An old favourite
The Corolla keeps getting better with each generation, writes Graham Smith
TOYOTA’S recipe of value for money, build quality and reliability has seen the brand become No.1 in this market, and the Corolla one of its most successful models.
Now in its 10th generation, the Corolla is one of our firm favourites, new or used, and there’s no sign we are tiring of the little car from Japan. THE Corolla has got better with each generation and the 10th generation released in 2007 continued the pattern of improvement.
As with those that went before it, the new Corolla was well built, solid and sensible.
The cars sold in Australia came from the Japanese production line rather than one of the 15 factories producing them in other parts of the world.
Two models, a traditional fourdoor sedan with a boot and a fivedoor hatchback, were offered in the new range.
Both had clean, fresh, youthful lines that fitted well with younger buyers without troubling older traditional Corolla buyers.
As is often the case, the new Corolla was larger than the car it replaced, which made it more userfriendly. Younger buyers could accommodate more of their mates; older ones had no trouble transporting their families.
The rear seat could take three, making it possible to accommodate five all up.
One of the reasons for the roominess was the rather upright style of the Corolla, which allowed the occupants to sit higher in a more upright position.
The Corolla’s engine was a 1.8-litre four with double overhead camshafts and Toyota’s VVT-I variable valve timing that gave zippy performance along with good fuel economy.
When at its peaks the engine pumped out 100kW at 6000 revs and 175Nm at 4400 revs, enough to give it good acceleration and overtaking performance.
Toyota offered a choice of sixspeed manual and four-speed auto gearboxes, with drive through the front wheels.
While many carmakers were going to five-speed autos, Toyota stuck with four, but it didn’t seem to affect the Corolla’s drivability or performance to any great degree.