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There’s the option of a six-speed manual in some models but it’s not likely to be chosen by many as ours is rapidly becoming an auto-only market. However, rev- matching makes this manual simple to drive in heavy traffic conditions
Corolla’s improved hybrid system is lighter and more compact than before and its 1.8-litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine has a very high 13.0:1 compression ratio. Combined petrol- electric output is 90kW and fuel consumption is listed at just 4.2 litres/ 100km. Sold across the range, hybrid variants are priced at only $1500 over the equivalent petrol models. SAFETY Toyota anticipates a five-star ANCAP safety rating when testing is carried out here. It features a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and cyclist detection during the day, autonomous emergency braking and emergency brake assist.
Corolla’s windscreen- mounted camera recognises speed-limit signs. Other standard safety features include automatic high beam, reversing camera, hill-start assist, seven airbags and two IsoFix child safety seat anchor points in the rear. DRIVING The front seats are large and comfortable and support well, the wider cabin is noticeable and while it doesn’t exactly feel like a Camry inside the occupants will enjoy the space offered.
Though it’s a five-seater the new Corolla is tighter for space in the back seats than we had anticipated. That’s to the extent that if I sit my 181cm frame behind itself the rear legroom is cramped. So the new Corolla is better suited to the mum, dad and three-kid family.
(As a personal aside we owned a gen- two Corolla for nine years during the 1970s and early ‘ 80s during that difficult financial stage in life when my wife stopped working and three children arrived. The little Toyota ran without missing a beat for 180,000 km. Ten generations down the track the new model is likely to do the same thing for today’s young families.)
Luggage space is good and the boot is deep and easy to load in all but the hybrid which is significantly shallower. The slope of the sportier tail restricts carriage of boxy items because the top of the hatch is pretty well over the rear seat backrests.
While this is no sports sedan new Corolla has impressive dynamics that give it handling that will please the keen driver. A bonus is that the typical driver will be so far under the Toyota’s limits that there’s a big safety margin.
Every new Corolla hatch is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at a maximum of $140 per service. Contact your selling dealer for details.