- Same engines as the hatch: one petrol and two hybrids
- Hybrid models fitted with automatic gearbox only
- Largest 2.0-litre livens up performance
The Toyota Corolla Touring Sports is available with the same three petrol engines found in the hatch: a 1.2-litre, a 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre, the latter two are naturally-aspirated and mated to a hybrid powertrain.
The entry-level petrol engine is carried over from the Auris and remains the only turbocharged option: a 1.2-litre developing 116hp and 185Nm. This is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox and is quicker than the 1.8-litre hybrid, with 0-62mph taking 9.6 seconds. Top speed beats both hybrids at 121mph.
The mid-sized 1.8-litre is also found in the outgoing Auris and is offered as an alternative to smaller-engined diesel rivals. Producing a total of 122hp and 142Nm of torque, this offers a similar level of performance but in theory, should offer added refinement at the same time. The electric motor produces 72hp and 163Nm of torque.
In reality, while 0-62mph takes 11.1 seconds, the torque deficit compared with a diesel results in you having to have to work this engine hard to get up to speed, which can prove tiresome.
Added performance with larger 2.0-litre
While the mid-sized engine will appeal to those wanting maximum fuel economy figures, the new 2.0-litre unit is going after those wanting more pulling power.
Thanks to 180hp and 190Nm of torque, the most powerful Touring Sports takes 8.1 seconds to reach 62mph, but, crucially, it’s quicker from 50-70mph than the old Auris. There’s a more powerful electric motor here as well, producing 108hp and 202 Nm of torque.
Overtaking is far more effortless, although you still need to plan ahead and build up momentum prior to any manoeuvres. Both hybrid engines are limited to 112mph.
Improved response, but not exactly sporty
The larger battery fitted with the 2.0-litre provides more electrical assistance during acceleration, and gearshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel are standard with this engine. A Sport drive mode is also available to help keep the engine on higher alert at its most responsive, but don’t expect any knee-jerk reactions when you suddenly need a burst of acceleration.
All the driver’s controls, ranging from the spongy brake pedal and light steering means this is no sporty estate. If, however, you reside in the city or town environment where plenty of manoeuvres are required, this could make life easier.
There are no diesel engines available on the 2019 Toyota Corolla.
- Stable and safe body control
- Not the sharpest of estates to drive
- Adaptive suspension option for the first time
The old Auris was not a car remembered for its handling characteristics, being safe but rather forgettable. However, like the Ford Focus estate, there’s sophisticated independent rear suspension as standard on all models of the Touring Sports and this helps the Corolla remain composed over bumps.
The relaxed nature of the hybrid engines and driver’s controls will translate into a calmer driving experience as well.
The Corolla Touring Sports is hardly a challenger for the Ford Focus in driving enjoyment, but it feels safe and clings onto the road reassuringly in most situations.
The front tyres will struggle for grip far sooner than the best driving estates in this sector, but its easy-to-drive nature means you go with the flow and take advantage of its comfort-biased driving experience for the majority of the time.