- Spacious cabin mirrors that of the hatch
- Well built, comfortable and more interesting than Auris
- High seating position and some dials can be hard to read
The Corolla Touring Sports shares the same cabin design as the Corolla hatchback, meaning it doesn’t take long to notice how vastly improved the dashboard is over the previous Auris.
The design is cleaner, with a simple and modern touchscreen and climate control arrangement. There’s a faint whiff of C-HR in here, but it’s less colourful and futuristic.
Compared to the Auris, everything is softer to touch and more sculpted to look at – the new car feels much plusher than before and is a nice enough place to spend time in.
There are a few foibles though. Higher spec models come with a 7.0-inch driver’s instrument panel screen, which isn’t the easiest to read in sunlight, and the sat-nav is far from being the most user-friendly.
Plus, the use of small buttons and icons on the dash may take a while to get used to and those hoping for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto will have to wait until the end of 2019 before being made available.
Wireless charging for your phone is available and the optional JBL stereo is clear and punchy, even if it’s only limited to 2.0-litre models.
- Better to drive than Auris
- Good ride quality but noise suppression suffers over the hatch
- Avoid optional 18-inch wheels for best comfort
The cabin of the Corolla is already a spacious and comfortable place to be, with supportive front seats that come with heating and adjustable lumbar support as standard. The sportier items found on Excel models come with extra side support and it’s easy to find a comfy driving position before you set off on any model.
The view out is good, although some may find the seating position a little high compared to rivals. It’s worth taking note whether your model of choice comes with a black headliner as that can make for a darker cabin – the optional panoramic roof may work well here, although it’s worth noting that it can rob some headroom.
The longer wheelbase brings additional rear seat space. Rear passengers will also benefit from heated rear seats and their own air vents, although which models this will be fitted on is yet to be confirmed.
There is a compromise for the added bodywork, though.
The rear of the cabin is claimed to benefit from additional sound deadening material but the boot still generates a fair amount of road noise at motorway speeds. Noticeably more so than the hatch. Out of all the Corolla bodystyles, the saloon remains the most hushed place to spend time in.
Luckily, the larger 18-inch wheels fitted on Excel hatchback models are notably absent on the estate - the largest wheels you can have are 17-inches in diameter.
Otherwise the Toyota Corolla rides well over bumps - top spec Excel models do without the larger 18-inch alloys found on the hatch and stick with smaller 17-inch wheels. We suspect the optional 18-inch wheels will generate too much road noise and ruin the smoother ride quality.