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

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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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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gregor60 4 December 2019


My hybrid Toyota has had more recalls than any other car I've owned and, as Jamesf1 says, they have all been preventative. The recall notice usually says something like, 'in a very small number of cases this can lead to a loss of power...'

Taxi drivers seem to get huge mileages out of Toyota hybrids. For my own part, I've has an Auris for 4 1/2 years (it's a 7 year-old car) and it's sitting at 140 000 miles. Apart from service items, all that's needed replaced was one mirror LED indicator unit.

I accept hybrids aren't for everyone - I doubt I'd have wanted this car as a youngster = but if you're doing a high mileage and need something you know is going to fire up every day without fail and take you where you're going frugally and without drama, it's a good bet. Probably your best bet.

jamesf1 3 December 2019

reliability is a myth

no it really isnt.

all car makes issue recalls, they are preventative in nature

Airbag issue was a 3rd party component and affected multiple manufacturers

superstevie 3 December 2019

It was predicted that the 1.2

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.