The new Toyota Corolla arrives on the road at a time where there are reasons to be cheerful if you want a family hatchback without paying a ‘made in Germany’ premium.
Asaide from the Toyota, look elsewhere on this website and you’ll learn Ford’s latest Ford Focus has rediscovered the dynamic sparkle that made the original so special. Kia’s Kia Ceed, built on a new platform and now with a fully independent rear axle, can’t match that level of dynamism but handles with a precision and honesty that will jolt anybody whose perception of the brand is more than a couple of years out of date. There is then the pebble-like form of Mazda’s new Mazda 3, which promises to drive almost as lithely as it looks.
Toyota would have you add the new Corolla to that list. Confused? Don’t be. That name hasn’t been seen in this country for more than 10 years, but the sharp-edged hatchback before you (along with its estate and saloon derivatives) is essentially a direct replacement for the ultra-pragmatic but slow-selling Toyota Auris. And it is a model of monumental significance for the brand – a revival of the world’s top-selling nameplate, at least in Europe, where the competition is fiercer and the standards higher than anywhere else in the world.