Toyota Corolla Review 2022

Toyota Corolla 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.

New prices start from £25,455
On average it achieves 96% 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. In balancing affordability and real-world economy with performance, it's one of the best new hybrid cars around. 

Taking the trick engine out of the equation for a moment, the Toyota Corolla is a likeable family hatchback. 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 second opinon? Why not read heycar's Toyota Corolla review

Real MPG average for a Toyota Corolla

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

96%

Real MPG

30–75 mpg

MPGs submitted

195

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.

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Ask Honest John

Switching from EV to hybrid or diesel - what should I buy?
"I have been a Nissan Leaf owner for five years and it's absolutely fantastic for local driving but as soon as I go further afield I can't be sure I will be at a certain place by a certain time, especially now EV chargers are filling up fast with new EV drivers. After lots of thought I've decided to go back to either a second hand hybrid car or fuel car. I have ended up unable to decide because some dealers have advised me that diesels are being phased out and I won't get my money back when I come to sell. Can you recommend an economical car with good mpg because they seem to vary a lot too! Or a good hybrid."
Going from an electric car to a diesel does seem to be a bit of a backwards step and probably wouldn't be a good idea unless you cover a lot of motorway miles (more than 12,000 a year). A hybrid could be a good compromise. Is the latest Toyota Corolla within budget? It's a very reliable hybrid hatchback that'll be cheap to run. Take a look at the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, too. Our Real MPG data should give you an idea of realistic fuel economy: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/real-mpg/
Answered by Andrew Brady
Will I get better mpg in a hybrid than a diesel or petrol?
"Would a hybrid non plug-in give me better fuel efficiency over a round trip of 40 miles than a diesel or petrol car? "
On paper, the advertised fuel economy for diesel will be higher. But on the road, I'd argue a hybrid's Real MPG is better than a standard petrol car and just as good as a diesel. The Toyota Corolla 1.8 petrol hybrid will return a 61mpg on the road, which is on par with many modern diesels: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/toyota/corolla-2019 I'd argue the long term running costs of a petrol hybrid will also be significantly lower than a diesel, as you don't have any costly DPF and EGR problems to worry about.
Answered by Dan Powell
Which hybrid is better - Toyota Corolla or Lexus IS300h?
"I'm comparing the Toyota Corolla 2.0 petrol hybrid with the Lexus IS300h. Which car is better? Is the Corolla's newer hybrid system more advanced than that of the Lexus?"
The Lexus IS300h's hybrid drivetrain is a slightly older generation of the technology. The new Corolla's 2.0-litre hybrid setup should be more efficient thanks to better energy management and a slightly larger battery. Testers also noticed it performs better on part-throttle and feels more natural to drive than the older Toyota/Lexus hybrid systems. It'll also run in electric-only mode for short periods at up to 70mph, whereas the Lexus won't above around 50mph.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
Can you recommend an automatic car up to £13,000?
"I'm looking to buy an automatic car. My criteria in order of importance is: safety, reliability, air con, boot space, and sat-nav and connectivity to phone. The Peugeot 2008/3008 has peaked my interest, but am interested in other SUV/non-SUV options. I'm used to driving a Nissan Almera 2005 SX, but it's on its last legs."
The Peugeot 3008 would get my vote over the 2008. The 3008 has a smart design inside and out and has a more comfortable ride than the 2008. It's also a good dealer roomier, although both models have plenty of space for their size. Peugeot's PureTech petrol engine is excellent, way punchier than you would imagine given is diminutive 1.2-litre capacity and the 3008's eight-speed automatic gearbox changes gear very smoothly, and makes the Peugeot a relaxed cruiser. In terms of safety, the 3008 gets a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, plus you get air conditioning,Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, so it is easy to mirror the display of your phone on the car's big screen. In terms of reliability, you can find out about the issues we've encountered following the link to the review below, however, Peugeot scored second from bottom in our user satisfaction survey for reliability: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/peugeot/3008-2017/good For rock-solid reliability it's worth looking out the Toyota Corolla, which is safe and has all the equipment you need but doesn't have a huge boot. Also take a look at the Honda Civic, it also has all the kit you need, has a big boot and scores well for reliability. Reviews for both, below. https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/corolla-2019/ https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/honda/civic-2017/
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Toyota Corolla cost?