Toyota Corolla Saloon engines, drive & performance

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

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance rating

3.5 out of 5

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
11.0s112mphFront122bhp

The Toyota Corolla Saloon comes in 1.8-litre hybrid 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's 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 engine, 0-62mph and acceleration

The 122bhp Corolla Saloon 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 Corolla Saloon 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.

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