Currently reading: Toyota Corolla goes hybrid-only for 2020
Performance-inspired hatchback and rugged estate join the line-up, while pure petrol power is ditched
James Attwood, digital editor
2 mins read
2 December 2019

The Toyota Corolla is now offered in the UK exclusively as a hybrid, with the sole non-electrified engine having been ditched as part of a range revamp for 2020.

The line-up for the Ford Focus rival now includes two new variants that were revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier this year: the performance-inspired GR Sport hatchback and the high-riding Touring Sports Trek estate. Notably, all versions will now feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

The Corolla will continue with two petrol-electric hybrid options: a 120bhp powertrain based around a 1.8-litre engine and a 181bhp powertrain based around a 2.0-litre engine. The 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine has been dropped from the range. Toyota also recently made the C-HR crossover hybrid-only.

The new GR Sport trim on the Corolla is named in reference to Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s motorsport arm. It features some of the styling elements of GR models, although the powertrain and performance remain unchanged. Toyota is understood to be considering a fully fledged Corolla GR hot hatch.

The Corolla GR Sport gains GR badges, a new mesh front grille, different bumpers and new 18in black alloy wheels. A silver insert in the rear bumper is designed to create "the look” of twin tailpipes and a diffuser. 

Inside, there are sports front seats and a 7.0in touchscreen – Toyota’s largest infotainment package. It also comes with LED headlights, rear privacy glass, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a head-up display.

Named due to a partnership between Toyota and bicycle manufacturer Trek, the Corolla Touring Sports Trek has its suspension raised by 20mm to give it an “SUV-influenced look”. It also gains silver-finished front and rear runners, new 17in alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and LED headlights.

There are Trek-branded scuffplates inside, along with revamped upholstery and wood-finish dashboard trim. Trek matches existing Design trim, with the addition of a powered tailgate.

The Corolla GR Sport and Corolla Touring Sports Trek are on sale now, with deliveries due to begin in January.


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2 December 2019

Theyre nuts, why dont they use the smaller more efficient engine in the hybrid ?

3 December 2019

Hybrid knowledge - and Toyota are the experts. The 1.8 engine is proven and thermally the most efficient car engine apparently. Turbo engine might have more low down torque, but the turbo is extra complication and probably wastes more efficiency than it gains. And the stop / start nature of the hybrid installation probably doesn't bode well with turbo bearing wrm up / cooling / lubrication. You can bet your hous on Toyota having tested it.

Toyota have stuck with this engine for 20 years for probable good reason, as they have stuck with the nickel-metal hydride battery for it's proven bullet proof reliability and, yes, cost, only going to lithium for weight sensitive reason.

The new Yaris and the 2 litre hybrid motors continue to be conventional.

3 December 2019

Typos - sorry, and to Typos1 a reply


2 December 2019

What enticing design flourishes Toyota is tempting us with. 


3 December 2019

But many other car manufacturers and models have faux design details, like the Skoda Octavia vRS and Suzuki Kizashi both have fake chrome exhaust pipes (the actual pipes are both tiny in diameter and black in colour). At least, in my eyes, Toyota is being honest.

3 December 2019
bol wrote:

What enticing design flourishes Toyota is tempting us with. 

As I said below, might be getting a Corolla next. I had aooknat the faux wood, actually quite like it. It's in a lighter colour and lifts the drab dash design a bit

3 December 2019

The Toyota 1.8 engine is only found in their hybrids. It runs a version of the four stroke cycle called the Atkinson Cycle. This is very economical but has a huge drawback - low torque. However, if you pair it with an electric motor, and charge the motor's batteries using waste energy gathered from regenerative braking, you have a very usable power train. This is because electric motors give full torque from zero rpm.

The electronic control of the hybrid drive train is complicated - it has to work with ABS to ensure that gentle braking is regenerative - but mechanically it is very simple. The gearbox has one ring gear, three planetary gears and two motor-generators (an electric motor has one moving part). Reverse does not exist as a gear - one of the electric motors is run backwards. It has a great reputation for longevity.

3 December 2019
So Toyota has bullet proof reliability? What about the 55,000+ UK cars recalled last year for risk of stalling (esp at speed), and millions worldwide.
Not to mention other recalls like millions of faulty airbags.??
Time we stop with the myths, Toyota is only average, and no way am I going to buy a CVT-based hybrid

3 December 2019

Starts at £26,200 for and comes with a 0-60 time of 11 seconds. Doesn’t look so good now!

Perhaps they should go back to using a Turbo

3 December 2019
It was predicted that the 1.2 e gone would account for 10% of sales. I predict that it has been a lot less than that.

There many be another reason too. For example, the company I work for only supplied VW cars for company car drivers. Now, though, we have the Corolla on the books. I'm due to have my 1.6tdi Golf Estate replaced with the 2.0 Corolla hybrid when the time comes.

My guess is that for companies who so have the car on their lists, it's hybrid only. Private buyers are probably shunning the 1.2 as well due to higher running costs, with no noticeable cost savings.


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