If you’re looking for an estate car with low running costs but aren’t keen on the idea of owning a diesel, the Corolla Touring Sports is an ideal alternative. However, it still isn’t the best of its kind if boot space matters most.
The Toyota Corolla Touring Sports shares the same striking looks with the Corolla hatchback, which automatically makes it one of the most stylish estate cars around. The sharp looks at the front and curvy back end make it easy marking out the Corolla in a carpark full of VWs, Skodas and Vauxhalls.
Inside, you’ll find an impressive amount of quality materials that look high end and feel nice to the touch. Most of the buttons you press feel pleasingly luxurious, but it’s not all good news when it comes to the infotainment system.
All models get an 8-inch touchscreen, but phone screen mirroring such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto isn’t yet available, so your only choice for sat-nav is the optional Toyota system. It’s simple to use and it finds your route quickly, however, the instructions can sometimes be confusing and the auto-zoom is slow.
Getting a comfortable driving position in the Corolla, on the other hand, is quick and easy thanks to plenty of adjustment to steering wheel and seat. As standard, you can alter the height of the driver’s seat and adjust the lower back support – things you usually pay extra for in alternatives such as the VW Golf. All models also come with heated front seats as well.
Alternatives still have the edge on the Corolla Touring Sports when it comes to rear seats space though. While three adults can fit back there for short trips and kids will find it pretty spacious, something like a Ford Focus Estate is more spacious for rear seat passengers.
It’s a similar story with the Corolla Touring Sports’ boot. For outright capacity, the Toyota is ahead of alternatives such as the Renault Megane Tourer, but what’s missing from the big boot in the Corolla are helpful practical touches such as the velcro-lined boot dividers you can get in a Skoda Octavia Estate. On the upside, you can store the parcel shelf under the false boot floor and a mountain bike fits easily once you fold the seats.
Cool looks, efficient engines and a feel-good interior – the Corolla Touring Sports is a great family estate car.
The Corolla Touring Sports is available with three petrol engines – two of them hybrids with low emissions. The cool thing about the Toyota hybrid system is that you don’t need to plug them in anywhere – the batteries charge themselves from the engine.
The best balance of running costs with performance is the 1.8-litre hybrid, or you can have a 2.0-litre hybrid that makes the Corolla Touring Sports even quicker. Worth mentioning is that both engines are fitted with an automatic gearbox that causes the engine to flare its revs and become noisy when you go for an overtake. If that’s not your thing, the smallest engine, a 1.2-litre turbo, comes with a manual gearbox.
Apart from the occasional noise, then, driving the Corolla Touring Sports is an enjoyable experience. It’s comfortable over poor roads, as a family car should be, but what’s surprising is it’s also more fun to drive than many alternatives, with only the Ford Focus Estate just edging ahead of it. It’s mostly to do with the great-feeling steering that gives you confidence to place the car on the road. Thanks to the electric help of the hybrid engines it’s very quiet and relaxing at motorway speeds making the Corolla Touring Sports great for long trips.
And another reason why the Corolla Touring Sports is a good family car is how much safety kit you get as standard. Highlights include auto emergency braking and a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist that really takes the strain out of motorway drives.
So, if you like the idea of hybrid motoring and are happy to forego some estate-car practicality in favour of more interesting looks, check out our Toyota Corolla Touring Sports deals to configure yours.