The current Corolla generation features a modern design language; gone is the boring and mundane styling. This new model is easy on the eye and looks more premium than before. It is well equipped and roomy inside, with quality materials throughout.
I was given a top-of-the-range R292 300,1.8-litre Exclusive six-speed manual to drive. So what can you expect to find on this model? Well, for starters, the Exclusive model features remote central locking and keyless smart entry, power mirrors and windows, an on-board computer plus a TFT multi-information display screen, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and the touch-screen display audio incorporates AM/FM radio, a CD/DVD/MP3 player and reverse camera display. Other convenient features include an electrochromatic auto-dimming mirror, rain sensing wipers and cruise control functionality.
The dashboard is nicely laid out and follows the same design language found in other Toyota models. Some might find this to be an issue, as much of the switchgear and buttons can be found in other models such as the Hilux. I don’t think it really matters though because everything works and nothing looks out of place. What’s also nice,the rear seats feature a 60:40 split, which adds to the practicality value of the car.
On the outside, the updated Corolla now features standard daytime running lights as well as a follow-me-home light control system. This means the lights stay on for a few moments after the car has been switched off, illuminating the area around you.
The 1.8-litre model that I drove develops 103kW and 173Nm; unfortunately it’s not turbocharged. If you want a forced induction variant then you would need to look at the 1.4-litre D4-D turbo diesel model. I found the 1.8-litre to be somewhat under-powered when power was needed but as far as normal cruising on the highways and in town, it was fine. The Corolla is very comfortable on long journeys.
This is a nice car; it competes well within its segment and does everything well. I guess that’s what has made it so popular;it’s a no-fuss way of getting around. Over the years it has proven to be reliable and tough. Now though, it also ticks the good-looks box, which should broaden its target market somewhat.