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Touring Sports joins Toyota Corolla family. Image by Toyota.

Touring Sports joins Toyota Corolla family
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Newer articles featuring 2019 Toyota Corolla

2019-02-25: First drive: Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid
2019-02-25: First drive: Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

What's all this about?

Toyota is going back to the Corolla nameplate for its C-segment hatchback this time around, which means the death of the underwhelming Auris predecessor. The Japanese brand has shown off both the Corolla hatchback and the stylish Touring Sports estate model at the Paris Motor Show. Corolla, by the way, is the best-selling car in existence, hence the use of its badge from now on.

Good-looking things, these new Corollas, aren't they?

Yes indeed. The pair of them sit on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) GA-C platform and so not only are they better for torsional rigidity, not only do they have advanced multilink rear suspension, but they are also lower and sleeker than their dumpy predecessors. In the best way possible, everything of note has dropped on the Corolla twins - the centre-of-gravity is down 10mm, the bonnet height is down 47mm and the front/rear hip heights are, yes, down by 24- and 26mm, respectively. Not only that, but longer wheelbases and bodies mean the Corollas are even bigger inside than the old Auris, both for passengers and luggage - the Touring Sports has a 598-litre cavern tacked onto the back of it, masquerading as a boot.

What about the interior design?

It takes inspiration from the superb interior of the C-HR crossover, so there are nice textures and design flourishes, while an eight-inch Toyota Touch 2 infotainment screen and a ten-inch head-up display handle the visual theatre side of things. In fact, all of the car - the looks, the interior and one of its two hybrid drivetrains - have been developed in Europe, for European tastes.

It has more than one hybrid drivetrain?

Yes. And it's the 180hp/192Nm 2.0-litre that is of most interest, because Rembert Serrus, the senior manager for Performance Planning, Toyota Motor Europe, said this of its presence in the line-up: "At the start of the project, we studied European customer profiles and their satisfaction with the 1.8 litre hybrid powertrain. Whilst being very happy with the system's fuel consumption, comfort, smoothness and reliability, it became apparent that we would not be able to satisfy the requirements of a significant group of potential customers. People driving turbocharged powertrains above 1.4 litres were clearly asking for faster acceleration and response, and that's why we took the decision to develop the 2.0 litre hybrid for the European market." That, to us, sounds like a response to criticism of Toyota's CVT-equipped hybrids, which lack a little for, er... refinement under full revs. Ergo, the 2.0-litre Corolla hybrid has a six-speed Sequential Shiftmatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles, for which you can read 'HUZZAH! IT'S NOT A CVT!'.

Sounds good. What are the other two choices?

The same units found in the C-HR. So, a 116hp 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine (sweet) and the 1.8-litre hybrid (not so sweet; this DOES have a CVT). Toyota does at least say it has worked hard on improving the behaviour of the 1.8, so we'll wait to see if this rings true when we test-drive it. Also, Toyota's TNGA platform usually leads to pretty good driving dynamics, which bodes well for the Corolla. After all, it can't be as soporific to drive as the Auris was, now can it?

Matt Robinson - 2 Oct 2018

2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.

2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.2019 Toyota Corolla. Image by Toyota.    - Toyota road tests
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