Evo Twelve for Toyota’s legendary sedan
There’s a new Corolla in town. I can imagine right now you’re saying, 'you gotta be shitting me…?’
First let’s get this straight — this is not about a virus, it’s about a car. And fortunately Toyota has not built a Corona for twenty years — nor was the new Corolla's launch planned to be on the eve of the shutdown, it just happened this way. We actually knew Corolla Sedan would be launched around this time quite a while before we even knew what Covid-19 was, so no conspiracy theories please…
So, the world’s best-selling badge has a brand new car on it – first launched in 1966 and now into its twelfth generation, the new Corolla Sedan expands on the brand’s tried-and-tested virtues as it joins the Hatch launched a year ago to deliver a broad choice in the world’s favourite car range.
Sharing its innovative new platform with the Hatch that allows Toyota designers and engineers more freedom to spin a variety of dynamic models off it, the Sedan gets a similar front-end to the distinctive Corolla Hatch. Now more compact, the new Sedan is 20mm lower and 25mm shorter, but it sits on 11mm wider front and 22mm broader rear tracks for a lower, more appealing stance.
It’s all change from the front doors back however, where the Sedan’s short roofline, sloping C-pillar, shorter rear overhang and compact bi-colour LED tail lights add to its dynamic presence. Add five new grey, crimson, scarlet, moonlight and dark blue hues among its eight colours, while the newcomer also delivers better all-around visibility via more slender A-pillars and a lowered dashboard and bonnet.
Corolla Sedan also shares its neat and elegant cabin design with its Hatch sibling, where the lower, soft-finished dash gets brushed metal accents, blue contrast stitching and blue illumination for the switchgear and dials, while the XR is finished in a choice of sporty blue or classic grey. Trimmed in elegant ribbed synthesised new-age Rezatec, Corolla’s bucket-like power front seats add a definite touch of class to the cabin.
The tech-rich Corolla Sedan XS gets 4.2” display Multi-information touchscreen infotainment packing Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the rest, while the flagship XR steps up to a large 7” MID system with digital dials. Both models get Eco Climate control, a reverse camera, one-touch power windows, keyless entry, a tilt & telescopic power multifunction steering and cruise control and XR adds an auto-dimming rear view mirrors.
Unlike the 1.2-litre turbo petrol Hatch, the new Corolla Sedan is powered by the choice of two petrol engines in a new 125kW 200Nm 6 l/100km Dynamic Force TNGA 2-litre 4-pot nicked from the latest RAV4 in the choice of 6-speed manual or 10-step Shiftmatic CVT, or the faithful 103kW 171Nm 6.2 l/100km 1.8-litre mated to a 7-step Shiftmatic.
New Corolla’s 60% stiffer hot-stamped aluminium and high-tensile steel shell, an improved centre of gravity thanks to the engine and occupants sitting lower in the car and proven MacPherson strut front and all-new multi-link rear suspension bring much improved dynamics, handling and stability. Generous sound absorption, improved insulation and that sound new GA-C platform also make for a truly serene driving environment.
Corolla’s stiffer, impact absorbing body shell also contributes to a high safety spec that also includes seven airbags, ABS, EBD and BAS brakes and Stability Control with hill start assistance and ISOFIX child seat anchors. The flagship XR adds Toyota Safety Sense with Pre-collision, blind spot and lane trace among a full complement of active driver aids including all-speed cruise control and automatic high-beam Bi-LED headlamps.
All Corolla models naturally include the full power of Toyota back-up including a 6-service/90 000km service plan at 15 000 km or 12-month intervals, A 3 year/100 000 km warranty and the rest. And check those prices. That is probably the new Corolla Sedan's trump card...
So no, it’s not a joke, Toyota has quite inadvertently introduced its all-new Corolla on the eve of the Corona lockdown. Maybe that’s a sign for you to attend your local Toyota dealer to get to know it better as soon as you get the chance once normality returns… — Michele Lupini
Toyota Corolla Sedan Pricing
1.8 XS CVT R373K
2.0 XR 6MT R412K
2.0 XR CVT R425K