Without getting too philosophical, (provided your health stays in relatively good working order) Life is an Endurance event. You hopefully have a respectable amount of years on the planet, time to enjoy the seasons of change from child to youth, youth to adult and adult to retirement. You’ll own things, make friends, and maybe have offspring to carry on the family name and start their own endurance journeys. The reason I am telling you this is because I recently took part in a motorsport endurance race and the true winners were not the ones that sprinted around the track but the ones that enjoyed their time there, had fun and of course – finished.
My transport to and from the event (and for the whole week in fact) was the new Toyota Corolla Hybrid hatch, a car that evidently re-enforces my previous statement. It’s not what you’d call ‘a sprinter’ but it’s fun and with its fuel efficiency, it certainly goes the distance.
Globally; the Toyota Corolla is a very popular car and us Kiwis are rather partial to it too. It’s not difficult to see why.
There is a lot going on in the looks department. From its Pagoda roof to its front and rear air spats the new Corolla hatch has been designed to be aerodynamically sound. The open V shaped grille (with blue surround Toyota badge) meets with its sly integrated headlights and its steep sloping bonnet wedges its way into the oncoming wind.
The interior is open and uncluttered with a 7” infotainment touch screen taking pride of place central dash. Bluetooth connected this system connects easily and includes the likes of hands free, loud audio and reversing camera. Leather accents and contrast stitching airs towards the snobby amongst you but the reality is that the finishing feels practical and ‘family friendly’. The Corolla hatch is roomy inside too, (both front and rear) much more space than the exterior size suggests – oh and plenty of boot space.
Under its sleek nose is a powertrain that consists of a 1.8L 16v engine PLUS a 100kW electric motor. This hybrid combination gives you 124Nm of torque and a fuel efficiency of 4.1L/100k. On the subject of fuel consumption, most of the week I had the Corolla in normal ‘Drive mode’ which gave me 5l/100ks but this came down to 4.6ish in ECO drive mode when commuting in heavy traffic. It also has a Power drive Mode but it didn’t set my world alight (again, this is not a sprinter).
Around town, the Corolla hatch hybrid is easy to maneuver and fits in well, longer out of town runs are very fuel frugal (and the cruise control system is easy to find/use) but is a little road noisy and light on the tarmac.
Over the 7 days I had the keys I managed to put a fair chunk of k’s on the Corolla hybrid and it ate them up well. The fuel gauge needle moves slowly and the car jumps between motors effortlessly (It does make you look around when the engine starts up at the lights).
If life is an Endurance event (and hopefully for you all it is), the Corolla Hybrid Hatch is a pace vehicle that will go the distance with you. It won’t break the land speed record but it also won’t break the fuel budget either.
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