Now in its 12th-generation, the new Corolla combines Toyota’s exciting new design direction, with the tried-and-tested virtues of the Corolla brand. The adoption of the TNGA (GA-C) platform provides an innovative base on which to build the latest iteration of the company’s compact sedan.
According to Ueda-san, Corolla Chief Engineer: “One of the big merits of the new platform is that it allows designers more freedom to create a dynamic exterior.”
He adds that all variants in the Corolla family are now visually distinctive and feature an individual look with a lower stance and more appealing proportions. “We’ve also ensured better all-around visibility for the driver by implementing thinner A-pillars and a lowered dashboard and bonnet,” said Ueda-san.
Eight exterior colours are on offer, six of them being new. Celestite Grey, Crimson Red, Moonlight Ocean, Scarlet and Dark Blue metallic offer buyers an expressive choice. Pearl White, Glacier White and Satin Silver remain the neutral tones on offer.
Structural integrity and Weight Optimisation
Aluminium, high-tensile strength steel and hot-stamped materials have been extensively used, and the panel thickness of the doors and roof panel reduced. This has resulted in a considerable weight reduction for the body, helping to improve overall fuel efficiency.
At the same time, the addition of adhesives throughout the new bodyshell, an increase in the use of spot welding, and the use of fully closed cross-sections and structural rings, combine to increase body rigidity by some 60% over the outgoing models, promoting a marked increase in handling agility, responsiveness to steering inputs and high-speed stability.
Handling and agility are further improved by the lower mounting height of the engine and lower hip point of the seats. In combination, these measures have lowered the new Corolla’s centre of gravity by some 10 mm.
The new Corolla range features a proven MacPherson strut front suspension system, an all-new multi-link rear suspension arrangement and new shock absorber valve technology. The front suspension geometry has been revised, with newly developed shock absorbers, and coil spring characteristics optimised for a linear steering response during mid- to high-speed cornering.
Two engines options are employed in the new Corolla. The 1.8-litre mill is carried over from the previous generation, delivering 103kW and 171Nm. This unit is mated to a ‘7-speed’ Shiftmatic CVT transmission with seven pre-programmed steps.
Next up is the new 2.0-litre ‘Dynamic Force’ TNGA engine (as first seen on RAV4) which ups the ante to 125kW and 200Nm – with a strong focus on fuel efficiency. Two transaxle options exist here, a six-speed manual or ‘10-speed’ Shiftmatic CVT.
Fuel consumption for the 1.8-litre is listed as 6.2 l/100 km, the 2.0-litre manual at 6.5 and finally the 2.0-litre CVT at 6.0 l/100 km.
The XS rolls on 16” alloy wheels shod with 205-55-R16 tyres. XR models receive ultra-stylish turbine-shaped 18” alloy wheels outfitted with 225-40-R18 tyres.
Convenience and technology
The new Corolla sedan delivers on both the tech and convenience fronts, with the inclusion of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and touchscreen interface. Climate control with Eco mode, a reverse camera, power seat adjustment, one-touch functionality for the electric windows, keyless entry, tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, steering switches and cruise control all feature on the spec’ list. XR models feature an auto-dimming rear view mirror too.
A revised front seat design with elegant ribbed pattern and bucket-like profile lends a premium feel to the cabin. A new-age synthesized fabric called RezatecTM is used, offering the comfort of fabric with the premium feel of leather.
Safety and sensibility
On the safety front the Corolla certainly delivers. All models feature seven airbags, ISOFIX, active electronic safety aids (ABS, EBD, BAS, VSC, HAC) and an impact absorbing bodyshell. The flagship XR grade receives Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) – a full complement of active driver aids. The XR also receives an upgrade to Bi-LED headlamps.
This suite combines Pre-collision system, blind spot monitor, all-speed cruise control, automatic high-beam and Lane Trace Assist – conveniently operated via steering switches or the multi-information display.
Model Line-up and Pricing
Corolla 1.8 XS CVT – R380 200
Corolla 2.0 XR 6MT – R420 500
Corolla 2.0 XR CVT – R433 700
Warranty and Service
All Corolla models include a six-services/90 000 km service plan with service intervals pegged at 15 000 km/12-months. A three-year/100 000 km warranty is also included.