The Corolla is one of the best-selling cars in the world. In the USA the Corolla is regularly one of the most popular car models, in Europe the model name Corolla took a break for a good 13 years and sold it as Auris. This is now an end with the completely new generation of vehicles. From now on the golf opponent is called Corolla again. Now the diesel engine has also been completely removed from the range. In the long-distance test, we look at the most interesting innovations.
With the new model, as a Golf competitor, Toyota is relying on an all-round vehicle with many practical details for everyday use and also appeals to frequent drivers with a revised full hybrid drive. Right from the start there are three body variants on offer, the compact hatchback model, a larger touring model and a more classic-looking notchback variant. The chassis has also been technically upgraded with MacPherson struts and a multi-link rear axle for improved driving comfort.
There is a choice of two hybrid drives
Ironically, at the end of the commercial, the model drives past an electric car waiting at the charging station with a smiling driver, a comparison that in the end seems a little questionable. Ultimately, a full hybrid drive is a car that is based on an internal combustion engine. Toyota will continue to rely on the internal combustion engine as the drive source in the future, while the Golf will probably be substituted in the long term by ID models with an electric motor.
Nevertheless, suitability for long journeys and independence from the charging station are still a decisive incentive for buyers at the moment. The typical full hybrid configuration with a combustion engine and an electric motor for purely electric short distances are used. Two versions are planned for the new generation, a variant with 1,8 liter displacement with 90 kW / 122 PS and the more powerful engine with 2 liter displacement and 132 kW / 180 PS, which we drove extensively in the long-distance test. This configuration is aimed primarily at frequent drivers as an alternative to diesel. According to the WLTP, both variants are economical in terms of fuel consumption on paper. According to the list prices, however, they are priced comparatively higher, but including the standard automatic transmission, which has to be ordered from competitors in the diesel sector at a surcharge. The currently cheapest variant with a 1,2-liter four-cylinder turbo engine as the drive source can be bought for 21.000 euros according to the price list.
In addition to the basic equipment, which is only available for the pure gasoline engine, the equipment lines include a range of four additional equipment items. The entry point is the “Comfort” line with aluminum rims, exhaust covers, leather steering wheel and multimedia system for a surcharge of 2.800 euros. The next higher "Business Edition" extends the comfort with a navigation system and the "Club" line with better seats and larger rims and LED headlights.
The highest level of equipment is the “lounge” version with partial leather seats, sound system, matrix LED light and various assistance systems.
The basic principle of Toyota is the preconfigured variants, the scope for further customization is possible to a limited extent. It is noticeable that extras are often only included in the equipment package. As an example, a blind spot warning device is only available with the DAB radio.
Long distance test - partially autonomous driving
In the first week we did a long-distance test from Kiel to Copenhagen to put the security systems through their paces. Toyota relies on the latest generation of the "Toyota Safety Sense safety systems". The aim is to avoid collisions in different traffic situations. A single lens camera and millimeter wave radar serve as the basis for traffic monitoring.
The position for controlling the adaptive cruise control is optimally integrated directly at hand height on the steering wheel. It is then simply operated using the right thumb. Activation takes place via a pressure point and takes about 2 seconds. Then “Radar ready” appears in the central display. The speed is then also set using two pressure points on the right-hand side of the steering wheel. The distance to the vehicle in front can be set in three stages.
In the latest generation, adaptive driving is also actively possible in slow city traffic or in traffic jams on the motorway at speeds of 0-30 km / h. If the car comes to a standstill, light pressure on the accelerator is enough to reactivate the automated cruise control. In combination with traffic sign recognition, even the maximum permitted speed can be adjusted directly at the touch of a button.
When driving on the motorway, the hybrid drive in combination with the planetary gear is subject to some technical limits. When accelerating, the dynamics and interior noise have also improved compared to the previous version. The electric motor delivers a torque of 202 Nm at 80 kW output, the total output including the combustion engine is 132 kW / 180 PS. This means that the compact hatchback accelerates from 7,9 to 0 km / h in around 100 seconds in sport mode. With the help of the paddles on the steering wheel, you can shift through the "virtual" gears and influence the speed level while driving. In the combination of both engines, the combustion engine switches off in many situations, typical for this are downhill driving, braking maneuvers or approaching the red traffic light.
In everyday use, the taut suspension makes a good impression, the steering gives good feedback about the road surface. The larger track width and the extended wheelbase achieve greater driving comfort compared to its predecessor.
You cannot switch on the electric drive directly, but you can read from the rev counter whether the electric motor is working. You should not be fooled by the consumption figures of 3,8 liters of super given in the brochure. In fact, we were only able to achieve consumption of between 5 and 6 liters at summer outside temperatures with E-mode switched on constantly. In the sporty driving modes, the consumption values are more than 6 liters.
Practical details are provided in the interior. The trunk is easy to load and has a separate storage compartment thanks to a divided floor. Mainly utensils can be stored here that you want to take with you all the time while driving. A light strip illuminates the trunk comprehensively and the split rear backrest can be folded down remotely.
The space in the interior is now more generous and the space in the rear has also been increased thanks to a wider wheelbase. In terms of workmanship, the Corolla is now equipped with higher quality. The materials and the design of the controls are more ergonomic. All information and setting areas are summarized in the information display on the center console. The display resolution and the presentation are designed more for functional use. However, the functions are called with a slight delay.
The front seats can be adjusted several times and offer good lateral support. The central display is clearly laid out and offers an individual representation of the middle display via the buttons on the left steering wheel. You can choose between driving information and transferring content from the info display.
The new Corolla shows its own qualities in the test. In addition to the improved space, it is quieter and more relaxed than the previous version. Consumption is mainly influenced by the selected driving mode. The new driver assistance systems offer a wide range of relief for the driver, especially on long journeys.
Practical test from summer 2019
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