PEOPLE trust Toyotas because of their Japanese reliability.
Well here’s a work trolley that’s just as reliable – it’s guaranteed for up to ten years.
But it’s built at Toyota’s UK factory and engineered here to allow British craftsmen to drive in British conditions.
In fact, it is not sold anywhere else. And it has no car-based rivals.
If you have a low-load business, the Corolla Van has a lot to offer. Electricians, technicians, repairmen. Or blue light helpers: paramedics, for example, or police dog handlers.
It will carry 425kg, which is plenty for things like this.
It’s hybrid but doesn’t need to be plugged in, so it’s always ready to go.
It does an easy 60mpg, so it’s cheap to fuel. It is taxed as a van – far less than a company car.
But it drives like a car because that’s basically how it is.
It also looks like a car, with tinted rear windows instead of metal.
Toyota has discovered that a “car” parked in your driveway overnight is less likely to be broken into than a van.
By the way, the black window film is pretty burst-proof.
The van version begins to mix them up with the other Corolla hatchbacks and station wagons when they come off the assembly line at Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, Derbys.
But the assembly workers leave out a few things.
There are no rear seats or rear straps, not even their welded mounts.
The rear inside door handles are not connected. Because if a van can be converted back into a car, HMRC will deny it the van tax credits.
After the end of the line, Toyota fitted the steel bulkhead behind the front seats, a flat load floor and the black window film.
But yes, from the front seat, it’s basically a car.
You sit in a reclined position, not on the upright perch of a van.
It has a comprehensive driver assistance system, including active cruise control, which is super relaxing on long work trips.
Air conditioning keeps you cool, and a color display guides the maps and apps from your phone.
It also has a rear camera. This is pretty handy when the payload bay is stacked.
You can have a bit of fun throwing it into a series of corners as the steering is light and precise.
Make sure your load is tied down well, mind you.
The ride is decently comfortable too.
From the driver’s seat, the main difference from a regular Corolla station wagon is that more tire noise comes from the reverberant rear end.