New 2019 Toyota Corolla: the early reviews are in!

Anticipation is building ahead of the official launch of the Toyota Corolla in the UK early next year, but a handful of key motoring journalists have already had their appetites whetted by drives in pre-production versions of the new model.

Influential scribes representing brands including Autocar, Auto Express, Car, Car Buyer, Parkers and What Car? sampled pre-production versions of the Corolla 1.8 Hybrid and the 2.0 Hybrid, in both Hatchback and Touring Sports body styles, on roads around Madrid in late October.

Their verdicts were published this week, with Auto Express going so far as to declare the Corolla “Toyota’s most convincing family car in a generation”.

The excerpts below offer a flavour of what the media is saying about the new Corolla. To read their full online test reports, click the emboldened links.

Toyota Corolla: Autocar

The new Toyota Corolla has taken a giant step forward

“What we can say for now is that the new Corolla has taken a giant step forward, and that in terms of cabin quality and refinement, comfort and dynamic capability it is up there fighting among the very best.

“Likewise, you would hope, Toyota’s famed reputations for both reliability and customer service should continue to add credence for buying one.

“This new hybrid powertrain is more of a success than any that has gone before it at Toyota, thereby widening the options for buyers, and its warm performance will make it an interesting choice. 

Read the full Autocar review of the Toyota Corolla

New 2019 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla: Auto Express

“Make no mistake: this is the Japanese manufacturer’s most convincing family car in a generation… in general, the wider acceptance of hybrid tech (and the driving technique required to get the best from it) should help the Corolla to find lots of new customers. It deserves no less.”

Read the full Auto Express review of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports: Auto Express

“The 2.0-litre Corolla Touring Sports makes a decent case for itself so far… as an efficient, refined and composed rival for small-diesel and turbo-petrol versions of the likes of the Golf Estate and Focus Estate, Toyota’s offering does have merit.”

Read the full Auto Express review of the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Toyota Corolla: Car

The interior is a vast improvement on the old car, frankly

“While styling is largely subjective, doesn’t it look slick? Even in pre-production camouflage, those rounded bumpers and wheels pushed into the corners make it significantly more interesting to look at than the Auris, that’s for sure.

“This time round, it may even tempt some away from the default Golf-shaped purchase those on autopilot tend to make.

“[The interior] is a vast improvement on the old car, frankly. The surfaces are much softer both to look at and touch. It’s also much more modern thanks to a clever digital dashboard display offering a range of different informative pages… overall think [Toyota] C-HR, but a bit less futuristic.”

Read the full Car review of the Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla: Car Buyer

“On the road, the car had enough power to comfortably get up to speed, while the added electric power should help the Corolla to match diesel estates when it comes to carrying larger loads… as an efficient and well thought-out rival to capable rivals like the Ford Focus, the forthcoming estate looks promising.”

Read the full Car Buyer review of the Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla: Parkers

“We found the 2.0-litre to be willing where the old Auris would have been very out of its comfort zone – it’s still not exactly a hot hatch but the more powerful Corolla provides confident performance this time around.”

Read the full Parkers review of the Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla: What Car?

“The car grips the road well and tells the driver exactly what its front wheels are doing. Dynamically, the Corolla errs slightly more towards entertaining than being comfortable, but on mostly smooth roads, at least, it manages to deliver both.

“What’s clear for now is that the new Corolla is mostly a very good all-rounder and, thanks to its hybrid power and dynamic leaning, different from many rivals.”

Read the full What Car? review of the Toyota Corolla

Read more: Explore the new 2019 Toyota Corolla: powertrains

Read more: Explore the new 2019 Toyota Corolla: design

Read more: Explore the new 2019 Toyota Corolla: comfort and technology


  1. Why? You have the Prius, Auris and the Avensis What makes this low to the ground car better or different from your current models? People want Telsa X variations with leg room, great viewing angles for all passengers front and back. We want very ECo conscious SUVs. Not a large as the Sienna but not the RAV (which is a fake non-eco hybrid).

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for your comments. We’re sorry to hear you aren’t a fan of the Corolla. Launched in 1966, the Corolla quickly established itself as the globe’s top-selling passenger vehicle, and has since gone on to chalk up more than 40 million sales! We appreciate that design is subjective and not everyone will be a fan, however, stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for any model updates.


  2. Sorry, I am a fan of the Corolla: I owned one from 1997 to 2004 and it was the largest Corolla you made. I loved that car. But times are changing: all the big USA manufactures are dropping their sedans and focusing on SUVs. Toyota has to reply with designs that address the wishes of drivers to sit upright. Toyota used to have upright seating in the Yaris- 2006, Verso 2010, Picnic 2000, Ipsum 2004 adn RAV etc But they haven’t released an upright seating position except for the CRX which is too swept back for 6’3″ drivers and passengers. So Toyota is missing the market segment they should have been focusing on. If Telsa model X is selling like hotcakes…hwy isn’t toyota spending the odd $53 million on releasing an upright Corolla in 2018? (Similar to the Corolla Verso just new styling and Hyper-plugin engine?) The new model is just too low for today’s’ customers.

  3. Hi
    I came from a Golf V, and choose The 2.0L corolla Gr model. What a car….:) If you just love to drive u will appreciate this “too low” model. Is the experience and filing that a SUV or Crossover can’t give you. 🙂

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