While the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling nameplate in automotive history (more than 40 million units have been sold worldwide since it arrived in 1966), for two generations it was superseded in Europe by the Auris hatchback, which appeared in 2006. That meant, in most markets, the Corolla nameplate disappeared, although it has since returned on the 12th-generation model launched in 2019. However, here in Ireland, the Corolla continued alongside the Auris hatchback and Touring Sports estate as a four-door saloon, so this guide looks at that car, sold between 2014 and 2018.
Although hybrid power is Toyota’s forte these days, this Corolla was only sold with modest petrol or diesel engines. In the case of the turbodiesel, very modest: it was a 1.4-litre unit with just 90hp and 205Nm, figures some way off the prevailing class standards for entry-level diesel motors. It’s a smooth enough engine and frugal, and it’s also the most common type of Corolla on the used market, but it’s not quick. Sadly, there’s not much choice otherwise, because the petrol cars were far rarer. The 1.33-litre four-cylinder unit was the more popular, delivering 99hp, while a 1.6-litre four-cylinder was also offered with 122hp. This is normally teamed to an automatic transmission, while the other Corollas were six-speed manuals. Drive went to the front wheels, while Toyota Ireland’s familiar trim levels of Terra, Aura and Luna were employed for the saloon.
Although it’s underpowered, the diesel is the easiest Corolla to source and so is the one to go for.
Toyota Corolla 1.4 D-4D Luna
Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Maximum speed: 180km/h
0-100km/h: 12.5 seconds
Fuel consumption: 3.9 litres/100km
• Neatly styled
• Limited engine choice
• No hybrid version
The 11th-generation Toyota Corolla saloon is not exciting in the slightest, but it is highly reliable and economical to run. With plenty of them on the used market, it makes a good value second-hand buy if you’re in the market for an unpretentious A-to-B merchant that’ll never let you down.