Rr6Qi1p6 2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 9
2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 9

Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Lovin’ the extra length

2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 7

What is it?

I must admit to having a soft spot for Toyota Corollas.

Way back in the early 1970s when I was young and money was tight, I owned a Corolla for eight years and over 170,000km.

During that time it transported my wife and three new babies (two girls and a boy) home from the hospitals where they were born.

It never missed a beat.

That car was much smaller than today’s Corollas and had only two doors.

The car I’m reviewing here has four doors and is substantially larger than ye-olde 1970 model.

It’s also a hybrid, a term that wasn’t yet part of the automotive parlance in the ’70s.

Toyota is very serious about electrification in cars and the Corolla is a major seller worldwide.

So, the Japanese giant has put a lot of work into making all its vehicles low polluters, particularly on the European market where air quality is dropping and fuel prices are rising.

2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 8

What’s it cost?

Our test vehicle, the Corolla SX Hybrid sedan, is priced from $30,795 plus on-roads.

Corolla sedan is long and while not exactly sleek, it’s pleasant to look at.

The extra length over the hatchback somehow gives it an upmarket look, not exactly ‘limo’ — but certainly good looking.

The front is quite low and the slim headlights are connected across the complete car and run well up into the sides of the bonnet.

The lower grille is very large and makes a styling statement.

The upward sweep of the window line does work visually but may cause problems for young children trying to see out of them.

The Corolla sedan has bang up to date technology. Access to all your infotainment can be made using voice control.

It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota says: “Speak to your dealer about device compatibility.”

The Corolla hybrid has a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on tests conducted in 2018.

There are IsoFix anchor points on the outboard rear seats, and there are top-tether points for all three positions.

2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 10

What’s it go like?

There’s reasonable width for three adults sitting in the rear seat.

But, legroom in the back seat is limited, which is surprising when you realise this is quite a large sedan in this class.

The driver may have to give up a little space if there’s a lanky passenger behind them.

The Corolla is spacious enough but the materials are rather dark and sometimes it doesn’t exactly feel like a happy place to be.

Corolla Hybrid has a 72kW/142Nm 1.8-litre Atkinson Cycle and a 53kW/163Nm synchronous permanent magnet electric motor.

They drive the front wheels by way of an e-CVT automatic.

There’s four-way adjustment of the steering wheel.

The driver’s seat has eight-way power adjustment.

So, it will be easy for just about anyone to find the right setting for them.

The front seats are comfortable and provide good support in normal driving.

There are no large side bolsters to clamber over as this is a cruiser not a high-performance machine.

So, the front seats are easy to get in and out of.

The back doors don’t open as far as we’d like so it’s harder to get in than you might expect.

There’s good headroom front and rear.

We have already tested the rear seat on a hatchback and it’s a little bit tight for headspace.

If you’re going to be carting large teenagers in the back it would be a good idea for them to go along to the dealer’s as part of your “what car should I buy?” initial trips.

Toyota has long been a major player Downunder and is well aware of what drivers like in their car’s handling.

The steering responds promptly and gives excellent feedback through the wheel.

Interestingly, Toyota suspension setups are often based on the findings of the likes and dislikes of Australian buyers.

Fuel consumption was in the mid fours and low five litres per hundred on motorways and level country roads.

Around town it still only rose to high five and low sixes.

We really didn’t fang it on our favourite country roads so can’t comment on what consumption it would have there.

Tyre noise is low at slow speeds on very smooth surfaces, almost Lexus-like according to one passenger.

However, once the surface was rougher it increased quite a bit.

Perhaps it’s caused by the low rolling resistance of the rubber.

Try for yourself if you like a smooth, quiet car.

2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 6

What we like?

  • Five-star ANCAP safety rating
  • Driver’s seat has eight-way power adjustment
  • Steering responds promptly and gives excellent feedback
  • Tyre noise is low at slow speeds

2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 12

What we don’t like?

  • Dark interior trim
  • Back seat legroom limited
  • Back doors don’t open far enough

2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 4

The bottom line?

Toyota Corolla has been one of the world’s best-selling cars for many years, often the best seller.

Having driven the latest model, now offered as a hybrid, it seems inevitable it will remain at the top of the list for years to come.

2022 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan 5

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Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan, priced from $30,795
  • Looks - 7/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 8/10
  • Thirst - 9/10
  • Practicality - 7/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
  • Tech - 9/10
  • Value - 7/10

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