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Toyota Corolla ZR Hatch 2020 Review

2018 Toyota Corolla ZR Hybrid

 We reviewed Corolla many times, and each time it gets better. There are 3 models with either a petrol or hybrid drivetrain. Manual is only available in the base petrol model: Today we review the ZR Hatch


In 2018, the new model launched to much praise. The new TNG platform allowed for different drivetrains, sizes of vehicles, and all the good stuff that makes a modern car look sharp.

To that end, the design language we saw in LEXUS, Toyota’s posh brand, is now creeping in to mainstream Toyota models.

LED headlights are deeply sculptured with a massive gaping grille. The rear is likewise cleaved and pinched to make interesting angles and plays of light.

ZR gets smart entry and start, so has grooves on the door handles and a small round button on the hatch next to the opener.

18” wheels are standard, giving the side profile a bit of presence. It begs for a flared kit and a hot power plant.


The new interior speaks of the Japanese obsession with asymmetric design. The dash ebbs and flows, and the driver pod is topped by an HUD (heads up display).

The centre stack is minimalist, topped by a touch screen complete with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The USB required by the system is just under the dash on the lefthand side. There is a further USB port in the centre armrest bin.

Rear seats are tight for space with 4 up, especially if it is 4 6’ adults. Knees almost touch the front seats. The cargo hold is 217L with a very high floor to make the area flat when seats are folded down. It allows room for the full-size spare on the base model.

The cabin is generally roomy, comfortable, and well-appointed.

On the Road:

Corolla is nippy. The CVT automatic simulates the gears of a traditional automatic under harsh acceleration, and when in sport mode. This prevents high engine revving when taking off from lights.

Steering is well assisted, yet firm. Ride is fairly smooth most of the time. Bumps while cornering give a pleasing little jig just to let you know you’re alive. You’re always in control, and stability gadgets make Corolla every bit as capable as her more expensive cousins.

Some of the notable gizmos are:

Of course, there are many more, and they make the drive easy and low stress.

Highway cruising is very smooth indeed. There is plenty of go for overtaking but it does need a bit of planning. Corolla is cruisy rather than sporty.

Around town, the ability to nip in and out of traffic makes life easy. Parking includes a reversing camera with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Braking. That means no stress on the Sunday run to Bunnings.

Model range pricing:

Corolla RZ details:

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