Toyota Corolla Icon Tech 1.8 Hybrid CVT auto
- P11D value: £24,650
- BIK band: 19%
- 5-door hatchback
- 120PS / 142Nm four-cylinder petrol with continuously variable transmission auto
- Performance: 10.9s / 112mph
- CO2 emissions/economy: 76g/km / 55.4 to 65.9mpg
What is it?
A SIGNIFICANT car. Not only because it marks the return of the Corolla name to the UK – the best-selling car ever. But because it’s also built in Britain at Toyota’s Burnaston factory, replacing the Auris.
It is also the first time a range of petrol/electric hybrid engines have been made available: a 1.8-litre built in Deeside, North Wales; and 2.0 built in Japan.
There is also a 1.2-litre turbo petrol if you don’t fancy a hybrid. But no diesels.
And there’s another reason this car is so significant. The 1.8 hybrid model, in particular, is a strong proposition for company car drivers.
Company car tax on the 76g/km hybrid comes in at tax band 19% with benefit in kind payable from £78.06 a month.
You can choose your Corolla in one of three flavours: hatchback; Touring Sports estate; or four-door saloon.
The most popular is expected to be the hatchback, and the key trim for business users is expected to be the Icon Tech with a 1.8-litre hybrid engine. So it’s this one we’re reviewing.
Why would you want to drive a Toyota Corolla Hybrid?
- Boss of Toyota worldwide said that there should be “no more boring Toyotas”. And visually the new Corolla does not disappoint. It combines strong angular design with a muscular stance
- So it’s a smart-looking car
- Inside you’ll also find an interior built to impeccable standards. It’s a classy place to sit and drive
- It’s quiet and refined once up to speed and will deliver you in a relaxed state of comfort at your business destination
- More to the point, with the ‘no more boring Toyotas’ tag, the car goes round corners pleasingly well
- And the suspension set up trades comfort and grip surprisingly well
- There’s plenty of business kit in the spec: 16 inch alloy wheels [√]; reversing camera [√]; seven inch TFT multi-information display plus sat nav [√]; parking sensors [√]; and so on.
- And just look how this hybrid measures up the tax man. Company car tax is from £76.04 a month (rising to £90.41 in 2019/20) thanks to the hybrid’s 76g/km. Compare this to a similarly prices Ford Focus 1.5 litre diesel and the company car tax is from £108.36 a month rising to £120.21 in 2019/20
What might put you off a Toyota Corolla Hybrid
- The association of Toyota = dull.
- The CVT auto – the thrasing that you get as you accelerate is irritating
- Rear exit room is very limited – the roofline is low, and the wheel arch intrusion versus door opening is very limited
Verdict on the Toyota Corolla Hybrid
First, we’re really pleased to see the Corolla name back. The Auris just did dull. And the new Toyota Corolla is anything but that.
The car is exciting to look at and good to drive. It’s all really nicely put together in the cabin department too.
More to the point, with the 1.8 litre hybrid drivetrain you’ll benefit from low CO2 emissions and low company car tax.
We have some reservations – acceleration in a cvt auto is always a strange experience. There seems to be lots of noise before anything really happens. And it makes for a less satisfying drive. But most of the time business drivers will not be accelerating, but driving on the motorway.
And this is a refined and well-built car to travel along a motorway.
Company car drivers should welcome the return of the Corolla; the taxman may be less happy to see it go on sale.
What else should you know about the Toyota Corolla Hybrid
- It features new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) – provides it with superior driving dynamics and enhanced safety levels; 60% stiffer than old model.
- Debut of Toyota’s new dual hybrid strategy. The Hatchback and Touring Sports are the first models to offer a choice of two self-charging hybrid powertrains (no requirement for plug-in topping up of the battery): an improved 1.8-litre with 120bhp and a new 2.0-litre system developing 178bhp. In addition, the Saloon is available with hybrid power for the first time, adopting the 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain.
- Toyota claims its hybrid powertrains are capable of covering up to 50% of a daily commuting drive under electric power alone
- New Corolla features MacPherson strut front suspension and all-new multilink rear suspension
- Drive Mode Select system with Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport modes
- Toyota Safety Sense with upgraded features fitted as standard on all new Corolla models. All hybrid models include Pre-Collision System, intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Trace Assist, Automatic High Beam and Road Sign Assist
- The Pre-Collision System is able to detect vehicles in front at speeds between approximately six and 112mph and alert the driver of a collision risk with audible and visual warnings. At the same time, it primes the brakes to deliver maximum stopping power the moment the driver presses the pedal. If the driver fails to react and an impact becomes inevitable, the system automatically applies the brakes, reducing vehicle speed by up to 31mph, potentially bringing it to a halt.
- The latest upgrades to the system allow it to detect pedestrians during day and night-time driving, and bicycle riders during daylight hours. In these scenarios, automated braking can operate at relative speeds between six and 50mph, and reduce vehicle speed by up to 25mph.
- There are four grades of Corolla available: Icon, Icon Tech, Design and Excel