The Toyota Corolla is only available as a saloon after Toyota made the decision to try and appeal to a younger, more Volkswagen Golf-directed audience by turning the hatchback Corolla into the Auris – which is also proving itself to be popular both as a hatch and as a sports tourer. While the Corolla has never been perceived as the most “exciting” or “fun” car in the world, it still has mass appeal that has people marching to showrooms around the globe.
There are three engines available to the Irish market, two petrol and one diesel. The diesel option is by far the most economical and Toyota quotes a combined fuel economy of 3.8 litres per 100 km with the 1.4 litre D-4D engine. This engine gives maximum power of 90 bhp and according to Toyota it will bring you from 0-100 km/h in 12.5 seconds. The petrol choices are the 1.6 litre Valvematic and the 1.33 litre Dual VVT-i. The 1.6 litre model has an on-paper combined fuel economy of 5.6 litres per 100 km and we’re told that it will bring the driver from 0-100 km/h in 11.1 seconds. The 1.33 litre engine will offer the same in 12.6 seconds.
While the Corolla may not offer buckets of fun what it does offer is a smooth ride. The steering is good while light and it’s easy to manoeuvre this vehicle around cities and towns. The diesel version makes itself heard as the foot is put down for motorway speeds but once it gets there it is smooth. The best approach for a car like this is not to put the foot down and to let speed gradually increase as this will make things a lot smoother.
At cruising speed the Corolla is a refined enough vehicle. However, it would not be as well-padded as the Avensis and even in the updated Auris the road noise seems less audible.
Entry level Corolla models can feel very dull and grey. However, like with other vehicles, the more you spend the better you get. As you climb the trim chart you will find that furnishing becomes more comfortable and padded. The dash is nicely laid out and the infotainment system is easy to use. The Corolla is fitted with Toyota’s Touch 2 touch screen and the system is intuitive. It connects easily to Bluetooth too.
Toyota has buckets of experience when it comes to making the Corolla a safe vehicle. It has been around since 1966 and therefore it should be no surprise to anyone that it received a full five stars in the Euro NCAP. It scored excellently for both adult and child occupancy with respective scores of 94% and 82%. For pedestrian safety it received 67%. The Corolla comes with a mix of seven airbags which include a driver’s knee airbag and full-length side curtain shield airbags.
This is possibly one of the reasons for the huge success of the Corolla around the globe. This is a very versatile car. It can easily fit four adults and a fifth person would not prove too uncomfortable either. Leg and room to the front and rear creates no issues.