Toyota Corolla Trek (2019 - 2022) used car review

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

Breakdown cover from just £7.95 a month*. Plus up to £150 of driving savings!

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

By Jonathan Crouch


It's hard to imagine a less suitable vehicle for a countryside trek than a Toyota Corolla hybrid. In late 2019 though, such was the draw of the SUV market that the Japanese maker found it necessary to introduce Crossover genes even into this frugally-focused family model - specifically into the twelfth generation 'E210'-series Touring Sports estate version. So was created the Toyota Corolla Trek.


5 Door Estate (1.8 Hybrid, 2.0 Hybrid - Petrol)


The Trek wasn't any sort of SUV of course, but it was apparently aimed at 'active families' and was given a lifestyle vibe by a partnership with US bicycling giant Trek. All the usual rufty tufty visual additions for crossovery estates made an appearance - and there was a small right height increase too.

The Trek was based on the Touring Sports estate version of the Corolla and the reality is that those who choose one will be doing so for much the same reasons as any other Touring Sports buyer - namely the fact that this is one of the few compact estates in the class to offer self-charging Hybrid power. That certainly makes this car's most direct period rival, the Ford Focus Active estate, look a bit old-school. The Trek was offered with both 1.8 and 2.0-litre versions of Toyota's Hybrid powertrain from launch. For the final year of sale in 2021, a better-equipped Special Edition' version of the 2.0-litre Hybrid variant was offered. When Toyota facelifted the MK12 'E210'-series Corolla in early 2023, this Trek variant was discontinued because Toyota planned shortly afterwards to introduce a separate Corolla Cross SUV model.

What You Get

The Corolla Touring sports is one of the better looking compact estates and its appearance was lightly embellished in Trek-spec. Added details include a honeycomb front grille, a silvered skid plate-style embellishment to the lower grille, front fog lamps and LED headlamps.

Plus there's bespoke 17-inch machined alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and the 20mm ride height increase mentioned in our 'On The Road' section. In profile, it shares its hatchback stablemate's steeply raked windscreen, which flows into an extended roofline with aluminium roof rails.

At the rear, there's a lower silvered skid plate and an integral rear spoiler. Like an ordinary Corolla Touring Sports model, this one sits upon a lengthened 2,700mm wheelbase version of this Japanese maker's 'TNGA' 'Toyota New Global Architecture' platform.

Inside, bespoke 'Trek' features include upholstery in a two-tone textile material and white stitching across the dash; both these touches look good. Not so appealing is the fake wood trim, which features around the corner air vents, on the doors and in the centre of the fascia.

Otherwise, material quality is impressive, with copious use of piano black and metallic-style surfacing. It's not all about the tinsel either. The cabin's ergonomically sound too, thanks to a low instrument panel height that enhances your forward view and a wide centre console area that gives the cockpit something of a wraparound feel.

Further helping with the overall feeling of greater sophistication is the view you get through the three-spoke leather-stitched wheel - that of a smart instrument binnacle that Toyota chose to present with a combination of digital and analogue design. Anything it can't tell you will probably be covered off by an 8-inch 'Toyota Touch 2' centre-dash screen that deals with the usual DAB audio, Bluetooth, navigation and online connectivity options. Though it isn't cutting-edge in terms of graphical sophistication, we appreciate the fact that it incorporates a standard rear view camera. And we like the neat 'Energy Monitor' which shows you at any given time what's being charged or powered by what.

What about the rear seat, which you enter into over 'Trek'-embellished door sill plates. Once you're in situ in the back, it's fairly tight space-wise by class standards, both in terms of leg and headroom, restrictions rather emphasised by the way the curved roof lining slopes down ahead and to the side of you. The footwells are also pretty tight and cramming three adult folk in the back is going to be something of a squash. Of course to some extent, that'll be true whichever car you pick in this class from the 2019-2022 period, but some manage significantly better than others; a rival Ford Focus Active Estate for instance, is a significant 35mm wider than this Corolla. On the plus side, the transmission tunnel in this Trek model is quite low and Toyota provided rear vents too.

And out back? Well there's a standard powered tailgate - though it's arthritically slow. Once it raises, in the 1.8-litre variant, there's a 598-litre boot (or 581-litres in the 2.0-litre model). There's quite a lot more space beneath the floor too - though we'd have preferred to see a space-saver spare wheel fitted. Toyota didn't fit a 40:20:40-split rear backrest either. With the 60:40-split rear bench folded, there's 1,591-litres of total capacity and 1,860mm of load space length.

What You Pay

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What to Look For

There aren't too many issues with this 12th generation Corolla. Toyota did have to issue a recall early on in MK12 production for issues with the CVT auto gearbox (there were fears that there was an issue that could lead to torque converter failure, which would result in a loss of power to the wheels). With the 1.8-litre model, a check light might sometimes appear on, illuminating on the dash. This is due to the car's EVAP system; the only solution for this issue is to check the condition of the EVAP system. In the unlikely event that you're looking at a Corolla Trek that's done over 50,000 miles, you can expect it to drink a little more oil. Otherwise, it's just the usual things; check the interior for child damage; and the exterior for parking scrapes and alloy wheel scuffs. And of course insist on a fully stamped-out service history.

Replacement Parts

(approx - based on a 2021 Corolla Trek ex VAT) An air filter is priced in the £16 bracket. An oil filter costs in the £5 to £9 bracket. On to brakes. A set of front brake pads tend to retail in the £62 bracket. A front brake disc is around £110; think in the £54 bracket for rears. A set of wiper blades are om the £7-£24 bracket. A pollen filter is in the £15-£48 bracket. A headlamp will cost in the £452-£477 bracket (halogen) and around £893 (LED).

On the Road

You'd be very unwise to try and replicate the lifestyle marketing and undertake any sort of gnarly off road trail in this Corolla Trek. Yes, ride height is raised over standard model by 20mm, but there's no kind of four-wheel-drive or front wheel grip control system. And anyway, this car really isn't built for that kind of thing.

Under the bonnet, as with a usual Corolla Touring Sports model, there's a choice of two self-charging hybrid powertrains - a 120bhp 1.8-litre variant and a perkier 178bhp 2.0-litre unit that's engineered for more power on demand and more effortless acceleration, without compromising overall fuel and emissions efficiency. As full hybrids, both powertrains have the advantage of offering a limited all-electric drive capability, with zero emissions and reduced fuel consumption. Both, as you would expect, are also matched to a seamless belt-driven CVT automatic transmission with six speeds.

There are wheel-mounted paddle shifters supplied as part of this transmission package, but it's unlikely that typical buyers will make much use of them. For the record though, the 2.0-litre hybrid variant should get from rest to 62mph in 8.1 seconds, which is reasonably rapid by class standards. For the 1.8-litre version, it's 11.1s. Both variants have a top speed limited to 112mph. Expect refinement to be excellent; certainly far better than it would be in a rival rumbly diesel. The WLTP stats of this self-charging hybrid are pretty eye-catching. A 1.8-litre Hybrid Corolla Trek manages up to 56.4mpg on the combined cycle and 113g/km of CO2. For the 2.0-litre Hybrid model, the figures are up to 53.3mpg and 121g/km. That's further helped, Toyota expects, by the fact that for typical customers, up to 50% of typical commuting journeys will be accomplished in all-electric drive.


This was a piece of lifestyle marketing, pure and simple. Yet we can't help thinking that for most people buying Toyota's small and mid-sized SUVs from the 2019-2022 period, this would probably be more sensible choice. There's a bit of visual impact for the supermarket car park. But nothing that that's going to unduly affect either the day-to-day driving experience or running cost efficiency.

And all the usual attributes of a Toyota Corolla hybrid are here. So there's diesel-like economy and all the benefits of electrified power, without the kind of price premium that would accompany purchase of a plug-in hybrid. Toyota has always though that, by and large, self-charging hybrids are the way to go for family buyers in this segment and if this technology can be served up with a bit more of a lifestyle vibe, then so much the better. If you feel the same, then this car might be worth checking out.

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