Toyota Corolla (2019) Review

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.

Toyota Corolla (2019) At A Glance

5/5

+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 94% 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)

RealMPG

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

94%

Real MPG

32–74 mpg

MPGs submitted

99

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.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

What's the best petrol hatchback?
"I will be changing from an estate to a hatchback as the space is not used. Top choice at the moment is a Golf. My preferences are petrol (annual mileage 10k), automatic and a bit of grunt so around 150ps. What else should I consider with a budget of £15k - £20k? Thanks."
A Volkswagen Golf is a good choice. Take a look at the Mazda 3, too – it's a very stylish hatchback and the Skyactiv-X petrol engine should have enough grunt (avoid the Skyactiv-G). You could also consider a hybrid Toyota Corolla. It'll be very reliable and sounds like it'd suit your mileage well.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the most reliable, economic family car?
"What do you consider to be the most reliable and economic automatic family car?"
The Toyota Corolla is a good choice. Toyota always performs very well in reliability surveys and we've had very few issues reported with the Corolla. It's a hybrid, so it'll be cheap to run too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which hybrid SUV would you recommend purchasing new or nearly new?
"I'm an engineer and if I were designing an electric vehicle, it would have an electric variable speed motor in each hub, some onboard electrical charge storage, an intelligent hub to manage and deliver power, and also control traction, along with a lightweight petrol engine to deliver additional charge when required. Is that what the motor industry is delivering? Also, which hybrid SUV would you recommend purchasing new or nearly new? Many thanks."
Motor-on-each-wheel technology is expensive but ultimately where the industry will go because of the limitless handling possibilities. That said, expect a motor on each axle to remain for a long time to come, I've heard the industry has barely scratched the surface of what it can do with torque vectoring etc. The BMW X5 PHEV has excellent real-world electric only range – although the battery's have been recalled due to fires... Not so good. For reliability, you can't go wrong with the Toyota Prius PHEV or, indeed, any Toyota HEV – the current Corolla and Yaris are both excellent.
Answered by Russell Campbell
What are the best small and medium-sized hybrid cars?
"What are the best small and medium-sized hybrid cars?"
We'd recommend the new Toyota Yaris or Honda Jazz. If you'd prefer something a little bigger, consider a Toyota Corolla or Hyundai Ioniq.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Toyota Corolla (2019) cost?

Buy new from £19,492 (list price from £24,435)