Toyota Corolla Hybrid engines, drive & performance

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is much better to drive than its Auris predecessor, and a choice of hybrid engines lets you prioritise economy or performance

0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
7.9-10.9s 112mph Front-wheel drive 120-178bhp

Toyota hybrid buyers have traditionally just had the one engine to choose from, but the Corolla opens things up with a choice of either the familiar 1.8-litre setup seen in the Toyota C-HR and Toyota Prius, or a new 2.0-litre making 178bhp that gives the car a pretty decent turn of speed.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

Those in search of performance would be well advised to consider the new 2.0-litre hybrid engine that's making its first appearance in the Corolla Hybrid, but the cheaper and more efficient 1.8-litre will probably be sufficient for most.

With a total power output of 178bhp, the 2.0-litre is a usefully strong engine that will make short work of towing, overtaking and high-speed motorway driving. It'll get the Corolla from 0-62mph in just 7.9 seconds, while top speed is 112mph. On the downside, it's only available on the higher trim levels in the range (Design and Excel), making it a comparatively expensive proposition.

The 1.8-litre Corolla Hybrid, on the other hand, uses basically the same drivetrain as the Toyota Prius Hybrid and Toyota C-HR Hybrid. Also a four-cylinder engine, it makes 120bhp in total and will be the engine of choice for most Corolla Hybrid buyers. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes a reasonable 10.9 seconds and like the 2.0-litre, top speed is 112mph.

Lower trim levels of the Corolla hatchback are also available with a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, making 114bhp and getting the car from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds. Top speed there is 124mph.

Handling

The Corolla is an undoubted improvement over its predecessor the Auris when it comes to driving enjoyment, with a stiffer body and greater agility. It's still not quite as satisfying a driver's car as a Ford Focus, however. The trade-off is ride quality that may be a touch too harsh for those who just want a smooth and comfortable cruiser, and the smaller 17-inch alloy wheels may be smart choice for UK buyers given the typical quality of our roads.