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Toyota Corolla hybrid checks in

High five: The Corolla hybrid is the fifth hybrid model to be introduced to Toyota’s Australian line-up.

Corolla hybrid priced to attract more buyers to Toyota hybrid models

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Toyota logo14 Jun 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

TOYOTA’S Corolla hybrid hatch will be positioned between the smaller Prius C light hatch and the just-launched fourth-generation Prius when it rolls into showrooms this month.

Kicking off from $26,990 plus on-road costs, the Corolla hybrid will be offered in hatch body style only and sits between the Prius C that is priced from $22,990 to $25,990 and the new Prius hatch that ranges from $34,990 to $42,990.

In the Corolla range it will be positioned between the higher-grade $25,490 SX and flagship $28,990 ZR model variants, picking up most of the standard features of the ZR.

Toyota says that, aside from the Prius, the petrol-electric hybrid Corolla “offers the best fuel economy in its class” with an official combined cycle figure of 4.1 litres per 100km, for a theoretical driving range of about 1100km.

However, Peugeot’s 308 Allure BlueHDi hatch powered by the 110kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, matches the 4.1L figure of the Corolla.

It does beat the fuel consumption of a number of small diesel hatches, including the Volkswagen Golf (4.9L), Citroen C4 (4.9L) and Hyundai’s frugal i30 diesel (4.5L), but it can’t match the Prius that is down to 3.4L/100km for the latest version.

The ageing, and one-size smaller Prius C sips 3.9L/100km, while the regular petrol-powered Corolla hatch consumes 6.1L/100km.

Carbon dioxide emissions fall considerably compared with the standard Corolla that emits 143g/km, where the hybrid produces 96g/km.

The Corolla uses Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system that pairs a Euro 5 Atkinson Cycle 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 60kW electric motor for a combined output of 100kW.

It is matched with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) driving the front wheels.

Toyota says the petrol engine includes “efficiency features”, such as cooled exhaust-gas recirculation, an electric water pump and a compression ratio of 13:1 – the petrol-only Corolla’s is 10:1.

The Corolla hybrid can be driven in power, economy or electric driving modes, but it is dependent on driving conditions, and a hybrid display in the instrument cluster shows the charge and power condition of the system.

Due to the placement of the hybrid battery under the rear seat, the hybrid Corolla retains the petrol-only version’s 360-litre luggage capacity.

Toyota says it is the only Corolla in the line-up fitted with specific “driver- focused” features including double wishbone rear suspension, electronically controlled brakes and larger 296mm x 28mm ventilated front discs.

Standard gear includes auto-levelling bi-LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, keyless entry and start, navigation, SUNA live traffic updates, Toyota Link connectivity and a 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-instrument display.

The hybrid also includes a reversing camera, black cloth trim, 16-inch alloy wheels and a choice of eight exterior colours.

The Corolla hybrid is the fifth hybrid model introduced to Toyota’s Australian line-up following the Prius, Prius C, Prius V MPV and the Australian-built Camry Hybrid sedan.

Toyota says the hybrid arrives just a few months ahead of the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first Corolla in Japan in October 1966.

Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the hybrid Corolla represents strong value and driving fun in a familiar package.

“Corolla hybrid offers Australian motorists all the advantages of the world's all-time best-selling car and the world's best-selling hybrid technology,” he said.

“The hybrid version of the popular Corolla represents great value for money with its impressive equipment levels, exceptionally low running costs and the proven performance and fuel-efficiency of Toyota's full hybrid technology.

“With unique features such as its independent rear suspension, Corolla hybrid will also deliver the driving enjoyment, remarkable quietness and smooth operation that will make it an ideal choice for everyday motoring.”

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