Corolla Hybrid

Hybrid power at the bottom of the range? You’d better believe it!

Toyota has just served a body blow on the medium hatchback and sedan markets Both the realigned Toyota Corolla Hatch and Sedan ranges now kick of with bargain basement Hybrid models.

Considered an upmarket purchase until yesterday, hybrid model cars have traditionally come at quite a premium. No more since this morning. Now not only has Toyota upped the ante by delivering a more powerful Hybrid model, but in a startling about face, petrol electric options are now the entry models to both ranges

Toyota Corolla

Down price Corolla Hybrid power up

Packing a handy 14 percent increase in engine power for a 13% hike in total system output, the new fifth-gen hybrid engine jumps thirteen kilowatts from 90 to 103 kW. Fuel consumption drops to a measly 3.9 litres at 81 g/km CO2 in the Hybrid Sedan. And an even more scrooge 3.5 l/100km and a squeaky clean 81 g/km in the Hatch.

That thanks to the brand new 5th-generation 1.8-litre Petrol-Electric Hybrid powertrain’s enhanced performance, refinement, and efficiency. Core to the upgrade, the electric motor is also powered by new Lithium-Ion battery with enhanced cooling capacity. Corolla now comes exclusively with Toyota’s step-shift capable CVT transmission.

Both the Corolla Hatch and sedan now also come with the option of a 1kW and 3 Nm richer 126 kW 203 Nm variant of the existing Dynamic Force 2-litre petrol four-pot engine. It’s good for 5.9 l/100 km and 134 g/kmCO2 in the Sedan and 6 litres per hundred and 137 g/km in the Hatch. The old 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine falls away.

Corolla Hybrid

Corolla Hybrid as striking as ever

Still striking as ever and riding on Toyota’s advanced TNGA platform, the new Corollas benefit a few subtle styling tweaks to now differentiate the sedan and hatch variants better. New Bi-LED headlamps get imposing J-shaped DRL elements that double as indicators in a touch of visual flair across the board. There’s the choice of seven exterior paint finishes.

The Sedan grille gets front bumper slats instead of mesh. The Hatch gains a broader air dam with slick fog lamp bezels. For a wider stance. Xs models ride on 16-inch alloys with a full-size spare wheel. Xr variants gain flagship bright chrome work and ride on cool ‘turbine’ 18-inchers with a space saver spare.

There’s new LED interior lighting and a new black and red interior trim option over the plain black. A revised Xs grade digital instrument cluster gets an enlarged 7-inch Multi-Info Display, while Xr variants retain the existing dials.

Toyota Corolla

Corolla tech keeps on improving

New capacitive switchgear CarPlay, Auto and built-in navigation functional 8-inch touchscreen infotainment gains different display modes. It also gets voice recognition in Xr models. There’s a new wireless charger and additional USB ports including a Type-C jack. Toyota Connect vehicle telematics is via the MyToyota app with 15 Gb free in car Wi-Fi.

Every new Corolla also get latest Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. It incorporates semi-autonomous tech and enhanced wider-angle camera sensor resolution to enhance detection range and recognition. It has pre-collision, adaptive cruise, lane trace and auto beam assists in addition to a blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic and safe exit assist.

On the road, you do notice the extra grunt. Both in the butt and on the fuel readout. An extended urban jaunt delivered a 3.9 litre per hundred average in the Hybrid Hatch. The cabin is sharp and smart and we enjoyed the intuitive infotainment, dials and energy flow dioramas on both the dash and centre screen.

Corolla Hybrid

A huge Corola hybrid warranty too

Hybrid Corollas come with an 8-year or 195,000 km warranty, while petrol cars have 3-year 100.000 km plan. All models are covered by Toyota’s 6-services 90,000 km service plan at 15 000 km intervals. Service and warranty extensions can also be purchased from any of Toyota’s 220 dealer.

We have always liked this latest Corolla. Now it seems it’s keeping up with the times enough to keep us impressed. Its smarter, sharper, and still well-priced. Not least of all those Hybrid entry models, which might have you scratching your heads, just as we are ours…

New Toyota Corolla Pricing
Hatch 1.8 Xs Hybrid         R481K
Sedan 1.8 Xs Hybrid         R492K
Sedan 2.0 Xr CVT            R507K
Hatch 2.0 Xr CVT            R508K
Sedan1.8 Xr Hybrid          R511K
Hatch 1.8 Xr Hybrid         R518K
Hatch 2.0 Xr CVT Bi-tone    R518K
Hatch 1.8 Xr Hybrid Bi-tone R528K
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