This is the twelfth iteration of Toyota’s top seller and the first in many generations to be imported to South Africa.
The new Corolla sedan features the same front-end treatment as the Corolla Hatch (with minor variations), including a prominent lower apron, sculpted headlights and flowing three-box design.
The front bumper employs a large trapezoidal lower grille, with black moulded border and large mesh pattern. Dimensionally, the new Corolla is 20 mm lower, with the bonnet edge sitting 35 mm lower and the front overhang registering 25 mm shorter. To promote a powerful stance, front and rear tread have been increased by 11 mm and 22 mm respectively.
The new Corolla sedan adopts the same interior design as its hatch sibling, featuring reduced upper-panel height, soft-touch finishes and brushed metal accent strips.
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.
Two engine options are employed in the new Corolla. The 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is carried over from the previous generation, delivering 103 kW and 171 Nm. This unit is mated to a ‘7-speed’ Shiftmatic CVT transmission with 7 pre-programmed steps. There is also a new 2.-litre petrol engine (as first seen on RAV4) with 125 kW and 200 Nm. Two transaxle options exist here, a 6-speed manual or ‘10-speed’ Shiftmatic CVT.
Two grade options are offered, XS and XR. The XR model serves as the flagship and is available exclusively with the new 2.0-litre engine and the 1.8 XS serves as the entry point to the range.
With not many compact sedans (C-segment) left in South Africa, the Corolla and the previous generation Corolla Quest are still selling in numbers that the competition can only envy.
Pricing (accurate in July 2020):
Corolla 1.8 XS CVT – R380 200
Corolla 2.0 XR 6MT – R420 500
Corolla 2.0 XR CVT – R433 700
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