- Upmarket look compared with other Corollas
- More rear seat legroom than the hatchback
- Efficient hybrid powertrain available
- Stiff opposition from premium-badged rivals
‘Roomier, but less practical alternative to its five-door sibling’
Be still our beating hearts: after a near-15-year hiatus, 2019 will witness the return of the Toyota Corolla Saloon.
That’s right, it appears rumours of the compact four-door’s demise have been exaggerated. Okay, there isn’t the breadth of rivals available that there would have been a decade or so ago, but the booted Corolla will find itself toe-to-toe with the recently-launched Honda Civic Saloon and the Mazda 3 Fastback, itself expected to be replaced in 2019.
Toyota Corolla Saloon 2019: an upmarket look
With an eye on those swish German alternatives, Toyota has opted to give the Corolla Saloon a more upmarket look compared with the Hatchback and Touring Sports alternatives.
Overall, the styling errs towards the conservative – it’s not a million miles away looks-wise from the recently departed Avensis Saloon; itself not a surprise given that the Corolla Saloon and larger Camry are effectively both replacing it.
There’s a dash more chromework than on the other Corollas, plus there’s a sharper, bolder grille and rear-end treatment.
Although the dashboard mirrors that of the other Corollas, the Saloon has more rear-seat legroom than the Hatchback, courtesy of it being underpinned by the Touring Sports’ 2,700mm-long wheelbase. Whether this critical differentiation in other markets is perceived as being vital for British sales will be revealed in due course.
Toyota Corolla Saloon 2019: engine range
There are two choices of power available with the British-built Corolla Saloon, although it’s not yet clear if both will be offered in the UK.
First up is a 1.6-litre petrol producing 132hp, with a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic. No performance figures have been announced, but Toyota is claiming efficiency ratings of up to 46.3mpg and 139g/km of CO2 emissions - notably higher than the 110g/km figure quoted for a 1.0-litre turbo-engined Honda Civic Saloon.
Expected to be the more popular of the two (or perhaps the sole choice), is a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid. Toyota refers to it as self-charging – in other words, you can’t plug it in and don’t need to, since the battery gets topped up while driving.
This produces a more modest 122hp – again, no speed or acceleration figures are yet available – but Toyota claims that up to 50% of all commuting journeys can be undertaken in pure-electric mode. Unfortunately, how long that is in mileage terms isn’t yet clear, so we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve been able to legitimise those claims in the real world.
Overall, the Corolla Saloon Hybrid is quoted at 65.7mpg and 98g/km of CO2 under the latest WLTP efficiency testing procedure.
Will there be a diesel-engined Toyota Corolla Saloon?
No. Toyota has already confirmed that it won’t launch any diesel-engined products aside from its large Land Cruiser SUV range and its commercial vehicle line-up.
For those seeking fuel efficiency in a Corolla Saloon above other factors, then the hybrid-powered version will be your best bet.
What else do we know about the 2019 Toyota Corolla Saloon?
Not a great amount at this stage, unfortunately.
Based on our early drive experiences of the Hatchback and Touring Sports versions, the Corolla Saloon, which shares the TNGA underpinnings along with the Toyota C-HR and Prius, should have reasonably engaging, balanced handling.
That’s not to say it will sate the desires of ardent driving enthusiasts, but it will more than please the majority of Corolla Saloon customers.
What’s fitted as standard remains to be seen for now, but it would appear that a broad suite of safety equipment will be available on the Corolla Saloon.
This includes Toyota’s Safety Sense package comprising of pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist with steering inputs to keep you in lane, and automatic main beam.
How much will the 2019 Toyota Corolla Saloon cost?
Prices, trim levels and equipment for the third member of the Corolla family will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date in spring 2019.
Given Toyota’s reference to it being an upmarket Corolla, we’d expect it to be priced slightly higher than the Hatchback equivalent.