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First Drive

First Drive: Toyota Corolla Trek

The story:
Toyota has added a ‘lifestyle’-orientated model to its Corolla Touring Sports estate model, with the Trek offering a raised ride height, cladding and extra equipment.
Category:Lower medium
Key rival:Ford Focus Active
MPG:56.5 mpg
On sale:Now

Born of a partnership between a car company and a bicycle manufacturer, the Toyota Corolla Trek is touted as a more rugged and active version of the brand’s lower medium estate model.

The Trek – named after the Trek Bikes brand – gets a 20mm increase to its ride height for improved ground clearance and protective cladding at the front, rear and around the wheel arches, as well as a bespoke honeycomb grille, 17-inch machined alloy wheels, keyless entry and rear privacy glass. The interior is also lifted by decorative wood finish treatment that make a subtle but useful improvement to the cabin.

First Drive-October 2020- Toyota Corolla Trek- Image 1

The exterior looks a little understated in terms of the extra cladding, more so than the Ford Focus Active that is the main rival in terms of a car with small-scale changes to improve accessibility over slightly rougher ground. The increased ride height also makes the pretty 17-inch alloys look a little smaller in the wheel arches than might be expected. The alloys are also usefully set back from the edge of the tyre to reduce the chances of kerb scrapes.

The Trek is available with both Toyota’s petrol ‘self-charging’ hybrid powertrains, the 122hp 1.8 and the 184hp 2.0, offering emissions figures of 113g/km and 121g/km respectively, while the price difference is £1,725 to go up to the more powerful model that knocks three seconds of the 122hp’s 11.1-second 0-62mph acceleration time.

The 122hp 1.8 driven here is perfectly fine for most situations, although needs a bit of work under acceleration, at which point it becomes rather raucous. The latest Toyota hybrid powertrains have made massive strides from earlier versions, but to a lesser degree still have the characteristic of making more noise than is justified given the acceleration levels on offer.

First Drive-October 2020- Toyota Corolla Trek- Image 3But the emissions figures are very good although 10g/km higher than the Icon trim level of Corolla that gets smaller wheels. It is though just 1g/km above the Design trim that shares the 17-inch alloys, and in the same BiK band, which is lower than petrol and diesel rivals thanks to the hybrid-petrol system.

Given the extra equipment, more rugged styling and raised ride height, the Trek’s price premium of less than £1,700 looks pretty reasonable, and the car benefits from all the benefits of the regular Corolla, including five-year warranty and a hefty 575-litre boot including big under-floor storage area.


paul barker

The verdict

The Trek’s raised right height cladding and particularly extra equipment and interior flourishes make for a useful addition to the impressive new Corolla range.