The name of the car might not sound the best in all capitals but this time around we will take a look at the new Toyota Corolla TREK.
After all, the American bicycle company, with which Toyota developed the car, always spells its own name (logo apart) with just an initial capital.
The adventurous Trek is based on the Corolla Touring Sports – or estate to you and me. I suspect the bicycle firm’s only involvement probably consisted of signing a licensing agreement to allow Toyota to use the name.
After all, the Japanese firm does sponsor Trek’s bike racing teams.
The car itself didn’t need a lot of developing as the template for making an estate a bit more rugged and ‘active lifestyle’ is set in stone. Or mud, if you prefer.
For instance, Audi did the job with its All Road; Volvo with the Cross Country, and Skoda with its Octavia Scout.
It’s simple: raise the suspension to increase the ride height so bits like exhausts aren’t torn off. Then add some plastic cladding around the wheel arches, faux protective plates under the front and rear bumpers, and off you go.
Which is exactly what Toyota has done with the Corolla Trek.
The suspension has been tweaked to give an extra 20mm of ride height and underbody protection is fitted.
The Trek is a two-wheel drive with no off-road biased traction control system.
Neither is it fitted with anything other than standard road tires. But to be fair to Toyota, increased ground clearance is all most customers, even the active ones, will need.
There is no choice of trim level, but what you do get to choose is engine size. Both the 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter petrol versions are part of a hybrid powertrain using Toyota’s well-proven reliable technology.
The smaller engine produces 122bhp and the larger, 184bhp. The price jump from the 1.8 to 2.0 isn’t large – the less powerful Trek is 38.000 USD and the 2.0-liter 40.300 USD.
On a finance or PCP scheme, I doubt you’d notice the difference.
We’re testing the 2.0-liter in white with the Trek black 17-inch alloy wheels. The Corolla is a looker, a million times more appealing than the dull Auris that went before.
All that car had to go for it was incredible reliability, which I’ll admit is pretty important.
Those black wheels and plastic cladding do give the Corolla Touring Sports a more functional look and the 20mm increase in ride height adds something too.