Toyota Corolla Saloon Hybrid engines, drive & performance

The Toyota Corolla Saloon Hybrid is a relaxed motorway cruiser, although you’ll get the best economy around town

0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
11.0s 112mph Front 122bhp

The Toyota Corolla Saloon Hybrid comes in 1.8-litre engine form only, and it performs best when you’re not in a hurry: settle into a motorway cruise and it’ll tick along almost silently at around 1,000rpm. You’ll notice a bit more noise from the tyres and wing mirrors as a result, but the Corolla is still very quiet indeed. Until, that is, you need to accelerate sharply. Taking advantage of a gap to overtake on the motorway requires a kick of the accelerator, which forces the CVT gearbox to send the revs spiralling upwards for a short time.

Credit where credit is due, though: you may be surprised how often the engine cuts out altogether as the battery electric motor takes over. Toyota reckons half of urban driving will be done in full electric mode, though we haven’t driven the Corolla enough to verify this claim just yet.

Toyota Corolla Saloon Hybrid engine, 0-62mph and acceleration

The 122bhp Toyota Corolla Saloon Hybrid will accelerate from 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds, which is reasonable enough but far from what you’d consider quick. The top speed is 112mph, and a CVT gearbox sends power to the car’s front wheels. The Corolla is clearly aimed at more relaxed, economy-conscious buyers: the Ford Mondeo Hybrid is quicker, and will do 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds en route to a top speed of 116mph.

Handling

The Toyota Corolla Saloon Hybrid handles quite well, and it doesn’t suffer from a pronounced lean when going round corners. However, this isn’t a car you’ll have any great desire to drive enthusiastically: the CVT gearbox just isn’t designed for fast, punchy b-road stints.