16 August 2016

Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2016 car review

Toyota’s internationally popular hatch is back and greener than ever and it’s not just because of the paint job. The new Corolla Hybrid is based upon the petrol Corolla GLX model, and it offers more while using less. Toyota New Zealand product general manager Spencer Morris says that the Corolla – Toyotas biggest selling car – has now been taken mainstream after its marriage to their hybrid technology, and we think it’s a match made in heaven!

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Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2016
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Fuel gauge stuck on full?                                                        

The new Corolla will appeal to those who are looking for ways to help reduce their carbon footprint, but still prefer to drive a more mainstream car. While I personally wasn’t so keen on the luminous green colour of our test model, I really enjoyed driving the small hybrid and members of the public didn’t even try to flag me down for a lift. I’m pretty sure the fuel gauge didn’t move all weekend, and the transitions between electric and petrol modes didn’t disrupt the style of driving.

Creates its own power

The 1.8L petrol engine provides good acceleration but you really have to stomp on the throttle. I tried the EV mode a couple of times but soon gave up as the Corolla never really stayed in this mode for long and it seemed to be accelerating too much. Fuel efficiency is improved by reclaiming otherwise lost energy through regenerative braking and stop/start technology. It boasts impressive fuel economy figures of 4.1L/100km, as opposed to the 6.1L/100km that’s found on the Corolla GLX and the Levin ZR petrol model.  

Better than your average Corolla

The hybrid comes with larger front brakes to assist regenerative braking, Michelin low rolling resistance tyres for fuel efficiency and revised suspension for improved handling. On the outside, apart from the obvious badges, there are now also bi-LED headlights and LED daytime running lights with auto levelling and cleaners. The interior is uncluttered and fairly straight forward to operate. A power meter replaces the tachometer on the dash display, and a 4.2 inch, colour, multi-information screen has now also been added.

It also boasts the same smart entry and push button start functions as the Levin petrol models.  Standard features on the Corolla hybrid include front fog lights, cruise control, a leather steering wheel with audio info display controls, and all the usual’s like power steering and electric windows and mirrors. 

At a glance
Models Corolla Hybrid
Engine 1.8L petrol/hybrid
Price From $38,490
ANCAP safety rating 5 star
Power 100kW combined
Transmission CVT
Fuel economy 4.1L/100km
Towing capacity N/A
Seating capacity 5
Safety systems
EBD, ABS with brake assist Traction control
7 airbags Hill start assist control 
Stabliity control Brake override system
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