Toyota Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid review
There hasn't been a Toyota Corolla estate on sale in the UK for many years, but the familiar name is back on the replacement for the Toyota Auris Touring Sports. The focus is hybrid this time around: a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine is available on lower trim levels, but the majority of Corolla Touring Sports sold in the UK are expected to be 1.8-litre hybrids.
That's the same engine as found in the Toyota C-HR SUV and Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback, but the Corolla is introducing a more powerful 2.0-litre, 178bhp setup, with a 0-62mph time of just over eight seconds. It's both more expensive and less efficient than the 1.8-litre, however, so isn't expected to be a popular choice in the hatchback, but Touring Sports buyers who regularly tow or carry heavy loads may prefer it.
The Corolla Touring Sports is intended to make up for the fact that the hatchback Corolla doesn't boast class-leading interior or boot space; it has both greater legroom in the back and a larger luggage compartment than its sister model.
As with the hatchback, low running costs will be central to the Corolla Touring Sports' appeal: CO2 emissions start as low as 76g/km and fuel economy tops out at 66mpg in the most efficient specification. From behind the wheel, it feels very similar to the Corolla hatchback – which is to say it's much more satisfying to drive than the Auris, but still some way off class leaders for handling like the Ford Focus and SEAT Leon.
Seats up (and with the 1.8-litre hybrid engine), the Corolla Touring Sports' all-important boot capacity is 598 litres. That's reduced slightly to 581 litres if you go for the 2.0-litre, but still about 25 litres off what the current Volkswagen Golf Estate can carry.
Standard equipment is decent, so you shouldn't really need to move up more than the second-tier Icon Tech specification to get the kit you need – although the 2.0-litre hybrid engine is only available in the more lavish and expensive Design and Excel specifications. Pleasingly, Toyota's Safety Sense package is standard right across the range.
The Touring Sports looks great from the outside, but it's not quite as revolutionary inside. Everything is cleanly designed and feels sturdy, but there's still a familiar sense of Toyota functionality rather than true luxury for occupants.
For more on the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.