New Toyota Corolla vs Ford Focus vs Volkswagen Golf

Which type of engine makes most sense in a modern family car? We’ve pitted the new hybrid Toyota Corolla against petrol and diesel rivals to provide the answer...

Ford Focus infotainment

Infotainment systems

Ford Focus

The Focus’s 8.0in touchscreen is mounted high enough on the dashboard for you to see and reach it easily. However, its definition isn’t as good as the Golf’s, there are no physical shortcut buttons and the software lags sometimes. It does come with plenty of features, though, and once you’ve learnt your way around the menus, it’s relatively easy to operate. The standard stereo can’t be upgraded, but the sound quality is warm, if not quite as detailed as the others’.

Toyota Corolla infotainment

Toyota Corolla

This isn’t a strong point of the Corolla. The small buttons around the touchscreen help when you’re swapping menus, but the screen is relatively low-resolution, the sat-nav map’s graphics are cluttered, the system is slow to respond at times and, worst of all, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. That means you’re stuck with Toyota’s iffy software. As with the Focus, you can’t upgrade the stereo, but again it’s very good, with a punchy bass and detailed treble.

Volkswagen Golf infotainment

Volkswagen Golf

This is the best system here. For a start, the glass touchscreen looks as sharp as an iPad’s, with smart graphics, and it’s the most responsive to prods. The touch-sensitive shortcut buttons aren’t as easy to hit while you’re driving as physical buttons would be, but you do get a pair of knobs for the volume and scrolling through menus. The system is also very well kitted out, with sat-nav and smartphone mirroring. You can upgrade the stereo, but the standard system is impressive.

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