Toyota Corolla Sports Tourer Test: How to adapt to winter driving

Toyota Corolla Sports Tourer Test: How to adapt to winter driving

You don't have to suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity like Chuck McGill in the Netflix series “Better Call Saul” to not like electric cars, but the vast majority of people will sooner or later have to crawl to the cross and drive electric.

What old cars are and what they will be, as well as the few cars still sold with internal combustion engines, will still be drivable, but will become rare.

Not least because the level of tax on cars equipped with fuel tanks is likely to rise in the next state budget.

It's not uncommon for the Toyota Corolla to be the world's best-selling car model, with more than 50 million cars produced, including 81,786 in Norway alone since 1980, according to the Road Traffic Information Board.

There wouldn't be many in this country with the mild hybrid line today, even if one of the models bears the long name Toyota Corolla Sports Tourer GR Sport Hybrid.

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Last year, more than 2,000 Corollas were registered in Norway, but in January this year, only 22 were registered.

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The GR Sport badge suggests some aggressive Toyota driving machinery, but the Hybrid badge also reveals that it's a traditional powertrain with some GR design details. Photo: Andreas Schell/FinanceAffairs

Reliable and normal

If you are one of those, or one of those who will buy this, you will get a car that looks very solid and ordinary without major high points, but also without low points. It's also part of Toyota's success story, to have a successful car.

And so also with this mid-sized station wagon.

The car looks good so far and differs from most other cars with some special angles and shapes for the specific station wagon shape. The lights are sharp and hard, as is the grill. With tinted windows and a black roof, it looks long, low and sharp.

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Inside, Toyota has increased the proportion of upholstery materials and covered several surfaces and seats with artificial leather, but you will also find some plastic. The design looks as if the elements have been integrated gradually without any comprehensive thought, with the touchscreen jutting high from the dashboard.

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The driver's environment is characterized by a high-quality display without large protruding points and an unfinished design of panels and other elements. Photo: Andreas Schell/FinanceAffairs

Not very long legs

The seats are comfortable, but the short seat cushion and lack of seat recline means that long-legged people won't feel comfortable on a long flight.

Even in the 60/40 split rear seat, long-legged people will not feel comfortable over time, but the trunk is spacious with a large well, and the tailgate can be opened with a foot movement.

The car has a comfortable leather steering wheel with a number of functions for readouts and settings, such as adaptive cruise control, stereo and voice control, which are partially functional anyway.

The same applies to radio, where channels often disappear, especially in tunnels with messages about “no signal” and “no internet coverage.”

The steering wheel also has heat in the three-quarter grip areas only, which encourages proper grip in cold weather.

The touchscreen has relatively simple graphics and isn't particularly intuitive or comprehensive.

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The volume is adjusted using pushbuttons on the steering wheel or center console, so you might miss a traditional volume knob.

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Scattered around it are several panels for air conditioning, driving settings, seat heating and other functions.

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The Toyota Corolla station wagon is not a large car, but its shape makes it more practical than sedans and SUVs, regardless of drivetrain. Photo: Andreas Schell/FinanceAffairs

Good qualities

The differences in driving settings with 'Normal', 'Eco' and 'Power' are best demonstrated in the throttle response, which is not particularly strong at all. The advantage is that the stepless gearbox is less noisy and noisy than before, but road noise penetrates well into the cabin, especially in tunnels.

The car also has its own EV mode which allows you to drive short distances on all electricity, but the best feature of the system is that it contributes to lower consumption and emissions in practice, and not just when it comes to WLTP numbers.

The torque of 300 Nm is relatively high, so even if acceleration is modest, the car does not feel too slow.

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Another good feature of the car is its modest weight of 1,400 kilograms, which makes it easy to drive the car in all situations.

Although the stability control is relatively tight, you can drive faster and safer than most on winding winter roads, especially when others are terrified by the white surface. Snow and winter tires affect the steering in the negative direction, but the car is so comfortable and easy to drive that you think you're driving a sports car.

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Operating many of the vehicle's functions is a little complicated, but easy to understand and use. Photo: Andreas Schell/FinanceAffairs


If you don't like Toyota's user interface, you can mirror your phone to the touchscreen. You also have a car monitoring app, as well as remote climate control and navigation.

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If news emerges, the car contains an OTA update, with all the expected comfort and safety systems available.

Additional equipment consists of metallic paint at NOK 7,500, so electric cars in this price range are tax and VAT-free, but then you have to remember to charge them to avoid worrying about the range. This charges itself.

Key Information: Toyota Corolla Sports Tourer GR Sport Hybrid

Drivetrain: 1.8L R4 + electric motor

FWDHK/kW/Nm: 140/103/300

0-100 km/h: 10.9 seconds

maximum speed: 180 km/h

consumption: 0.46 l/mile

CO2 emissions: 107 g/km

Net battery capacity: 1.3 kWh

Net weight without driver: 1400 kg

length, width, height: 465/179/144 cm

Box: 598/1,606 litres

Maximum trailer weight with brakes: 750 kg

Maximum load: 355 kg

price: From NOK 441,700. This model is NOK 501,000

We like this:

  • comfortable
  • Large luggage compartment
  • Beautiful steering wheel

We don't like this:

  • Drive group
  • Road noise
  • Radio problems

design: A flexible station wagon with distinctive lights and some nice details.

Driving environment: A bit messy with a long screen that's not very intuitive.

Driving characteristics: Comfortable and more fun than it looks in winter.

Offers: Go slow with the challenging gearbox and ESP that keeps you on your toes.

place: It's cramped in the back seat, but there's plenty of room in the trunk.

Value for your money: Alternatively, you can get a big car for half a million in electric car country Norway.

Conclusion: 5 Reliable and comfortable without the big advantages and at a high price.

This article was previously published in

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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