Small business car
TWELVE generations in and still going strong – Toyota’s HB Corolla has seen the Big T brand do perhaps the most comprehensive update on what is arguably one of the most popular small cars in the world today. Big claim? Not so much. According to Toyota New Zealand, a Corolla is sold somewhere in Toyota’s global market of over 150 countries every 15 seconds. Which means by the time you’ve read this paragraph, another two Corollas will have found new homes. Most likely, if those homes are in New Zealand, there is a high probability those homes will either be in the rental industry or as part of a business fleet. Yes, Corollas have found favour in the past as household cars for the private sector, and for the HB, they will likely do so again, but given the recent nature of the release, it’s a safe bet to predict business sales as being the springboard for Toyota’s top seller. Corolla has always seen a consistent evolution in shape and styling – which in itself is quite a trick over a 12-generation lifespan – and the latest model is no different. It has the same basic shape of the preceding model, but its sleeker, sportier and dare we say, more aggressive than its predecessor. The model range has become more focused too, with two hybrid models now bolstering the line up with three conventional petrol versions making up the range. For the 12th generation Corolla, Toyota has gone deep into new engine development to produce the M20A, two-litre engine which reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing torque and power outputs over the previous smaller displacement 1.8-litre unit, thanks to direct injection engine technology. The most occupant significant aspect of the new generation Corolla however, is the inclusion of the Toyota Safety Sense package, which integrates automatic high beam dipping, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane centering function, dynamic radar cruise control with indicator-linked speed control, road sign assist, lane trace assist pedestrian and cyclist detection. Add to this satellite navigation with real time traffic update, heads up display and wireless device charging as well as all the equipment you would expect to find on a contemporary vehicle and its easy to see that Corolla looks set to continue its run at the top of the small car market in this country.