2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid review: The 21st century people’s car

The Corolla Hybrid delivers fifty two mpg and lots of conventional tech.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

All over background, there have been a variety of “people’s vehicles” — cars that present a fantastic degree of price and utility, producing them attractive as standard transportation. Vehicles like the Ford Design T, the Volkswagen Beetle and Citroen 2CV occur to brain. Now, the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid embodies this ethos, as properly.


  • Killer fuel financial state
  • At ease interior
  • Nicely geared up for the rate

Really don’t Like

  • Engine sounds coarse
  • Front passenger isn’t going to have considerably knee space
  • Fairly slow

The Corolla Hybrid just isn’t speedy or speedy, but what it lacks in punch it can make up for with performance. Electric power will come from a 1.eight-liter normally aspirated four-cylinder engine that provides just 121 horsepower and a hundred and five pound-feet of torque. Like Toyota’s other hybrid styles, the Corolla employs the Atkinson combustion cycle that delivers elevated performance at the cost of electricity. The engine is paired with a long-lasting-magnet motor that delivers seventy one hp, fed by a 600-volt battery. Electric power is transmitted to the front wheels by means of a properly-behaved consistently variable transmission.

In accordance to the EPA, this standard hybrid drivetrain is fantastic for fifty three miles for every gallon city, fifty two mpg highway and fifty two mpg put together which, specified the Corolla’s 11.4-gallon fuel tank, can make for critically spectacular cruising vary. In excess of the class of approximately four hundred miles, I observed 50.6 mpg — not rather the EPA numbers, but any noticed financial state more than 50 mpg is pretty fantastic in my reserve.

The Corolla’s chassis just isn’t designed for thrills, but it is completely skilled for this car’s meant purpose. The front suspension consists of MacPherson struts when the rear employs a multi-connection layout. Toyota could have cheaped out here and made use of a rear torsion beam, but it didn’t, and the trip high-quality is better for it. The steering just isn’t notably communicative — not that I might hope it to be — but it is accurate and properly-weighted, which adds to driving satisfaction. The brakes are ventilated discs in the front and sound discs in the rear and present a decent pedal truly feel with plenty of stopping electricity.

On the street, the Corolla feels fantastic. It rides properly and commonly feels sound. It handles properly adequate to make a twisty street truly feel enjoyment, if not thrilling, and the cabin is free of charge of egregious squeaks or rattles.

The interior is relaxed and — far more importantly — tough.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

Technological know-how in normal, and safety engineering in specific, is an progressively important part of the “people’s vehicle” formula. Just due to the fact a motor vehicle is affordable to obtain and run isn’t going to signify buyers are keen to sacrifice modern day safety capabilities or driver aids. Toyota provides here as properly, with the really robust Security Perception two. suite as conventional gear. It features a precollision braking system with pedestrian detection, lane-retaining guide, computerized substantial beams, street indication recognition and an great adaptive cruise control system.

Infotainment engineering is also rather fantastic. Toyota’s Entune system just isn’t heading to acquire any awards for responsiveness or attractiveness, but it is plenty functional and I value the eight-inch touchscreen and the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle compatibility as conventional. The lack of a top quality stereo choice on the Hybrid product is sort of a bummer, but the conventional stereo will be totally satisfactory for most people today.

The Corolla Hybrid’s interior is standard, but that isn’t going to signify it is uncomfortable. The fabric seats are relaxed and the content feels tough, like it will put up with years of abuse. Ditto the interior plastics. Nothing is heading to make a prospective buyer ooh or ahh, but the cabin seems and feels great, notably for the Corolla’s modest inquiring rate. The driver’s seat has 6-way adjustability and the front passenger will get four-way motion, nevertheless the layout of the glovebox cuts into the knee space for taller riders. The rear seat folds down and has a 60/40 split, incorporating appreciably to the Corolla’s practicality. Even with the rear seats up, the thirteen.1 cubic feet of trunk room is ample. Ikea operates are surely not outside the house the Corolla’s purview.

Even this foundation-spec Corolla Hybrid is a fantastic-searching little sedan.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The 2021 Corolla Hybrid commences at just $24,595, together with $995 for location, and with an nearly nonexistent solutions record, that’s close to what you are going to spend. My tester capabilities some niceties like paint safety movie and a HomeLink rearview mirror and will come to just below $26,000 all in. Not poor at all. Furthermore, the Corolla Hybrid is a fantastic different for individuals who want the room and performance of a Prius but will not want, you know, a Prius.

Putting anything jointly, I truly feel absolutely justified in putting the 2021 Corolla Hybrid in the identical pantheon as the Beetle or the 2CV. It’s a motor vehicle that’s designed to be ruthlessly successful and really accessible to doing work-course people today. You could pile miles on one particular of these and push it into the floor more than a extensive interval of time. Would I want to live with one particular? Fortunately. The Corolla Hybrid is a fantastic vehicle.