THE TRADITION CONTINUES
Mild tweaks to Toyota’s everyman sedan highlights the car’s 50th anniversary
THIS year, Toyota celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of its most respected and bestselling products: the Corolla. To tie in with these celebrations, the company has now released the facelifted version of the 11th generation that was originally launched in 2013.
Visually, you’ll find the most significant updates at the front of the car, which now features prominent slats at each end of the bumper. They give the nose a stronger identity and also afford sharper visual focus to the headlamps. The rear lights, meanwhile, have received their own set of enhancements.
The Corolla does not offer the most exciting cabin design, opting for functionalism over fripperies. Minor upgrades have been made to lessen noise intrusion and it is certainly more modern in its execution than before. The touchscreen for the infotainment system in the Prestige models has increased in size from 6,1 to 7,0 inches.
The engine range is unchanged, but safety and comfort levels have been enhanced, with vehicle-stability and hillstart-assist control now both standard on 1,6-litre models and up. Beneath the bodywork, the suspension has also been mildly tweaked for better balance and overall handling ability.
If fuel consumption is at the top of your agenda, the 1,4-litre turbodiesel is the model to consider. Although it doesn’t offer all the comfort and safety features of the more expensive 1,8 Exclusive, you’ll benefit at the pumps. During the launch route, and with a relatively enthuasistic right foot, the Corolla averaged 5,7 L/100 km. Previous experience with this engine has shown high fours is a possibility.
Delivering just 66 kw at 3 800 r/min, but a healthier 205 N.m between 1 800 and 2 800 r/min, the engine is at its best between 2 000 and 4 000 r/min, where it delivers punchy performance while staying acceptably quiet.
Throughout our drive along the Cape Peninsula, the car displayed personality traits we’re familiar with in the Corolla; it still offers a well-damped ride, while noise, vibration and harshness levels are kept to a minimum. As before, the gearlever easily slips through each ratio.
In true Corolla tradition, the updated car again builds on a half-century heritage of offering a product that will appeal to most family buyers. It ticks all the main boxes, and with the reliability track record it has, it is difficult to fault.