The return of the Corolla nameplate would have been unlikely to cause a flurry of interest at Toyota dealerships if that had been the biggest change to report about this new-generation, British-built, Japanese-flavoured mid-sized family car. But the Corolla is a very different prospect from the Auris it replaces.
It looks great; it’s spacious, well appointed and finished with an attentive eye for quality; it’s frugal and priced competitively; and it rides and handles with an understated but evidently highly polished dynamic accomplishment that proves just how serious Toyota is about attracting interested drivers to its brand.
Those keener drivers will likely appreciate the outright performance level, responsiveness and roundedness of the Corolla’s 2.0-litre ‘performance hybrid’ powertrain but they will as often be made to feel alienated at being denied the meaningful level of control they habitually seek as they may be encouraged by the car’s briskness.
Some things change, then, and some clearly don’t. Still, even allowing for its shortcomings, this Corolla is now a car that nobody should overlook.