The flagship model in the 2018 Toyota Corolla hatchback line-up is the ZR, which sits above the entry-grade Ascent Sport and mid-spec SX.

The high-spec ZR is sold with a petrol-auto 2.0-litre drivetrain, which lists at $30,370, and the 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid version is comparatively quite affordable for a flagship hatchback, listing at $31,870.

ZR models look the sportiest of the lot, with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels making this model stand out from the pack - and inside there's a fair bit of differentiation, too, with heated front sports seats, leather/'ultrasuede' seat trim, driver's lumbar adjustment, a 7.0-inch driver info display, ambient lighting, a head-up display and a JBL sound system with eight speakers.

ZR models also gain electro-chromatic (auto-dimming) rear-view mirror and high-grade bi-LED headlamps, and like the SX, there are two USB ports (one front, one rear), and blind-spot monitoring is included. Plus the ZR has a 'premium steering wheel', dual-zone climate control, a wireless phone charger, push-button start and keyless entry, DAB+ digital radio and satellite navigation with live traffic updates.

That's on top of an extensive safety equipment list, with a heavy focus on safety gear: auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection (day and night) and bicyclist detection (day), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist, speed sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, active cornering control (torque vectoring by braking), a reversing camera and seven airbags (dual front, front side, curtain and driver's knee).

The ZR hybrid model gets the biggest boot of the range because it has a tyre repair kit instead of a spare. The boot space is 333 litres (VDA), as opposed to 217L in all other variants, whether they have a full-size spare (Ascent Sport petrol) or not (all others).

All Corolla models will attract a $550 extra cost for premium paint.