costs and Toyota's superb reliability record, and it could make for an excellent purchase.

Looking for a Toyota Corolla (2019 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Toyota Corolla (2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

95%

Real MPG

37–75 mpg

MPGs submitted

61

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

ASK HJ

Can you recommend a plug-in hybrid for us?
My wife and I are both in our 70s and we have two cars (a Renault Scenic and a Citroen C3) but we would like to go down to one. This will probably be our last car and we would like a plug-in hybrid as we both feel that an electric car would be too inflexible. We would like something no bigger (and preferably smaller) than the Scenic but reasonably high in order to make getting in and out of it easy. What would you recommend?
I'd be tempted to avoid the plug-in hybrid and choose a self-charging hybrid. The latter doesn't have any plugs or leads to worry about and you'll get a lot more for your money, as plug-hybrids tend to be quite expensive. My recommendations would be: Toyota Corolla Touring Sports estate 1.8 hybrid: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/corolla-touring-sport-2019/ Or the C-HR crossover: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/c-hr-2016/ Lexus NX: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/lexus/nx-2014/ I'd also recommend looking at nearly new examples of the above cars, we there are lots of low-mileage 2020 and 2019 cars on the used market right now: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/search/?age=1&l=0&miles=1000
Answered by Dan Powell
Should I buy an eco car?
Is it worth getting a hybrid car? I'm 67, retired and live on the coast. Most of our journeys are local but occasionally we drive further afield.
There are lots of very good hybrids on the market. The Toyota Corolla is one of the best on sale right now. It's smooth, comfortable and well-equipped: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/corolla-2019/ I'd also recommend the Lexus NX: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/lexus/nx-2014
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best hybrid to buy?
Which are the best self-charging hybrids on the market?
We think the best hatchback is the Toyota Corolla 1.8 hybrid. It's easy to drive, refined, comfortable and returns around 60mpg on-the-road: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/search/Toyota/Corolla/?engine=1.8&l=0 If you need something larger, the Toyota Prius 1.8 hybrid is also very good: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/search/Toyota/Prius/?l=0
Answered by Dan Powell
Can I manually disable an electronic handbrake?
I have a Toyota Corolla and I'm trying to find out if it's possible to park up without the electronic handbrake engaging. With current lockdown in place, it's parked up in my garage for longer periods than normal and I have read where you advise not to leave the handbrake on to prevent the brakes locking. I have tried leaving the car in gear with handbrake off and then turning off the ignition but handbrake still engages automatically so I am at a loss what to do now.
When we asked Toyota, it told us: "If the customer holds the parking brake switch down whilst turning off the car, the parking brake will stay off.
Answered by Georgia Petrie

What does a Toyota Corolla (2019) cost?

Buy new from £19,810 (list price from £24,140)
Contract hire from £180.66 per month
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