Toyota Corolla vs Toyota Prius – The surprisingly difficult decision – TopAuto
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Toyota Corolla vs Toyota Prius – The surprisingly difficult decision

Which car would you rather buy: a Toyota Corolla or a Toyota Prius?

If your answer is a Corolla because it is substantially cheaper – and more practical to own – than a Prius, you will want to read on.

The current top-of-the-line Toyota Corolla available in South Africa – the 2.0 XR CVT – is R433,700.

The latest Prius is R518,200 – a price difference of R85,000, which I wager is a lot closer than many people would have guessed.

For these prices, you get the following with both cars:

  • A 4-door sedan that fits in a normal parking space.
  • A large boot and seating for 5 people.
  • Multiple convenience features, including electric windows, air-conditioning, and a Toyota Display Audio system.
  • CVT transmission for maximum fuel efficiency.

The Prius starts to make up ground on the price difference to the Corolla in the above-mentioned features department, and includes a range of items as standard which the cheaper car does not.

This includes:

  • Dual-zone air-conditioning with a humidity sensor.
  • Heads-up display.
  • Seat heaters.
  • Automatic windscreen wipers.
  • Fog lamps.
  • A tow hook.
  • Leather seats.
  • A key reminder warning.

Both the Corolla and Prius come with sensible service and warranty plans as standard, too.

The service plan is 6-services/90,000km – with service intervals of 12 months or 15,000km – for both vehicles.

Likewise, the warranty provides 3-years/100,000km of coverage.

The listing for the Prius on Toyota South Africa’s website states that the hybrid battery system receives a separate warranty of 8-years/195,000km.

This covers potential concerns that the Prius will need to be treated differently when it comes to maintenance, compared to a “normal” car like the Corolla.

Fuel consumption

Where the Prius shines, however, is fuel economy.

Thanks to its hybrid system, the Prius uses a claimed 3.7-litres of petrol per 100km. This is as opposed to the 6.0-litres per 100km achieved by the Corolla.

Inside the Prius is a 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine which produces 75kw and 142Nm of torque. Added to this is 53kW of power from the electric motor and LN1 battery system.

The Prius’s fuel economy is complemented by a 43-litre fuel tank, which means a driving range of around 1,000km per tank.

This will comfort those who view the Prius as being in the same category and electric vehicles, whose range can be quite limited compared to conventional petrol cars.

Toyota has fitted the 2.0 XR CVT Corolla with a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 125kW and 200Nm of torque – and a 50-litre fuel tank.

A close call

Thanks to its service and maintenance coverage, which matches the Corolla step-for-step; its low fuel consumption; and a host of added features as standard, the Prius is a lot closer to being an everyday sedan in South Africa.

Its hybrid system allows it to offer drivers low fuel usage while not sacrificing proper driving range or passenger and luggage space, and makes choosing between a top-end Corolla and a Prius a lot more difficult when walking into a Toyota dealership.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Prius

This is an opinion piece.

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