Meet Joe, a 42-year-old married male with his 2.5 children. What does he drive? A Toyota Corolla.
You might think Joe’s car is bland, yet functional. Yes, we all may have our gripes about the ‘dull’ Corolla, but there’s obviously something inherently charming about it if it’s the most popular selling car of all time.
And now the next generation-Corolla - just launched in South Africa - promises to ooze a lot more character than Joe’s daily runaroud.
You, see the eleventh generation Corolla is a lot more assertive in its styling, particularly in the front end as it embraces the Furia concept. The new offering from Toyota has really grown into its body and apart from aesthetic considerations, the interior space has been reworked to offer customers a more spacious and comfortable ride.
From a styling perspective, the Corolla has truly been ushered into the modern era with the upper grille and the headlamps made as thin as possible to emphasise the width of the body while the chrome horizontal trim bars of the upper grille are visually extended into more expressive headlamp clusters.
At the rear, the trapezoidal form found in the front of the vehicle also makes an appearance, with the boot lip complemented by the new rear-lamp clusters.
For a sedan, the Corolla has more curves than a pregnant Kardasian sister, which is great for aerodynamics and achieving minimum drag levels.
Of course the talking point of any Corolla will be the cockpit and the practicality it offers through interior space. The redesigned cockpit now boasts superior trim materials and enhanced ergonomics. The boot capacity has increased to 452 litres.
The new Corolla is not only more spacious and comfortable, but also quieter than its predecessor as the interior has been designed to offer customers class-leading quietness.
Through a robust and uncluttered clarity, the Corolla is finished off by chrome trim and high-gloss black finishes.
It’s a combination that works and the added tech enhances the driver’s comfort. Some of these features include remote central locking, touch-screen radio, USB and Bluetooth along with cruise control (depending on the model variant).
Powering the new generation of Corollas is a choice of four engines. The 1.3-litre petrol engine generates a generous 73kW of power and 128Nm of torque, which translates into a 0-100km/h time of 12.6 seconds and a top speed of 180km/h. A laudable fuel consumption of just 6 litres/100km is attainable in the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 139g/km is achieved.
For those wanting more bang, the 1.6-litre petrol engine develops 90kW and 154Nm available in manual and Multidrive CVT automatic guises. Acceleration times are 10.5 seconds and 11.1 seconds, repectively. Maximum speed is 195km/h and 185 km/h.
When equipped with the manual transmission, the unit returns a combined cycle fuel consumption of just 6.6 litres/100km and generates CO2 emissions of 157g/km. The new Multidrive S auto transmission further reduces both fuel consumption and emissions to 6.3lites /100km and 150g/km, respectively.
Replacing the 2.0-litre petrol unit of the outgoing model is a new 1.8-litre unit is fitted to top-end Corolla models. This powertrain produces 103kW and 173Nm of torque.
The 0-100km/h dash is dispensed in 10.2 seconds for the Multidrive S variant. Top speed is recorded as 195 km/h. (Figures for the 1.8 manual are not yet available.)
What we do know about the manual 1.8 is that it consumes on average just 7.0 litres/100km and emits 165g/km of CO2. Equipped with the new Multidrive S transmission, the unit returns a combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.4 litres/100km and generates CO2 emissions of only 152g/km.
Probably the biggest talking point is the appearance of the new 1.4-litre D-4D diesel engine. Developing 66kW and maximum torque of 205Nm, it propels the Corolla from standstill to 100km/h in 12.5 seconds and has a maximum speed of 180km/h. Equipped with Toyota’s standard six-speed manual transmission, the 1.4 D-4D returns a class-best combined-cycle fuel consumption of just 4.5 litres/100km and generates CO2 emissions of only 119g/km.
The new Corolla develops exactly what its predecessor offers, practical commuting at affordable prices. But the new Corolla does it a little differrently, because it delivers it with a personality. Not everyone grows up wanting to own a Corolla, but when they do, it becomes a companion for life.
Pricing of the new Corolla will start at R214 000 for the 1.3 Esteem and the range topping 1.8 Exclusive Multidrive S will retail for R283 900. The new Corolla benefits from a three-year/100 000km warranty and comes with a standard 5-year/90 000km service plan.