New Toyota Corolla hits the market with a sleek semi-sporty look
After 52 years and 45 million cars the Toyota Corolla powers along as the biggest selling car of all time. Almost 1.5 million of those global sales have been Down Under and the just superseded model has been the top selling passenger car here for years.
Toyota Australia has every intention of keeping Corolla at the head of the pack in this country and the 12th generation car has just been launched here.
The Japanese giant is pushing harder than ever on hybrids, hardly a surprise when you consider it has been selling these petrol-electric models here for close to 20 years. And that Toyota hybrids recently won one of the toughest of all car races, the famed LeMans 24Hour.
New Corolla hatch is based on the modular Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and has a 60 per cent more rigid body and uses a sophisticated suspension that's complemented by the body having a lower centre of gravity.
At this stage only the Corolla hatch is being sold and the local importer will neither confirm nor deny that a sedan will be offered later.
There's a sleek semi-sporty look to the new Corolla. The grille is big and slightly closer to vertical than before, while the tail has a steeper slope.
Inside there's a non-symmetrical shape to the dashboard similar to that we have praised in the new Toyota Camry.
The overall effect is good though, surprisingly, not as striking as that of the new Toyota Camry to our eyes.
Corolla Ascent Sport has an 8.0-inch touchscreen display and a 4.2-inch multi-info display. Satellite navigation is a $1000 option on the Ascent Sport and standard on other models.
Corolla SX gains a wireless phone charger and DAB+ digital radio as well as a rear USB port.
The top-of-the-range, Corolla ZR features a big colour head-up display, an eight-speaker premium JBL sound system and a 7.0-inch colour multiinformation display
A new design 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivers 21 per cent more power and torque (125kW / 15 200Nm) than the outgoing 1.8-litre unit.
Also new is what Toyota calls a Direct Shift continuously variable transmission (CVT) with clever engineering that gives it nice punch off the line that useful in day-to-day suburban driving. It has three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport.
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 petrolelectric 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.
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.
The front seats are big 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.
Every new Corolla hatch is covered by Toyota Service Advantage cappedprice servicing at a maximum of $140 per service. Contact your selling dealer for details.
Ascent Sport petrol manual: $22,870; Ascent Sport petrol CVT: $24,370; Ascent Sport hybrid: $25,870; SX petrol CVT : $26,870; SX hybrid CVT: $28,370; ZR petrol CVT: $30,370; ZR hybrid CVT: $31,870
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your nearest Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.
Wheels is free in your South Western Times, Busselton Dunsborough Times, Augusta Margaret River Times, Manjimup-Bridgetown Times, Harvey-Waroona Reporter and Bunbury Herald
There's a sleek semi-sporty look to the new 12th generation Toyota Corolla.