Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
In theory, there’s one truly compelling reason to choose a Corolla Touring Sports as your next company car: low CO2 emissions. The 1.8-litre hybrid model emits as little as 103g/km, which puts it in one of the lowest benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax bands in this class, and even the more powerful 2.0-litre hybrid emits less than 127g/km.
Meanwhile, official fuel economy figures for the hybrid models are among the best in the family car class. We managed a test average of over 60mpg for the 1.8 and close to 50mpg for the 2.0-litre. It is worth noting, however, that hybrids tend to be at their most economical around town, while diesels provide better economy on motorways.
But what about as a private buy? Well, we reckon the Corolla Touring Sports makes plenty of sense. It’s more expensive than a like-for-like Skoda Octavia Estate, but if you’re prepared to haggle, you should be able to get a cracking deal. Plus, it’s predicted to have much better resale values than most of its rivals; Ford Focus and Octavia included.
Equipment, options and extras
Even entry-level Icon trim comes with dusk-sensing headlights, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, heated front seats and 16in alloy wheels.
We reckon Icon Tech is the one to go for, though; it keeps the price relatively low while bringing a good haul of extra upgrades. These include the sat-nav and parking sensors we've mentioned in previous sections. In fact, its only major omission is rain-sensing wipers – you’ll need to upgrade to Design trim if you want those. Design trim also brings 17in alloy wheels, heated door mirrors and privacy glass.
We’d recommend avoiding off-road inspired Trek as it's pretty pricey, even if the electric tailgate and keyless entry that are standard are handy. GR Sport is mainly styling upgrades for the money so not worth it, while Excel models are rather expensive.
The Corolla Touring Sports didn’t feature in the 2019 What Car? reliability survey, but Toyota as a brand finished in second place out of 31 manufacturers, outperforming the likes of Hyundai, Skoda, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.
In the unlikely scenario that things do go wrong, however, the Corolla Touring Sports comes with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty as standard. That’s longer cover than you get with most family cars; only the Kia Ceed Sportswagon, with its seven-year warranty, impresses more.
Safety and security
The Corolla Touring Sports received Euro NCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating and was found to be better at protecting adult occupants than the Focus in the event of a crash. True, the Skoda Octavia performed a little better at protecting younger occupants in a frontal impact, but the Corolla scored better marks for side impact protection. In short, it's a very safe vehicle.
There are also plenty of active safety aids on hand to help you avoid a collision in the first place, including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic high beam assistance.
It’s a credit to Toyota that all models come with such modern safety systems as standard; you don’t need to go for a high trim level or fork out for an expensive option pack to keep your family as safe as possible. The only common safety feature that isn't available, even as an option, is blind spot monitoring – a feature that comes as standard on the Octavia. As for the security side of things, all versions of the Corolla come with an alarm and an immobiliser as standard.
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