Everyone probably has a Toyota Corolla story, the nameplate has been around for 50 years, and is now into its eleventh generation. That’s certainly a record not every car can attest to. Still popular within the range it seems like an evergreen tree, that just keeps going through the seasons.
The Corolla has not just sold because its Japanese made, or because buyers have loved the name or anything silly such as that. It has been a reliable, affordable car with great service back up for decades, and the latest offering has a more prestigious looking design, and a more sensory appeal in the cabin.
The Corolla is currently sold in about 150 countries – including South Africa (SA) – and regions around the world and accounts for approximately 20 percent of Toyota’s global sales. The sales figures are impressive, and her are a few statistics:
Corolla in numbers… and still counting
• 50 years on, Corolla remains true to the model’s original DNA.
• It’s been part of South Africans’ lives for more than 40 years.
• More than 1 million Corolla units have been produced and sold in SA, alone.
• About 45 million have been sold globally.
• 100 cars being built and sold every hour throughout the past 50 years / one every 36 seconds.
The original Corolla was built to be a family, or peoples car. It was meant to have space, comfort and to be affordable. That also meant it had to stand out from the others, and the first generation was born, coming with features such as MacPherson strut suspension and a four-speed transmission. Ando so it went, each new generation getting better and more advanced. Until the 5th generation-this new model was the first to be engineered with the aid of computers, saving time and resources in the design of the engine and exterior. Corolla was transformed into a modern front-wheel drive car and became the world’s first mass-produced small car to feature twin-cam multi-valve technology. This is the model that won the 1986 SA Car of the year award. The 6th generation duly won the same award for 1989.
The eighth-generation Corolla became the number one selling car in Japan by reducing the total cost of ownership and providing a safer, quieter and higher quality compact car. The success reverberated to other parts of the world and the popularity of the Corolla grew even larger.
The latest generation is the 2013 which brought innovation such as hybrid technology. Now celebrated as the world’s best-selling car.
SO WHAT’S NEW IN THE COROLLA?
I immediately noticed the changes to the front end, with the bonnet being raised and the bumper corners have a deeper sculpted look to them. At the rear on the 1.8 –litre models, it comes with new LED tail lamp clusters. The chrome addition serves to emphasize the increased width of the car.
This gives the Corolla a pleasing, more refined and maybe even luxurious look, more in line with its German competitors.
Into the cabin, and the new instrument panel also has a pleasing look and feel to it with new climate control panel, and circular air vents. The audio touch screen which is very easy to use, has also been made marginally bigger.
The engine line-up remains unchanged, featuring a choice of a 1.4 litre D-4D turbodiesel and three petrol engines; a 1.3-litre Dual VVT-i unit, a 1.6-litre Dual VVT-i engine and the 1.8-litre Dual VVT-i unit. All engines are fitted with six-speed manual transmissions.
• ABS with BA, EBD
• Auto Door lock
• Daytime running lights: LED
• Steering Wheel Switches, USB & Aux, Bluetooth
• VSC (1.6 & above), HAC (1.6 & above)
• 15” Steel wheels
• Airbags: D+P+S
Pricing: 1.3 Esteem: R261 300
1.6 Esteem: R280 200
1.4 D Esteem: R294 400
This model continues to offer great value for money package, in addition to specifications in the Esteem specification
• Audio Touch Screen/DVD
• Back Guide Monitor
• Cruise Control
• Leather seats and steering wheel
• 16” Alloy wheels
Pricing: 1.3 Prestige: R281 300
1.4 D Prestige: R307 500
1.6 Prestige: R299 900
1.6 Prestige AT: R314 000
1.8 Prestige 313 500
This model is packed with luxury and comfort-enhancing specifications:
• Auto climate control
• Push Start
• Smart Entry
• Rain-sensing wipers
• Airbags: D+P+S+C+K
• Auto Headlamp levelling
• Front fog lamps
• Auto Interior Rear View Mirror
• Speedometer with TFT Colour Display
Pricing: 1.8 Exclusive: R336 300
1.8 Exclusive AT 349 400
* All models are covered by a 5-year/90 000km Service Plan and a 3-year/100 000km
The Corolla is one of those cars that gives you a feeling of contentment, simply because you know what you are going to get. A reliable, affordable, quite stylish car that is frugal with consumption, has plenty of power to get you to your destination, and has a wide service network that will not leave you stranded on the side of the road. Whats not to like?