2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid evaluate: The 21st century folks’s automotive

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid evaluate: The 21st century folks’s automotive

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

The Corolla Hybrid affords 52 mpg and plenty of normal tech.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

All through historical past, there have been plenty of “folks’s automobiles” — autos that provide a terrific diploma of worth and utility, making them interesting as fundamental transportation. Automobiles just like the Ford Mannequin T, the Volkswagen Beetle and Citroen 2CV come to thoughts. At present, the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid embodies this ethos, as nicely.


  • Killer gas economic system
  • Comfy inside
  • Properly geared up for the worth

Do not Like

  • Engine sounds coarse
  • Entrance passenger would not have a lot knee room
  • Pretty gradual

The Corolla Hybrid is not fast or quick, however what it lacks in punch it makes up for with effectivity. Energy comes from a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces simply 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Like Toyota’s different hybrid fashions, the Corolla makes use of the Atkinson combustion cycle that gives elevated effectivity on the expense of energy. The engine is paired with a permanent-magnet motor that gives 71 hp, fed by a 600-volt battery. Energy is transmitted to the entrance wheels by a well-behaved constantly variable transmission.

In accordance with the EPA, this fundamental hybrid drivetrain is sweet for 53 miles per gallon metropolis, 52 mpg freeway and 52 mpg mixed which, given the Corolla’s 11.4-gallon gas tank, makes for critically spectacular cruising vary. Over the course of roughly 400 miles, I noticed 50.6 mpg — not fairly the EPA numbers, however any noticed economic system over 50 mpg is fairly nice in my guide.

The Corolla’s chassis is not designed for thrills, nevertheless it’s completely competent for this automotive’s meant goal. The entrance suspension consists of MacPherson struts whereas the rear makes use of a multi-link design. Toyota might have cheaped out right here and used a rear torsion beam, nevertheless it did not, and the journey high quality is best for it. The steering is not significantly communicative — not that I would anticipate it to be — however it’s correct and well-weighted, which provides to driving pleasure. The brakes are ventilated discs within the entrance and strong discs within the rear and provide an honest pedal really feel with loads of stopping energy.

On the highway, the Corolla feels good. It rides nicely and usually feels strong. It handles nicely sufficient to make a twisty highway really feel enjoyable, if not thrilling, and the cabin is freed from egregious squeaks or rattles.

The inside is comfy and — extra importantly — sturdy.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

Expertise on the whole, and security expertise specifically, is an more and more essential a part of the “folks’s automotive” formulation. Simply because a automobile is reasonably priced to purchase and run doesn’t suggest consumers are prepared to sacrifice fashionable security options or driver aids. Toyota delivers right here as nicely, with the very sturdy Security Sense 2.zero suite as normal tools. It features a precollision braking system with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping help, automated excessive beams, highway signal recognition and a very good adaptive cruise management system.

Infotainment expertise can be fairly good. Toyota’s Entune system is not going to win any awards for responsiveness or attractiveness, nevertheless it’s lots useful and I admire the 8-inch touchscreen and the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as normal. The shortage of a premium stereo choice on the Hybrid mannequin is sort of a bummer, however the usual stereo will probably be completely satisfactory for most individuals.

The Corolla Hybrid’s inside is fundamental, however that does not imply it is disagreeable. The material seats are comfy and the fabric feels sturdy, like it would put up with years of abuse. Ditto the inside plastics. Nothing goes to make a potential purchaser ooh or ahh, however the cabin appears and feels fantastic, significantly for the Corolla’s modest asking worth. The motive force’s seat has six-way adjustability and the entrance passenger will get four-way motion, although the design of the glovebox cuts into the knee room for taller riders. The rear seat folds down and has a 60/40 break up, including considerably to the Corolla’s practicality. Even with the rear seats up, the 13.1 cubic ft of trunk area is ample. Ikea runs are positively not outdoors the Corolla’s purview.

Even this base-spec Corolla Hybrid is a handsome little sedan.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The 2021 Corolla Hybrid begins at simply $24,595, together with $995 for vacation spot, and with an virtually nonexistent choices listing, that is near what you may pay. My tester options some niceties like paint safety movie and a HomeLink rearview mirror and comes to simply beneath $26,000 all in. Not dangerous in any respect. Plus, the Corolla Hybrid is a good various for people who need the area and effectivity of a Prius however don’t desire, , a Prius.

Placing the whole lot collectively, I really feel completely justified in putting the 2021 Corolla Hybrid in the identical pantheon because the Beetle or the 2CV. It is a automobile that is designed to be ruthlessly environment friendly and very accessible to working-class folks. You might pile miles on one in every of these and drive it into the bottom over a protracted time frame. Would I wish to dwell with one? Fortunately. The Corolla Hybrid is a good automotive. 

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