rafletcher

2.0L Excel HB - thoughts so far

Recommended Posts

I've had my new Corolla for 2 weeks now, and have done some commuting, plus one reasonably motorway journey. 

First impressions, well it's a LOT noisier than my previous car, almost entirely due to the 40 profile 18" Falken tyres.  On a stretch of the A41, which was chip and tar sealed some years ago, it made conversation an effort. Not great.  On smoother surfaces the noise was tolerable.  This was quite a change from the 17" tyred Design that I test drove.

Lane departure warning / steering assist. Well, that's been turned off, probably permanently. I was travelling round a long curve on the A41, and the damn steering assist kept nudging me left, to the point it was so distracting as to be IMO dangerous. Then there was the bleeping if you changed lane without indication. Or when it picked up stray chevrons.

Navigation. Not bad. Map detail not great, but the turn by turn display on the instrument cluster was good. As note previously though, the nav voice prompts don't mute / reduce radio volume, nor do they increase with speed/interior noise level as they did on my last car.

Speed limit recognition. Pretty poor really. A local road had been 40mph for 20 years, Toyota (well their map supplier) think it's 60.  It also decided large parts of Kingston on Thames was 20mph, when it's 30.  And as for the variable limits on the M25, it was all over the place. I'm assuming it was recognising the speed from the overhead gantries? But it certainly didn't seem to register the "Nation Speed Limit" sign to revert to 70. Not to be relied upon.

Seats. Not bad at all. Not sure why Toyota haven't used a rotary control for the backrest angle adjustment, but thankfully one of the "clicks" is right for me. Wheel is fully out and fully down, but again just ok for me, and I can still see all the instruments, with the seat right down. A bit short on the squab for my long thighs though.

Visibility. Well typical for modern hatchbacks I guess, limited over shoulder and through the rear screen. Fortunately for me there isn't really a blind spot in the door mirrors, so I don't miss the blind spot warning system.

Economy. I got 48mpg over 75 miles of mixed rural, motorway (mostly) and urban driving, including half an hour of stop-start into Kingston, without bothering to try to be economic, and driving in "normal" mode, which had enough get-up-and-go for motorway joining.

Radar Cruise Control. I've had this before, on a Honda, and I liked it. It works well in the Toyota too.

Pan roof. Maybe it's me, but the last time i had a sunroof it was a "tilt and slide" with two opening positions - first press you got the tilt, then it stopped. second press a slide.  The pan roof doesn't seem to have that intermediate tilt stop position (mind, I haven't looked it up in the manual to check, just pressed the buttons!) Edit: I have now read the manual, and no, there isn't an intermediate tilt position, although you can stop it yourself in that position.

I haven't had the opportunity to try the park assist - I really thought Kingston would be just the place, but the first and only free space was right at the end of a row :-).  And the auto dip beam, because I've not been out after dark yet - that'll be soon though, when the clock go back.

Gradually getting things customized, like display and instrument brightness. I think the "eco" screen / display animation, whilst fun for a while, is very distracting though, will have to hide that somewhere

Oh, and my wife thought is was comfortable, and not too red, and she could get in and out more easily that on the lowered Quattro!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have the 2.0L Design hatchback pan roof  which we have had for a month.

My thoughts of the car its comfortable and handles well it is saving me more than £10 a week in fuel against my old 1.5L Ford focus st line. The wife loves driving it because its so easy to drive. I like most of the features of the car  accept the lane departure which i turned off after the first couple of days the steering wheel was tugging all the time. The speed recognition is not working properly.  I do like the like My T phone app which you can locate where your car is parked and how you have been driving but it doesn't show your fuel economy. Overall we happy with the car.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your 2.0 sounds noisier than my 1.8 Excel which is odd as we have the same tyres. I don't think tyre noise has ever been anywhere close to making conversation difficult. Have you checked the pressures - perhaps yours are too high. My dealer had mine correct at the front but the same pressure at the rear so you can't trust them. And going by where you live, did you use the Northampton dealer like me?

I've only noticed one speed limit error so far but then I only use that feature occasionally.

Auto main beam I'm now sceptical about. It seemed fine earlier this year but having started to drive to work in the dark again I'm beginning to think it's not dipping soon enough. It's difficult to be sure because the car has a better idea of the beam dispersion than me so there's always a tendency to think it's not reacted early enough but approaching an uphill stretch it didn't dip the lights even though cars were coming down it toward me for quite a while. I don't think they'd actually be dazzled but one did flash me about half a second after the car dipped itself (which was about a quarter of a second before I was going to myself thinking it had gone wrong). 

My last car - a Honda Jazz - had auto dip and I had no problems trusting it. The Jazz also didn't use main beam unless it was genuinely dark. The Corolla will use it at dawn when you almost don't need headlights at all.

And you're right that the audio isn't muted when satnav speaks. However I've got my satnav adjusted to the point where it can comfortably be heard over the music.

I've used lane assist on motorways and it kept pulling the car over to the right side of the lane. I found I was constantly fighting it. If I left it alone it kept whining that my hands weren't on the wheel (untrue, but I was only resting my finger tips on it). So like you I've switched it off and will probably never use it.

Overall I give my 1.8 Excel (picked up in March) 9/10 but that might drop to 8/10 if my suspicions about the auto main beam are confirmed as the nights draw in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

image.thumb.png.2b08ff70b76f53467c078212e90d5197.png

Lane Trace: Assuming your system is the same as the new RAV4, you can keep the lane departure part active and disable the lane centring and/or steering assist in the menus on the centre screen if you want to.  It does suggest this if off by default in my manual, but I'm sure it wasn't one of the things I turned on myself.  Certainly it was also active in the test drive car.

SatNav: I hardly use mine (use a TomTom instead).  The Toyota SatNav has poor traffic if you rely on the TMC/RDS Radio option, is better if you use Internet traffic data by tethering a phone.  When I've used both side-by-side, the TomTom wins almost every time.  The TomTom also allows me to save multi-stop journeys, which the built-in system doesn't.  Also, entering addresses on the built-in system is pain as when entering house numbers and postcodes it takes two extra presses each time you switch between alpha and numeric input (my last 2 Prius had better input than this).

Speed Recognition: the first generation version in my last Prius was solely from the windscreen camera, and was absolute rubbish.  Almost everybody I 'spoke' to turned it off.  However, I must say I've found the one on my RAV4 to be acceptably accurate - about 97% I guess.  I occasionally picks up a 20 when passing a roundabout exit I'm not taking, but usually corrects fairly quickly from the SatNav database.

Visibility: on the RAV the thick C pillars limit the view front the rear view mirror, but no worse than many cars.  What is intensely annoying, is that some markets (including USA and Germany get a camera based 'mirror' that uses a camera in the top of the rear windows, in the area swept by the wiper.  Also is unaffected by rear passengers or highly loaded hatch area, and the driver can adjust brightness, zoom angle and tilt angle.  Angry that we can't even pay extra for this on a factory ordered car (along with several other features other countries get, like ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated front screen and washer jets, foot sensor to open powered boot, cordless phone charger and paddle shifters!

Adaptive (Radar) Cruise Control: I just loved it on my last 2016 Prius, it's improved even further with the Safety Sense 2 package our cars have, especially being able to set it down to 18 mph (28 previously), which makes it really helpful in some 20 mph zones.

Park Assist: don't get this on my Excel RAV, but had it on my 2016 Excel Prius - another major annoyance.  It was great at measuring each gap as you passed a row of parked cars and alerting to which spaces it could get into - it got me into (and back out of) some that I wouldn't have looked at myself.

Auto Dip: better than the Prius, but still too inconsiderate to others (especially people some distance in front going the same direction) for my stomach to it stays off.  Don;t know if the current version is better or worse, but my on Prius it wouldn't switch to high bream below 27 mph, which in very twisty, high backed and tree lined country lanes in my area was downright dangerous in the pitch black.

Auto Headlights: before the Prius cars I've driven with this had a fully off opposition, and I find it absolutely unbelievable I can't disable on the latest cars - several places where I drive in narrow, tightly bending back roads with 2 storey building either side, and soem local roads with overhanging trees the lights come on suddenly without warning and I've had 3 (so far) very near misses where people think I'm flashing them in the first second they come on.  Also, if I'm parked with the power on, they come on too, even In Ignition on state were everything is on the 12V Battery.  Asinine!  And I'm frankly astonished Construction and Use regulations allow it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AndrueC, dealer was Stephen Eagle in Aylesbury. I haven’t checked£ to tyre pressures yet, will pop out and do it after my post gardening cuppa. 
 

Further observations; Wind noise is almost entirely absent, even in excess of motorway speeds. Very good.   Unconvinced so far by the JBL audio, not as good (or perhaps just harder for me to adjust to my liking) as the Bose and B&O I’ve had in my last two cars (both Audi).  Grip - I’ve managed to spin the front wheels twice already, once in a car park, once pulling out of an uphill junction, both on damp roads. Maybe down to EV torque, maybe the tyres aren’t that good. 
 

ETA: Well, thanks to AndrueC are due. I just popped out and checked the tyre pressures. All 4 tyres were in excess of 50psi 😲. That’s as high as my tyre pressure gauge goes, so it could have been 55psi. That explains the noise and poor grip then. Coincidentally I was in the dealers yesterday picking up a part, and the sales guy saw me, but couldn’t stop. He left me a voicemail today to call him. I wasn’t going to bother - but I will now!  That’ll make his day 😎.  In all seriousness though, that was dangerously high and should never have happened. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, rafletcher said:

ETA: Well, thanks to AndrueC are due. I just popped out and checked the tyre pressures. All 4 tyres were in excess of 50psi 😲. That’s as high as my tyre pressure gauge goes, so it could have been 55psi. That explains the noise and poor grip then. Coincidentally I was in the dealers yesterday picking up a part, and the sales guy saw me, but couldn’t stop. He left me a voicemail today to call him. I wasn’t going to bother - but I will now!  That’ll make his day 😎.  In all seriousness though, that was dangerously high and should never have happened. 

Shocking that they would have pumped them up that high surely it even exceeds the max pressure on the tyre wall? It would explain the noise and handling characteristics though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of googling suggests, not unreasonably, that all new cars have tyres that are grossly overinflated from 5he factory, as a) they don’t know what car they’re going on to and b) said car may be sat for months in a parking lot and overinflation prevents flat spotting of the tyre. So, responsibility of the dealership to check and adjust prior to handover to customer. I’ll be interested to find out how the dealership addresses the issue. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The dealers are supposed to sort things like that out of course. They charge enough so the least they can do is ensure that their staff follow a simple checklist and ensure that the car is handed over to the new owner in perfect condition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2019 at 3:54 PM, rafletcher said:

@AndrueC, dealer was Stephen Eagle in Aylesbury. I haven’t checked£ to tyre pressures yet, will pop out and do it after my post gardening cuppa. 
 

Further observations; Wind noise is almost entirely absent, even in excess of motorway speeds. Very good.   Unconvinced so far by the JBL audio, not as good (or perhaps just harder for me to adjust to my liking) as the Bose and B&O I’ve had in my last two cars (both Audi).  Grip - I’ve managed to spin the front wheels twice already, once in a car park, once pulling out of an uphill junction, both on damp roads. Maybe down to EV torque, maybe the tyres aren’t that good. 
 

ETA: Well, thanks to AndrueC are due. I just popped out and checked the tyre pressures. All 4 tyres were in excess of 50psi 😲. That’s as high as my tyre pressure gauge goes, so it could have been 55psi. That explains the noise and poor grip then. Coincidentally I was in the dealers yesterday picking up a part, and the sales guy saw me, but couldn’t stop. He left me a voicemail today to call him. I wasn’t going to bother - but I will now!  That’ll make his day 😎.  In all seriousness though, that was dangerously high and should never have happened. 

Yes, my dealer is Steven Eagel in Aylesbury, and my tyres were too high as well! Have let them down to the lower pressure (High pressure is for travelling over 100mph, when would you do that legally?) and noise reduced. Except the tyre pressure warning light came on in the mornings, so I added 1psi all round and that stopped the problem. I think you can reset the tyre pressure warning system to the new (correct) pressure ,  but I have not looked up how to do that yet. I don't know what it is with dealers allowing the cars out with over inflated tyres?

I have found the car sticks to the road like a leech. My last car was "a drivers car" powerful and a bit edgy, which many drivers like, but the Corolla is much more positive and forgiving. Is your traction control off?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Resetting the TPWS is straightforward, using the “meter” buttons on the LH side of the steering wheel to go to the dash settings menus. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one thing I noticed when trying different specs of tourer over quite a few miles before settling on the Icon was that the bigger wheels & tyres of other specs made a huge difference in ride quality and noise especially on poor road surfaces

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed they do. Plus, as I mentioned, having them at 50psi want too great either!  But I like the firmer ride on the low profiles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it very strange, driving on country roads doing 50 mph, 80-90% of the time is with petrol alone. The Battery is charged to 7 or 8 bars, so the electric motor could help a bit, but it doesn't. 

Mpg's on motorway and country roads are nearly identical, since the hybrid system helps a lot more with higher speeds. I think the country roads economy could be a lot better, with just a bit more assistance from the hybrid system. 

How ever, The petrol engine is extremly economical, driving without hybrid kicking in, it still returns 50 mpg doing 55 mph. The first 2 fill-ups both returned 52 mpg as average. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's my impression as well with the 1.8. There seems to be some kind of 'weak spot' around 50 mph where the Battery isn't getting enough charge to allow the motor to do meaningful work in helping the ICE. It seems better at 60 mph where the Battery will soon get a decent charge and start helping. I usually drive motorways at 60 and the Battery is often helping out.

I reckon at lower speeds the motor has enough grunt to do more meaningful work and if the ICE has to be used for charging it can easily do so at an optimised higher RPM. Charging the Battery from the ICE only makes sense if the extra load on the engine from doing it pushes the ICE into a more efficient operating point and offsets the losses from the charging process. It might be that the ICE is optimised for 50 so the load from charging is simply that - extra load on the ICE that burns more fuel and reduces overall efficiency.

At higher speeds perhaps it can get a fast enough recharge to do at least help out a bit and whatever RPMs the ICE has to run at doesn't matter so much because it's already running at high RPMs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a 700km motorway trip today with my Corolla 2.0 hybrid. Speed was 77-80mph with autopilot and I got only 38mpg. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, OXYGEN said:

I made a 700km motorway trip today with my Corolla 2.0 hybrid. Speed was 77-80mph with autopilot and I got only 38mpg. 

I wouldn't expect the electric motor to be able to do anything useful at that speed and it might even be outside of its operating range. The hybrid system can't work miracles.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At some point I had the hybrid system info on the dashboard. It was showing constant change of charging and using the Battery. Switching between like every 2-3 seconds.

Not sure if it did it all the time and at any speed, I had it shown just for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, OXYGEN said:

I made a 700km motorway trip today with my Corolla 2.0 hybrid. Speed was 77-80mph with autopilot and I got only 38mpg. 

Good job you were not in a pure EV, you would have needed to do a full charge at least once during that length of journey.   As a hybrid, I doubt very much it would have run many miles as EV at those type of speeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My observation so far is that above around 40mph in EV mode the car doesn’t have enough power to even keep the current speed. Playing with the gas pedal to keep it in the highest possible position without starting the ICE, the speed starts decreasing slowly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, OXYGEN said:

At some point I had the hybrid system info on the dashboard. It was showing constant change of charging and using the battery. Switching between like every 2-3 seconds.

Not sure if it did it all the time and at any speed, I had it shown just for a while.

That's interesting. It shows that the electric motor can operate at that speed. I can only assume that even at 80 mph the ICE is not at wide open throttle so demanding some power for charging from it can still move it into a more efficient operating point. Quite why it alternates between ICE and electric I don't know. I've seen the same behaviour at a steady 60 mph.

38 mph at 80 mph isn't a bad figure. It's just not particularly impressive either. If you did what I do which is cruise along at 60 mph even with your bigger engine you'd probably get in excess of 60 mpg. I get knocking on for 70 mpg at that speed on a long journey.

And yes somewhere above 40 is about where the EV runs out of steam. It can maintain 50 mph on a gentle decline but on the flat I think 45 is probably the limit. I'm also not sure that's the best use of electric power. It's worth remembering that the Battery is ultimately always being charged by burning petrol. It's not free energy so injudicious use of it could actually waste fuel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that reducing the speed will give me much better mpg.

But having a 700+ trip with only 60 is extremely slow and tiring...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I noticed that even with speeds above 87mph Battery adds power to the wheels. It’s just for moments on steady gas pedal and then switching to charge it, then adds again and so on.
On hard acceleration always adding, not 100% sure but I think even above 100 mph (didn’t had the time to look carefully at the screen with that speed...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have got to 70mph on EV only as long as I didn't accelerate aggressively. The 2ltr can do this happily, but the Battery must have good charge, and the current temperatures restrict operation. Yesterday,  at minus 3, I got 38mpg for the first 10 miles of my trip. Once that car was warmed, this improved to 50mpg on main roads. During this cold weather, mpg is bound to be poor, but I have not seen 38mpg on a motorway yet, even at 75mph etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other experienses:

Speedo is much more accurate than the Auris. Difference is now only 1.5 - 2.5 mph at most speeds (40-80 mph). The board computer calculates fuel consumption spot on, only 1-2% error margin or so. How ever, calculated range is way off, 25-30% to high, and drops like a stone in water.

Noise level is very low, no wind noise at all, and it's now possible to talk to rear seat passengers, without turned my head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Timmon said:

I have got to 70mph on EV only as long as I didn't accelerate aggressively. 

You must have the patience of a saint. I won't even wait for EV to get to me to 40 mph :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...