The world’s most long-lived nameplate, the Toyota Corolla, is now available with a hybrid powertrain in New Zealand.
The Corolla Hatch Hybrid is based on the petrol engined Corolla GLX model and will sell for NZ$38,490 with an eight-year warranty on the hybrid battery.
That puts it solidly between the Prius C and the standard Prius in terms of pricing, with a NZ$2,000 premium over the highest spec petrol only Corolla, the Levin ZR.
The car itself has a claimed 100kW of power and 142Nm of torque, while returning 4.1L/100km on the ADR combined cycle. For comparison, the rest of the Corolla CVT range gets a claimed 6.1L/100km combined.
Toyota New Zealand says that over a five-year period, fuel savings of the Corolla Hatch Hybrid are expected to be around $2,500 when compared to the Petrol Corolla GLX, which means that you will have to be a dedicated owner if you want to get your money back on the car.
That’s really not what most buyers of hybrids are thinking about though, preferring to look at it from the point of view of low daily running costs and minimising impact to the environment.
And yes, there’s plenty of debate over the whole cost life cycle of hybrids, which we won’t go into here.
“We’re taking [hybrids] mainstream by marrying our biggest selling car with hybrid technology”, said Spencer Morris, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Product.
“Corolla is a logical and high profile extension of the normalisation of hybrid technology into volume models that was started by Camry here in 2010.”
“It easily stacks up financially,” said Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Sales.
“We expect it will appeal to people who want a Hybrid and prefer to drive a more mainstream looking car as well as Fleet managers who recognise the dual advantages of lower running costs and a better carbon footprint for their business.”
Toyota New Zealand expects to sell up to 400 Corolla Hatch Hybrids in the second half of this year, with total Corolla sales expected to exceed 6,000 in 2016.