From £11,945
Supercharger makes sporting Corolla more useable, and expensive.

Our Verdict

Toyota Auris 2007-2012
The Toyota Auris has little of the sparkle or brilliance of class leaders

The Toyota Auris is a spacious, but unspectacular attempt at a high quality Golf rival. Only the availability of a hybrid lifts it from obscurity

  • First Drive

    Toyota Auris Hybrid T4

    The first full hybrid in this class is impressively cheap to run, but its diesel rivals are a better drive
  • First Drive

    Toyota Auris 1.6

    The best Auris in the range - but not the best car in the sector

We always thought it was generous of Toyota to build an engine designed specifically for the Lotus Elise. Generous because although Toyota’s 1.8 VVTI four-cylinder screamer works beautifully in Lotus’s featherweight roadster, it has been a bit of flop in Toyota’s own cars.With a 860kg Elise to lug around, the lack of torque is not a problem and the hard-edged, rev-hungry nature suits the sports car down to the ground. But put to work in the Corolla, the need for constant high revs is frankly tiresome.So to make the Corolla T-Sport more useable, and also meet Euro4 regulations, Toyota has bolted on a supercharger. Maximum power is boosted to 215bhp (previously 189bhp), but more welcome is the extra 25lbft of torque and the engine’s transformed character.You’re still encouraged to work the snappy gearshift, but there’s now enough mid-range urge to add decent chunks of speed without subjecting your ears to an 8000rpm assault. Thankfully there’s little supercharger whine; instead, the usual metallic twin-cam tingle is enhanced by an appealing deep muscular hum.The downside is that the rev counter now reaches for the red line at a more leisurely pace. However, from experience we know these engines free-up significantly with more miles; our test car had only 700 on the odometer.With more power comes a revised chassis. The Corolla Compressor sits 15mm lower and wears stiffer springs than the standard T-Sport model. Throw it through a series of corners and it goes directly where you point it. The steering, although short on feel, is accurate and the handling competent, if lacking the ultimate driver engagement found in the best hot hatches.Given the standard Corolla’s bland shape, Toyota faced a tough job to conjure a more dynamic outline for the Compressor. With 17in multi-spoke alloys, a roof spoiler and twin exhausts the result lies somewhere between uninspiring and subtle.Sporting Corollas have often been overlooked, but given this last raft of changes perhaps things should change. More useable, quicker and more enjoyable to drive than before, the Corolla Compressor could well take a few rivals by surprise.But the sting comes when you glance at the price: £19,995 buys either a VW Golf GTi or Vauxhall Astra VXR, both of which are quicker and ultimately provide a greater sense of occasion.Jamie Corstorphine

Join the debate

Comments
6

12 March 2012

As an old wheelman rallydriver who drip fed on TRD cars - I like the sound of this, but it still falls a long way short of being "interesting" to chuck around. Add that to the daft price tag, then I think that Mr. Toyoda has missed part of his breakfast menu. 75% performance and 150% premium...NOT the way to be going guys - but I will give you 3 out of 10 for thinking about it and trying

12 March 2012

Toyota Corolla 1.8 T Sport Compressor Test date Friday, October 28, 2005

Why has story emerged, its over 6 years old.

12 March 2012

[quote Citytiger]

Why has story emerged, its over 6 years old.[/quote]

For several years now Autocar has steadily been adding to the back-catalogue of past road tests available on the website, often at weekends and in other quiet moments. This is a wholly good thing.

I'm quite surprised you haven't noticed before.

12 March 2012

It's also quite good to revisit some of these cars as you can check the pricing out now, compared to then.

A clean one in 2012 is still circa £7,000 - not the bargain I thought it may be. However dull it may be perceived though, they are still bullet proof and still quite quick.

Forgotten hot hatch!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

12 March 2012

[quote TegTypeR]

It's also quite good to revisit some of these cars as you can check the pricing out now, compared to then.

[/quote]

I agree. I love reading these older reviews.

[quote TegTypeR]Forgotten hot hatch[/quote]

Not for you though Teg, I'm guessing! Nothing seems to be! Keep us updated on your situation, and I hope you do actually find a car that suits your needs.

12 March 2012

I can't remember this model, and I don't remember reading this test in 05, and I wouldn't have missed a week in October. They did make some interesting Corollas ( was the one with the five-valve head officially imported ? ) but this model looked very stodgy, particularly in hatch format.

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