Toyota knows a thing or two about the family car market and they’ve again actioned that knowledge in the new Toyota Corolla.
Now in its 11th incarnation, the Corolla is a big seller for the Japanese car maker – and there’s a reason why.
The new model is a stunning looking five-door saloon that has a real air of gravitas about it.
Inside, Toyota has stuck to its characteristic minimalism in the very comfortable cabin.
Legroom and headroom, both front and back, are generous and I think that three adults would be comfortable in the back seat.
The lack of a transmission tunnel running through the middle of the car also gives the centre passenger legroom on a par with the others.
A pull down arm-rest with cup holders provides further comfort if you’ve just two in the back.
The cockpit, meanwhile, is well laid out, with everything within reach and I had no problem finding a comfortable driving position.
The armrest/storage box between the front seats is well placed and at a height where it doesn’t get in your way.
The Corolla’s cabin minimalism extends to a covered USB/aux/cigarette lighter compartment at the bottom of the centre console, which I particularly liked.
An easy-to-use touch screen unit (standard on the Luna trim) featuring radio/CD and Bluetooth completed the infotainment offering. Music-wise, I found the sound a bit too compressed though.
The unit doubled as a really good reversing camera which had guide lines.
Toyota provided a bit of brain teasing in the centre console audio controls – with the volume and radio selector transposed.
A saloon model, the boot in the Corolla is massive and houses a spare wheel. It can be made even bigger by lowering the rear seats.
A number of storage cubbies were dotted around the cabin and there was a good bottle holder in the door.
The test car we were driving was a six-speed manual petrol model, with a manual handbrake.
Our route took us around the city, on the motorway and on country backroads.
While its stunning looks did turn heads, it certainly wasn’t the fastest at the lights. However, I found it to be lovely and smooth in the city and it also handled well on the winding country roads.
I really missed having cruise control on the motorway thought.
Having driven the more economical but more powerful diesel model at the launch earlier this year, I preferred the diesel.
Overall, I think the Toyota Corolla is a well designed, spacious family car that will ensure that you arrive in style.
The Toyota Corolla is available in Ireland in three trim levels, with a choice of two engines.
Prices for the 1.33 litre petrol model start from €20,995 for the entry level Terra trim, with the top of the range Luna model I was driving starting from €23,890. The 1.4 litre diesel model starts from €21,995.
Engine: 1.33 Dual VVT-I Luna 99bhp (petrol)
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 12.6 seconds
Maximum Speed: 180kph
CO2 emissions: 129g/km
Combined fuel economy: 5.6l/100km
Annual road tax: €270