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Toyota introduce trio of hybrids to SA

Toyota South Africa is on a bit of a new model assault now at the end of 2022 with a slew of new models either already introduced or soon-to-be-released. We attended the launch of three new hybrid models, one of which will not be available just yet, though.

As South Africa’s best-selling automaker, Toyota’s product portfolio clearly appeals to local car buyers. The Japanese marque has recently started ramping up the introduction of hybrid models within the local market, spelling its glacial, but measured approach to new energy vehicles. The hybrids the brand has introduced are of the series-parallel type, meaning that no charging is necessary, but the all-electric range is very limited.

This was set to change at some point, though, and the automaker took its next step recently. In addition to the introduction of an updated Corolla sedan hybrid, the brand also introduced a new Corolla Hatch hybrid and a RAV4 Plug-In hybrid, officially signalling the brand’s intention to start the next phase of its electric vehicle journey in South Africa. We had a chance to drive all three of the products in Gauteng recently.

The Corolla Hatch

The Corolla Hatch has not been quite as successful in the sales charts as it perhaps deserves, as many consumers look to crossovers and pukka SUVs in this price segment. It is hoped that the introduction of the hybrid version will bolster sales as the brand pushes its electrification strategy forward. The brand has officially discontinued the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine found in the model previously and replaced with with a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid or a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine.

The hybrid powertrain is Toyota’s latest fifth-generation unit and produces 103kW and will consume fuel at a claimed rate of 3.5 L/100km while the 2.0-litre produces 126kW and 203Nm of torque with fuel consumption is rated at 6.0 L/100km. The Corolla Hatch has also been updated cosmetically, with reshaped front and rear bumpers and revised headlights. The most notable change is seen inside, with a new digitised instrument cluster that is either a 7.0-inch or a 12.3-inch unit, depending on the specification, while wireless charging and a much improved 8.0-inch infotainment system has been added too. We had a chance to drive the hybrid variant at the launch, and managed a respectable 3.9 L/100km on the test route, and found the model to be very agreeable in terms of refinement and build quality.

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Pricing

Corolla Hatch 1.8 Xs Hybrid  R481 300

Corolla Hatch 1.8 Xr Hybrid R518 000

Corolla Hatch 1.8 Xr Hybrid Bi-tone  R528 200

Corolla Hatch 2.0 Xr CVT   R508 400

Corolla Hatch 2.0 Xr CVT Bi-tone  R518 600

Toyota Corolla sedan hybrid

Toyota also launched an updated version of its Corolla sedan hybrid, which now also features the new 103kW petrol-electric motor paired with a CVT gearbox. The sedan is slightly heavier on fuel, with a claimed figure of 3.9 L/100km, however, we managed to replicate this figure easily at the launch. Like the hatchback, the sedan variant has had subtle updates to the front and rear bumpers as well as its LED headlights, but is quite different from its Hatch sibling in the looks department, with a more reserved approach to its aesthetics. The sedan also benefits from the digital cluster and infotainment upgrades made to the Hatch, which has historically been an Achilles Heel for Toyota products, but is markedly improved now.

auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa

Pricing

Corolla 1.8 Xs Hybrid  R 492 700

Corolla 1.8 Xr Hybrid  R 511 600

Corolla 2.0 Xr CVT  R 507 000

Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid

auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa

Toyota’s electrification strategy is progressing at a slower rate than most as the auto giant has brought in just eight units of the RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid to ‘test the waters’ as the brand has stated in its press release. As the first plug-in hybrid for the brand in the local market, both the media and Toyota’s research and development team will be putting the units through their paces with a possible market introduction slated for early 2024.

We had a chance to sample the model along a short route in Johannesburg and were immediately impressed with the performance that the product offers. Its combination of a 2.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors mean a total system output of 225kW, allowing for a 0-100km/h time of just 6.0 seconds and a claimed combined fuel consumption figure of just 1.0 L/100km. There are various driving modes available in the RAV4, including an all-electric mode, in which the 18.1 kW battery will offer a claimed 80km of driving range.

Expect a more detailed report on the RAV4 in our upcoming review, where we will be putting the newcomer through its paces.

Sean NurseWith a lifelong passion for cars, bikes, and motorsport, Sean knew that attaining a degree in journalism would allow him to pursue his passion, which was to be a motoring journalist. After graduating in 2012, Sean was awarded a bursary from the SAGMJ which allowed him to work for a variety of motoring publications. This was a dream come true for Sean, and after a year of gaining vital industry experience, he was hired as a motoring journalist at a local newspaper and worked his way up to editor. In 2020, Sean joined the AutoTrader team and counts himself lucky to wake up and genuinely love what he does for a living.View News & Reviews

auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa
auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa
auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa
auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa
auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa
auto, autos, car, cars, toyota, toyota introduce trio of hybrids to sa

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