When you think of the Toyota Corolla, you probably think ‘dependable car’, but in all likelihood, you could also think of ‘boring elderly car’. Well, Toyota’s clearly aware of those associations, but their new Corolla will dispel any of those archaic stereotypes as soon as you get a look at it.
The first and biggest styling change you’ll notice is that the Corolla is now a hatch, moving away from the car’s sedan history. The style has changed to attract customers who want something more modern, youthful, and sporty – but Toyota has kept safety and comfort as the hallmarks for the new iteration, too.
Toyota is quite chuffed with its Toyota New Global Architecture chassis, which is effectively an elaborate way of saying its got a modular chassis design that can be adapted to fit many different models by swapping out interchangeable pieces. The Corolla uses it, and as a result it’s got a longer, lower, and more streamlined body than its Auris predecessor. As is evident from the sharp headlight design and the wide front grille, the overall aesthetic is a lot more progressive and modern.
The engine options across the range are the same 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine found in the C-HR, which produces 85kW and 185Nm of torque. Interestingly, besides the 6-speed manual, another transmission paired with the engine is an innovative 10-speed Sport Sequential Shiftmatic CVT transmission, and this drivetrain setup is surprisingly capable of taking the Corolla to a 190km/h top speed.
Moving from outside to inside, the new interior is also a clear attempt to provide what drivers expect from premium hatchbacks. Way back when, hatches were seen only as entry-level cars, but with the need for premium quality at every segment, manufacturers have been upping the trim level across the board. The Corolla benefits from this with a sleek and comfortable cabin with all the comforts one could want, including a heads-up infotainment setup.
Safety-wise it has a host of passive and active safety features, including seven airbags, standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, and Hill-assist Control.
Its service and pricing information is as follows:
- 6-services/90, 000km Service Plan
- 3-year/ 100, 000km Warranty
- Corolla Hatch 1.2 Xs 6MT – R336,800
- Corolla Hatch 1.2 Xs CVT – R 347,400
- Corolla Hatch 1.2 Xr CVT – R367,100
If you’ve been looking for an impressively equipped and highly dependable hatchback to upgrade to, it might be time to visit your nearest Toyota dealer.