The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

All you need without the frills!

Starting price: £25,255

Pros

Economical

Competitively priced

Cons

Poor infotainment screen

Smaller than average rear seat bench

No USB points in the back

Intro

A practical family car without the frills.

The Toyota Corolla Touring is only available as a self charging hybrid which is generally better for city / town driving.  This basically means the smaller battery is charged by either the car’s engine or braking system and there is no requirement for a plug.  Toyota, excuse the pun, have very much been the driving force behind the hybrid technology. The Corolla, including the hatchback and saloon models, is one of the biggest selling cars on the market.

The Corolla is a good-looking car, not as wide as some of its rivals, with an elegant front which looks a little bit like a large cat fish! 

After topping the car up with some fuel we were on our merry way.  The windscreen and mirrors gave perfect visibility and, albeit that the car is not one of the fastest on the road, it had enough ‘umph’ to feel comfortable as we zipped along. The car is a little noisy, but that is probably being a bit picky. The steering was light, and the car was fairly responsive.  The Corolla comes with power adjustable heated mirrors and we were surprised, with so much included, that automatic wipers were an additional cost.

However, the standard model does come with cameras and parking sensors. Reversing into a skinny space, in a car park, was simple.  Good vision and also there is the advantage of this car only being 1790mm wide (a Skoda Octavia estate, for example, is about 20cm wider). 

Interior

Climbing into the Corolla felt a little basic, but only in terms of frills.  Family life can be hard wearing….Kate’s hallway is testament to this with scooter marks, hand prints and the odd chip of paint!  This car looks like it would be ready to take on family life!  The first thing we did notice was that, even at 5ft 5inch, Kate had to pull the seat quite far forward.  This is a positive for leg room in the back, but you need to fish for the seatbelt which was now almost parallel to the back of the driver’s seat.  Just a little annoying in design.

There is a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen which was a little disappointing in terms of the screen which was quite grainy and not sharp at all. The graphics definitely need some work.  You do get all the normal goodies as standard (Apple Play / Android Auto, Toyota navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity).  We both liked the knobs and piano style keys to work the climate control and heated windscreens.

The automatic gear stick is similar design to that of a manual with 3 modes (sport, normal and eco).  All very simple and clear and effectively does what it says on the tin!

Seats & Passenger Space

The seats were okay in comfort and were in fabric. Therefore, you would need to pay for an upgrade to get the more hard wearing and forgiving leather.  The covers did have zips so if there was a drama then they could always be washed. The front seats, on the standard Icon model, each have a heat switch which during the winter months would be heavenly.  To get the right seat position there was a lever rather than a slow twisty dial.  The levers always over exaggerate the movement and the next thing you are either sitting like you’re in a dentist chair or driving like Miss Daisy! 

The middle bench, due to the car width, can only fit 2 car seats or boosters. However, a smaller bottom could just about squeeze in between the car seats and there is a low middle transmission tunnel so no need to sit straddled. The isofix points can be found in both outer seats in the rear.

Cups & Cubby

Coffee cupholders were basic. Designed to fit small bottles or cups which could wobble about. In the armrest there was a small storage space plus a USB point and the glovebox was large enough for all those ‘just in case’ bits and bobs.  The door bins were better sized and large enough to store a big bottle of water.

For the rear passengers there is a pulldown armrest with 2 cupholders.  Strangely there is only one seat pocket which is on the back of the front passenger seat.  In order to get a seat pocket on the back of the driver seat…. you need to upgrade.  This baffled us! Plus the door bins and the door opening are on the smaller side.

Boot Space

With a no frills car there is no boot button / electric tailgate.  However, the boot shape is really good and if required the rear seats can be folded flat (60/40 split). The 1.8 model has 598 litres and the 2.0 model drops slightly to 581 litres.  This is slightly less than other similar vehicles on the market, but we thought it was very practical and big enough for a pram, a dog and some shopping! The plus side of an estate is that the boot height is lower and also on the Corolla, with no lip, it would be easy to slide heavy objects like a Travel system in and out.

Summary

The Corolla would be a good family choice.  It’s economical and competitively priced.  It ticks most of the boxes without all the fancy whistles and bells.  The rear bench, depending on passengers, could be a bit of an issue and there are larger boots out there! 

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

598 (1.8 Litre)

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4650mm (L) x 1790mm (W) x 1435 mm (H)

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

56.4

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

N/A

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-62 mph in 11.1 secs (entry level)