Toyota Corolla variants
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2019-2022 Toyota Corolla hatch & Touring Sports review

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Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £15,999. Borrowing £12,799 with a £3,200 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
Fixed interest rate
Total amount payable
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Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Toyota Corolla buying guide

Today’s Corollas are noticeably more stylish than their more understated predecessors and all are powered by Toyota’s latest fuel-sipping hybrid engines.

Toyota offers a selection of trim and engines across the Corolla range. This guide covers each in more detail, so read on for help picking the best version for you.

What Toyota Corolla trim levels are there?

Entry-level Corollas come in Icon trim. Despite the affordable billing, equipment is fairly generous with alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, and an infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth, a reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Icon Tech trim adds a built-in sat-nav to the infotainment system along with voice recognition and 3D mapping. You also gain front and rear parking sensors and keyless entry.

Design trim adds mainly styling improvements including larger alloy wheels, faux part-leather upholstery, auto-folding door mirrors, auto wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, tinted rear windows and upgraded interior ambient lighting. A panoramic roof is optionally available on this trim level.

Like its rivals, Toyota offers a sporty trim for the Corolla called GR Sport. This gains even larger alloy wheels, a meaner-looking GR Sport body kit, a head-up display and part-leather sports seats.

The range-topping trim for Corolla models is called Excel. This cars include leather sport seats, posh Bi-LED headlights and a power bootlid on Touring Sports estate version. Optional features for Excel models include a panoramic roof and an upgraded JBL sound system.

Corollas are also available in Trek trim, which adds chunkier SUV-inspired styling features. These models have similar equipment levels as Design trim but gain a unique Trek body kit, 20mm taller suspension, and a power bootlid on estate versions.

Toyota Corolla interior and technology

Toyota has worked hard to bring its interior game up to compete with its closest rivals. While it’s still not quite as stylish as the best in class, the Corolla’s cabin is neatly laid out and feels well constructed. Material quality is good and should stand up to the rigours of family life, although we’d suggest getting one of the models with contrast-colour interior details as cars with black seats and black trim can feel a bit gloomy.

Toyota’s infotainment system includes all the features you’d expect, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became standard across the range in recent years. It’s not quite as intuitive or responsive as the best-in-class systems from the likes of Audi, Mercedes or BMW, but neither is it as clunky as those found in competing Honda models.

The Corolla is a generally practical choice with enough room for four adults to sit comfortably – five will be able to squeeze in for shorter journeys but they’ll likely be complaining about bumping elbows once you arrive. Boot space is about average for the class, with the hatchback version able to fit in one large suitcase and a couple of cabin bags at a push. Touring Sports estate versions are a better choice if you need to carry kids’ clobber or dogs more regularly.

What’s the best engine for the Toyota Corolla?

Corollas get a choice of just two hybrid petrol engines. Both come with an automatic gearbox as standard, which matches the car’s relaxed attitude on the road.

(Most popular!) Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid

Entry-level Corolla models are powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine working in concert with an electric motor and battery. Total system power stands at 122hp – enough for a 10.9-second 0-62mph time. This engine option delivers enough performance that the car doesn’t feel sluggish, but it can feel a little strained at motorway overtaking speeds. Drive with a gentle right foot and average efficiency can stretch as high as 78mpg.

Toyota Corolla 2.0 VVT-i Hybrid

The only other engine option for Corolla models is the 2.0-litre petrol hybrid. The larger engine is also joined by a larger electric motor and battery, which lifts total system power to 184hp. This drops the 0-62mph time to 7.9 seconds, making 2.0-litre versions a better choice for drivers who enjoy having a little performance under their foot. Despite the extra oomph, 2.0-litre versions can still average more than 72mpg if you drive carefully.

Your Toyota Corolla questions answered

In the UK, the Corolla is available in three body styles. The two most common body styles are the five-door hatchback and the five-door estate version called the Touring Sports, with the latter being longer giving you a larger boot. There is also a four-door Corolla saloon, but these models are far less common than the hatchback and the estate.

The Corolla hatchback is a little less than 4.4 metres long. That makes it around 100mm longer a Volkswagen Golf and a few millimetres shorter than a Ford Focus. The Touring Sports estate is around 300mm longer than the hatchback, again placing it a fraction longer than the Golf estate and very slightly shorter than the Focus estate.

Space in the Corolla is generally pretty good. The rear seats are large enough for two adults to sit comfortably, with only the very tallest in danger of brushing their heads against the roof. Boot space is average for the class – with more powerful 2.0-litre models losing a few litres to the larger hybrid battery. Corolla buyers needing space for pets or bulkier hobbies are well served by the Touring Sports estate, which has a useful, square load area and a low loading lip.