Toyota Corolla Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

A long-term member of the UK car market, the Corolla’s popularity seems to steadily increase with time. First launched in 1966, its journey from affordable hatchback into the ranks of Toyota’s successful hybrid-only range was completed in 2020. Toyota had already decided to no longer provide diesel engines, offering a petrol option and two hybrid alternatives. But from this new generation on, the forward-thinking Japanese brand has committed the Corolla to a hybrid option alone. There are two engines to choose from though: a 1.8-litre with 122 bhp and a 2.0-litre offering 184 bhp. Toyota prides itself on the highest quality in terms of safety and fuel economy, making the Corolla an ideal choice for a first-time buyer or new driver.

Visit out Toyota Corolla model page to see available specs and learn more.

What we think about the Toyota Corolla

The new Corolla has been dropped into one of the most competitive segments of the UK car market. But, thanks to its stylish new looks and a greener drivetrain, Toyota isn’t sweating just yet.



Remarkable fuel efficiency thanks to hybrid power


Spacious and comfortable interior


New stylish design


Latest technology only comes with the higher trims

The latest revamp in 2021 has seen the Corolla receive a green makeover similar to many of Toyota’s cars to date. As well as the two hybrid engines, there’s a choice of three body types: hatchback, estate (called Touring Sports) and saloon. Each body type has three main trim levels – Icon, Icon Tech and the top-line Design – with the GR Sport hatchback and Touring Sports Trek making up the special editions. If you’re looking used, older Corolla’s had up to six trims running from L to SE and the range-topping XSE. We’ll focus on the more recent hatchbacks here.

Driving performance of the Toyota Corolla

Our Driving Rating7 / 10

The Corolla’s new design means its closer to the road, so you can expect smoother handling than in previous versions. While it’s spacious inside, the driver’s seat is raised slightly which may be something to be aware of for taller drivers. Toyota’s new chassis means the car can handle potholes and bumps with ease, keeping your passengers comfortable. These improvements carry on under the bonnet too – while the previous petrol engines like to let you know when they’re working hard, the hybrids have a much softer sound to them.

Safety and reliability of the Toyota Corolla

Our Safety Rating8 / 10

As we’ve come to expect with Toyota, the safety performance is immaculate. The Corolla achieved a five-star crash-test rating from its latest test with Euro NCAP – anything less would’ve been a big shock. Every model has seven airbags, automatic LED headlights and Isofix attachments on the two outer rear seats. Buyers can also enjoy adaptive cruise control as standard – a feature that reduces your car’s speed when it senses an upcoming collision. Another thoughtful touch is the addition of a new wider angle and higher resolution camera to make night-time pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection possible.

Under the bonnet of the Toyota Corolla

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

Toyota’s green revolution continues with the latest Corolla. It’s ditched fuel altogether, favouring two new petrol-hybrid engines: a 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre. The basic trim engine is the 1.8-litre, meant as an alternative to the previous diesels. It produces 122 bhp and reaches 0-62 mph in approximately 11 seconds. Most attractive is, unsurprisingly, its fuel economy, which is hard to beat. The 2.0-litre option is a little punchier than its smaller sibling, its 180 bhp output meaning it’ll reach 0-62 mph in about 7.5 seconds.

What you'll find in the Toyota Corolla

Our Design Rating7 / 10

Previous Corollas might not have been revered for having a contemporary design, but the latest version is more likely to turn heads. Toyota has fitted a new sleek body, including a piercing set of front headlights – both of which are LED. It’s less about funky quirks and more about precise, symmetrical lines, giving a slim, aerodynamic feel to the car. It’s a little wider because of the new and larger wheelbase, but it still feels light on its feet and is comfortably able to squeeze into tight parking spaces. Even the bigger estate and saloon variants feel nimble enough and far from oversized on city streets.

Comfort and interiors in the Toyota Corolla

Our Comfort Rating7 / 10

Not only is the exterior design far cleaner than before, but step inside and you’ll notice its interior has been treated to the same makeover. The cabin is sleek – its front seats resemble a sport bucket style and are comfortable and supportive. While the rear seats are a little tight, the front of the cabin is generously spaced out with plenty of legroom. Boot capacity depends on the engine you select, as well as the body type. Opting for the1.8-litre hatchback, you’ll enjoy 361-litres of storage space compared to its 2.0-litre sibling, which offers a reduced 313-litres to accommodate the larger engine. If you simply need more room, look to the estate and saloon variants.

Toyota Corolla interior front

What features you'll find in the Toyota Corolla

Our Features Rating7 / 10

The interior technology is where you’ll notice the biggest difference as you move up the specs ladder. A 7-inch infotainment system sits centrally on the dashboard, but its not the most user-friendly system, and the driver’s instrument panel screen can be difficult to read while in motion. However, Toyota thoughtfully includes small buttons and switches to make using its technology simpler. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now also standard on all trims, just be aware that if you buy a pre-2020 model you might find this is not the case. Wireless phone charging and the optional JBL stereo are both pleasing additions.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Toyota Corolla

Our Fuel Consumption Rating7 / 10

The latest Corolla continues the tradition of reliable fuel consumption, and its 1.8-litre is certainly the star of the show. It offers approximately 62.7 mpg, though certain higher trims and the larger body types will reduce this figure. The 2.0-litre trades some efficiency for performance, offering up to 57.6 mpg. The cleanest engine is also, unsurprisingly, the 1.8-litre. It emits approximately 101 g/km of CO2. Of course, selecting a sportier trim means this figure can rise to 111 g/km. The 2.0-litre engine is limited to the higher-spec models, and its C02 emissions range from 111–120 g/km.

Running costs of the Toyota Corolla

Our Cost Rating8 / 10

Owning the latest Corolla is a relatively inexpensive affair compared with many small hatchbacks. It comes with a five-year warranty and falls within insurance groups 15–21. Toyota consistently produces reliable small cars, the only exception being previous iterations of the discontinued Auris. The only issue on older versions of the Corolla was related to its onboard emergency calling system not working as it should. This led to a series of recalls that were handled quickly and effectively. This isn’t the type of fault to make you sweat, and the same fault hasn’t recurred with the latest model.

Our verdict of the Toyota Corolla

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Corolla returns as a very stylish option for first-time buyers, and Toyota's traditional values of high safety standards and excellent fuel economy remain intact.