By BREWNWIN NAIDU
IT has been said many times before – but it remains true: the Toyota Corolla nameplate is one that has attained legendary status in the motoring world.
Everybody has a story about one – or somebody else’s, and almost everybody knows what the Corolla looks like. With the expansion of Toyota’s model range – introducing models like the Auris and Yaris (a new version of the latter will be coming soon) – the Corolla seems to be taking a spot in the centre of the product line-up. Corolla is something to consider, if you’re looking around for a family-orientated sedan with practicality, comfort and of course, reasonable pricing.
But any product bearing the Toyota emblem would come with a little something extra – that air of reliability, for which the brand is well known.
The Sports Focus team recently sampled the middle-of-the-range Corolla offering. In most cases, when you’re buying a vehicle, the mid-range model is the one to aspire to. This is because most folks don’t want the budget-restrained image that would come with the entry-level model, but also don’t want to spend out of their bracket by going for the top-shelf model.
In the middle, Toyota offers the Corolla 1.6, in Professional and Advanced guises. This model is also offered with an automatic transmission, for added convenience – and a choice that would make most sense in Johannesburg, where we spend most of our time behind the wheel in traffic. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine has and output of 90-kilowatts and 154 Newton-metres of torque. You can either have it with a 6-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
On the 1.6 Professional you get all the standard kit you would need: air conditioning, power steering, radio with MP3 and CD compatibility, airbags, ABS and EBD. On the Advanced model, more features are thrown in, including some alloy wheels, a leather-clad steering wheel and controls on the steering for the radio.
The Corolla was the recipient of some aesthetic tweaking sometime ago, giving it a sharper appearance. It received a re-designed front bumper, grille and headlights. Inside, changes include new silver trim and a square-bottomed steering wheel.
Pricing for the Corolla 1.6 is around R207,400 for the Professional model, and moves up to R222,800 and R233,300 for the Advanced manual and automatic models.
A 3 year / 100 000 km warranty and a 5 year / 90 000 km service plan are also thrown into the mix, as well as the ToyotaCare Roadside Assistance Programme.