One of Toyota’s better cabins, the interior of the Corolla perhaps lacks the showiness of the related C-HR crossover, but it more than makes up for this with a degree of solidity that is found through everything you touch and feel. All the switches and the major controls are pleasant to operate, while the seating position is very good indeed and there’s a slick 7.0-inch digital screen set into the instrument cluster, as well as a wide head-up display (HUD) in the driver’s line of sight. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that base specifications make do without the HUD and employ a simpler 4.2-inch colour screen. If we have any gripes about the cabin, they relate to the Corolla’s mediocre infotainment system, which doesn’t come with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
, and the clunky rocker switches for the heated seats.
The Corolla is not the most accommodating car in the hatchback class. Rear legroom is average for the class and no more, while the chunky, almost sports-like seats up front limit space for the feet of passengers sitting in the back. The boot on the 2.0-litre Hybrid model holds a mere 313 litres, which is pretty poor for this class, although the 1.2 petrol and 1.8 Hybrid gain a slightly larger 361-litre space that is more competitive. While the rear seats fold down easily, there is a drop down to the boot floor from the loading lip.
On the move, the Corolla has a smooth and comfortable ride, ably abetted by very little wind and/or tyre noise. Treat the Hybrid models’ throttle pedals gently and their part-electric propulsion systems are quiet and smooth, which also helps make the Corolla a pleasant vehicle to travel in, be that in town, on open country roads or while pounding along a motorway. What’s more, the handling is also impressive, with smooth and well-weighted steering, lots of grip and a nicely balanced feel in the corners.