Toyota Corolla Review 2024

Toyota Corolla At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Improvements to the Toyota Corolla in 2023 mean it remains at the top of the family hatchback class. We like the interior while the new infotainment system is much more user-friendly than before. It's good to drive, too, while it should prove to be very reliable and cheap to run.

+Very efficient hybrid hatch with surprisingly upmarket interior. Good to drive, too, while standard equipment levels are generous.

-Not as practical as rivals. Pre-2023 infotainment was pretty poor. A Volkswagen Golf is perhaps a more stylish choice.

On average it achieves 97% of the official MPG figure

The Toyota Corolla is an efficient family-friendly hatch that rivals the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf. Recent updates mean it's feeling fresher than ever, while its low running costs and exceptional reliability record should cement its place on your new car shortlist.

There was a time when a hybrid Toyota was a sensible but uninspiring choice of family car. The old Toyota Auris is a prime example of that - dependable and cheap-to-run, yes, but lacking even the slightest hint of charisma.

But the latest Toyota Corolla is genuinely a very good car. There are no 'ifs' or 'buts' - we think its interior is one of the best in its class, while it's also more enjoyable to drive than the old Auris. It's very comfortable, too, thanks to a relatively soft suspension setup that manages to all but disguise the weight of the hybrid battery pack.

There have been a few engine options offered in the Toyota Corolla since it arrived in 2019. The 1.8-litre hybrid is by far the most popular and the one we'd go for - combining low running costs with more-than-adequate performance. It was given a power boost when the Corolla was updated in 2023, meaning later models feel sprightlier. There's also a range-topping 2.0-litre hybrid which sells in much smaller numbers but feels surprisingly swift for a sensible hatch.

As well as the engine upgrade, 2023 saw the introduction of a new 10.5-inch infotainment system. This was a welcome update - older cars used a pretty drab 8.0-inch display which didn't live up to the otherwise upmarket cabin.

The Toyota Corolla's front seats are very comfortable, with plenty of adjustment, but things aren't quite so positive in the rear. Head and legroom are quite limited for adults - you'd be better looking at the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports estate if you regularly use the rear seats.

All Corolla models come loaded with safety kit which makes it a reassuring choice for transporting your family. Euro NCAP awarded a maximum five stars for safety, while Toyota's Safety Sense features - including automatic high beam and lane departure alert - are standard across the range.

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

Ask Honest John

Should I service and MoT my car before I replace it?

"I will be changing my 19 plate Toyota Corolla for a brand new one in early March 2024. My current car is due for an annual service and MoT on the 10th. Would it be prudent of me to have it serviced and MOT'd before taking delivery of the new one?"
This largely depends on how you are moving on your current car. If you plan to sell privately then a complete history and fresh MoT will help its value, but if you are part-exchanging with the dealer and a price has already been agreed then this may not be necessary.
Answered by David Ross

Which family cars are good for high mileage?

"I'm looking to buy a used car (<3 years old) that I can use for commuting (70miles 3-4 days pw) and can be used for family trips. My Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 2016 is nearly at 100k and starting to cost too much to maintain (new cat needed & upcoming wet belt). I've only had it for 4 years so really want to get something that is more likely to keep running into higher millage without the big costs."
Given your mileage, a diesel car may be a better option for you and modern diesels are all compliant with upcoming and existing emissions legislation. With the ban on petrol and diesel cars now being moved back to 2035, there's less of a concern about their mid-term viability. In which case, if you like the Focus then one with a diesel engine could be the perfect option. If not, then Toyota and Honda models have superb reliability records and could well be perfect for your needs - the Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a bit dull, but very capable and the Honda Civic is both hardy and fun to drive. We'd also look closely at the Skoda Octavia and Kia Ceed, both of which would suit your needs.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

Can I leave my 2023 hybrid Toyota Corolla for a week at the airport?

"I will need to park my 2023 Toyota Corolla 1.8 at an Airport Carpark in October for 7 days. Will there be a problem with the battery (starting) when I return? Are there any precautions I should take before I park my car? I have read somewhere that hybrids don’t like to be left parked up for long periods. "
Although hybrids have both a drive battery and a 12V battery, only the 12V battery is required to hold charge in order to be able to start the car. On a new car such as yours with a healthy 12V battery, you could leave the car parked for several months without any issues.
Answered by David Ross

Do I need to use a Toyota dealer for servicing to keep my warranty?

"Is it best to use main dealer for servicing to keep 10 year warranty, or independent garage using main parts? "
The terms and conditions of your warranty will clarify this, but generally speaking a manufacturer warranty is only honoured if a main dealer is used for servicing.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Toyota Corolla cost?