The Toyota Corolla name has been around for a while so when we were given the opportunity to test one it was a great chance to see how it has evolved and how it performs from our perspective.

Toyota Corolla Ecel 2.0 Hybrid

Toyota Corolla Ecel 2.0 Hybrid

Now as our regular visitors know when we test a car we tend not to get hung up on 0 to 60’s, or that sort of thing. Yes you do need to know these details before buying but most of us use our vehicles for work, leisure, and getting around on normal roads not race tracks we look put the cars in in real life situations, scenario’s that would expected during everyday use such as getting the kids to school, shopping trips, and the practicalities of taking the whole family away on a trip to the seaside.

Toyota offered Female first the use of one of its Corolla’s we decided to put to the test and see if it lived up to the company's claims.

Well waiting outside was the car itself, so time to take the Corolla Excel 2.0 Hatchback Bi-tone hybrid out into real life.

It was a case of loading luggage, food and drink, for the journey, check the car for fuel, get the kids onboard, put the destination in the satnav ready for our journey north.

We had planned a trip to Windermere so our route would take us along the M6 – past Lancaster finally navigating the A and B roads to our destination.

Normally we take the kids to school and collect them later before leaving for our destination with school bags and all, but in these strange times of Covid19 and school attendances being on hold that part of the test was missed.

Ready for the off - we headed for the M60 taking the Corolla Excel over from Manchester to join the M6 to head north in a somewhat less challenging journey these days with peak traffic being rather subdued due to ‘lockdown’.

We found the Corolla easy to handle and very responsive amongst the ‘stop – go’ traffic in and around Manchester.

When we left the slow moving traffic around Manchester behind and hit the open aspects of the M6 - our Corolla responded with ease tackling the steep climbs and was unmoved by the cross winds that buffeted our car making it a pleasure to drive, acceleration was smooth and easy, giving a feeling of surety and being in complete control when overtaking.

We arrived at junction 36 on the M6 to exit onto the A590, the 'Gateway to the Lakes' feeling fresh and stress free after a comfortable journey, a major plus from the Excel.

Taking into account that this was Friday afternoon with all its usual peak time traffic we decided to continue to try and avoid as much of this as possible, so we decided to delay taking a long break until as later as we were all feeling fine and happy to push on.

So, after grabbing a quick coffee we headed off through the small towns and villages and the very twisty narrow roads around Kendal and Windermere where the Corolla’s handling on these roads set to be given an even more challenging test.

The Toyota performed like a dream during the drive, negotiating the wet, (it always rains in the Lakes) and uneven country roads frequently having to navigate past slow moving traffic, (there are always cars with caravans in the Lakes). Our Corolla took this all in its stride, delivering us to our destination relaxed and stress free after quite a long drive.

The Toyota Corolla Excel 2.0 Hybrid is a great looking and practical car that lives up to the hype, a pleasure to drive, the handling was brilliant with impressive driving manners. Just as impressively, the Corolla Excel has impeccable manners, evening out bumps and potholes in the Tarmac making for an easy comfortable ride, sticking to the road with sure and certain handling.

Fuel economy was perfect as at low speeds in ECO drive mode, the Hybrid is able to revert to its electric motor only, while the motorway driving returned us 46.3 mpg and the bonus was it remained good for the environment was excellent again due to its hybrid qualities.

When it came to parking the great reversing camera and parking sensors helped to navigate the car into the tightest of parking spots.

The Corolla also comes with a full suite of safety systems, and a pre-collision system. It is able to pick out pedestrians, warn of lane departures amongst other things.

I know I may have used this phrase before but it true for this Toyota – this is a car that ‘handles people and their belongings impeccability'.

It coped with all that day to day driving threw at it while delivering its occupants at their destinations relaxed, stress free and ready every time.

A plus point was that our kids, loved the journey - we often ask them and their freinds for their wiews about the cars we review and they concluded that the Corolla was a great ride appreciating the fact that they weren’t distracted during the journey allowing them to play games on their phones.

It gets our vote and that also included a positive from our kids.

With prices ranging from a touch over £21,000 to £31,000 for the top of the range it represents great value.

Get more on the Toyota Corolla Excel here: Toyota 

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