Toyota Corolla (12th, E210) Review Rundown
The latest Toyota Corolla represents a massive improvement over the outgoing model. Having been Toyota's best family hatchback for a long time, it comes with an appealing blend of refinement around town, a comfortable ride, precise handling, and solid build quality.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.
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The new Skoda Octavia Estate is the most practical car in its class. It has 640 litres of boot space and a top price of £29,515. We pitted it against the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports hybrid. The Corolla is far from pokey, but the Skoda has the edge with the cabin's new-found upmarket air.
The latest Toyota Corolla represents a massive improvement over the outgoing Toyota Auris. British-built hatch offers great refinement, a pliant ride, fantastic build quality and handling that's precise and controlled. There's very little to dislike – its hybrid powertrains offer a good combination of performance and economy, even if its CVT gearbox can feel a little ponderous.
The new Toyota Corolla looks like the right car at the right time – with hybrid powertrains across much of its range and a British manufacturing base. The 1.8 Corolla's performance figures are respectable, but no more than that. Toyota continues to make improvements to the CVT transmission at the heart of its hybrids but there's no overcoming the fact that the engine's behaviour is not directly connected to what you do with your right foot.
Toyota has built a commendable family estate in the new Corolla Touring Sports. It has buckets of style and a high-quality cabin, and is pretty neat to drive. The price list reveals this isn't a cheap option; £30,000 buys a lot in the family car market these days. But the Corolla does things differently from the rest of the pack.
The new Toyota Corolla Saloon is a left-field offering from the Japanese brand, given how few cars of its kind are sold in the UK. But it is a coherent, well-resolved proposition that deserves to do well in its admittedly small class. The saloon sits on the longer of the two Corolla wheelbases, so it should offer the same slightly larger rear cabin as the Touring Sports estate.
The Volkswagen Golf and Peugeot 308 are strong contenders in the hatchback class. Both offer plenty of space and comfort in an efficient package for not much money. Toyota calls the Corolla a ‘self-charging’ hybrid, which simply means it can't be plugged in.
The Corolla GR Sport is an attractive addition to an already appealing Corolla hatchback range. It looks the part and, unlike the Yaris GR Sport, manages to show off the Corolla's key strengths without coming across as compromised. But, you seriously have to value its combination of sporty styling and green eco credentials, as its list price is well into serious hot hatchback territory.
The Toyota Corolla Trek is a mildly beefed-up, off-road-inspired version of Toyota's Ford Focus Estate rival. As standard, the Trek comes fitted with a honeycomb front grille, bespoke 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, kick-activated tailgate opening, LED headlamps, two-tone textile upholstery and a wood finish on part of the dashboard. The Trek is available with a choice of two hybrid powertrains.
The 2020 Corolla Hybrid is a compelling alternative to Toyota's bread-and-butter fuel-sipper. Over my week with the hybrid variant, I saw a combined fuel economy of 53 mpg. The ride is surprisingly smooth, thanks to the chunky Yokohama Avid GT tires (195/65R15)
The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car of all time. The 12th-generation Corolla keeps that tradition alive, but this time around it packs character. Lower trims make do with a 139-horsepower, 1.8-liter I4, but SE and XSE models offer a bit more enthusiasm.
The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid starts at just $24,595. Toyota's Entune system isn't going to win any awards for responsiveness or attractiveness. The interior is basic, but that doesn't mean it's unpleasant. The rear seat folds down and has a 60/40 split, adding significantly to practicality.
New springs lower the body by more than half an inch, and they work in conjunction with new shocks, solid sway bars and a unique tune for the power-steering system. No-cost Dunlop SP Sport Maxx summer tires wrap around my tester's 18-inch alloys, which is halfway to cheating. It's like a miniature Camry TRD, especially in this two-tone black-on-white getup.
Reviewers from Digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid comes in just one trim, the LE, and is only available as a sedan. The hybrid is rated by the EPA at a combined 52 mpg, with city and highway averages in the low fifties. There is an EV mode that lets the car use battery power only at very low speeds and very short distances.
Reviewers from Digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The 2020 Toyota Corolla starts at $20,430, and the most expensive trim with every option tops out at $27,940. A reasonably equipped Corolla in any category can be specified for less than $24,000. Toyota has given every new Corolla the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of features.
- 1. ^ Skoda Octavia Estate vs Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. Autoexpress. 04 July 2020. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 2. ^ Toyota Corolla review. Autoexpress. 09 July 2020. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 3. ^ New Toyota Corolla 2019 review. Autoexpress. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 4. ^ New Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 2019 review. Autoexpress. 03 May 2019. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 5. ^ New Toyota Corolla Saloon 2019 review. Autoexpress. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 6. ^ Toyota Corolla vs Volkswagen Golf vs Peugeot 308. Autoexpress. 24 March 2019. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 7. ^ New Toyota Corolla GR Sport 2020 review. Autoexpress. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 8. ^ New Toyota Corolla Trek 2020 review. Autoexpress. 04 June 2020. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 9. ^ 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid review: Sip with subtlety. Cnet. 20 August 2019. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 10. ^ 2020 Toyota Corolla review: More emotional, still sensible. Cnet. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 11. ^ 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid review: The 21st century people's car. Cnet. 01 February 2021. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 12. ^ 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex first drive review: Great idea, mediocre execution. Cnet. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 13. ^ 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid review: Affordable hybrid for the masses. Digitaltrends. 08 February 2020. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- 14. ^ 2020 Toyota Corolla first drive review. Digitaltrends. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 07 March 2021.
- *. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher's own rating, if available, as a result.
- **. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher's own bullets points, if available, as a result.
- ***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher's own, if available.