Bangerwatch: Toyota Corolla 4WD Estate

PetrolBlog has spent a great deal of time this year driving about in jacked-up 4×4 estate cars. It would be fair to say that – given the choice between an SUV or a 4×4 estate – we’d opt for the latter. There’s something delightfully old school about them – a kind of country gentleman estate car. Of the new metal on sale, current favourites include the Subaru Outback, Volvo XC70 and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Tourer.

Stay tuned for reviews on the XC70 and Insignia, coming soon.

But of course, these circa £30k mud-plugging, antique-carrying are completely out of reach for the majority of PetrolBlog readers. With winter 2013/2014 fast approaching, we need something altogether more PetrolBloggy. Something a great deal cheaper.

Bangerwatch Toyota Corolla 4WD EstateSo step forward – in a cloud of blue smoke and green grass cuttings – the delightful, the oft-forgotten, Toyota Corolla 4WD Estate. Seriously, what’s not to like about this retro 4×4 estate?

For sure, it’s unlikely to deliver the same amount of presence in the Waitrose parent and child bay as say an Audi Allroad or Volvo XC70, but just think, you could own the entire Corolla for little more than the price of a full set of mud and snow tyres on your heavily-depreciating image-booster.

E-reg Toyota Corolla 4WD EstateAnd the last time we looked, none of the £30k 4×4 estates feature a tailgate and a side-window arrangement as wonderful as the Corolla.

It’s almost as though the designers deliberately set out to ensure the front-end looked entirely different to the back. Now we know where the Skoda Roomster took its inspiration.

It gets better, as this particular Toyota Corolla 4WD Estate is finished in a trendy light metallic green colour, the kind of which is likely to warrant an extra £500 on your £30k 4×4 estate.

OK – cards on the table – the Toyota Corolla 4WD Estate is unlikely to offer the same levels of off-road ability as the aforementioned new cars, but how many owners really need to tear across ploughed fields and heavily-rutted tracks? And for slippery surfaces and wet field shenanigans, not only will the Corolla be just fine, it will also be an absolute riot.

Interior of Toyota Corolla 4WD EstateThe 1.6-litre 16v engine is good for 95bhp – or at least it was when it left its original Toyota dealer in 1987 – and it’s the same unit you would have found in the Carina or the top-spec Corolla. The truth is, the engine wasn’t best suited to hauling a tall and relatively heavy 4WD about, and a 0-60mph time of 12.1 seconds would hardly set the pulse racing. Although you may have already been knocked unconscious by the Corolla’s sleek and aerodynamic styling…

Still – at least the small-by-today’s-standards 1.6-litre engine would result in some impressive fuel economy figures, right? Wrong. At best, you could only expect the low to mid 20s. It’s little wonder that anyone who truly wanted a 4×4 estate bought a Subaru and anyone who didn’t, opted for either a Shuttle, Space Wagon or Prairie.

Toyota Corolla 4WD 16v EstateUnashamedly unfashionable when new and now well beyond the ‘Banger Years’, this Toyota Corolla is a proper PetrolBlog hero. And with just 96,000 miles on the clock and in seemingly very good condition, surely it’s worthy of your attention? About £1,500 should secure it. Head to Yorkshire and bring home a real 4×4 this Christmas.

You know it makes sense.

Images © Car & Classic and Toyota.

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Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.


  1. November 27, 2013

    Say what you want, but I love that styling.

    • November 27, 2013
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith


      Deliciously retro…

  2. March 26, 2014

    They’re starting to get a comeback following, ..with some great modified examples around the globe.

    • March 27, 2014
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Good stuff!

      And thanks for posting the link. Duly bookmarked.

      • August 20, 2014

        No probz – facebook page too..

        Petrol blog/banger watch – nice page…


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