I love it when a manufacturer is constantly working to improve their models, even if it is just aesthetically. Thankfully the all-new Corolla, which is now in its 12th generation is something to behold. It’s like a little eye candy and it’s a really good-looking vehicle, from any angle.
Outside the sleek and very Lexus like lines swoop the car with a really aggressive front end, with angular curves moving over the front fenders and continuing on to the rear of the car. Finally, I feel that Toyota has also gone with an appropriate wheel size, to complement those sporty lines. They’ve done just about everything right, except if I had to nitpick, I don’t like how the rear exhaust swoops down.
The 2.0 engine (125kw – 200nm) fitted to our Corolla XR model is responsive and offers plenty of torque down low. It’s uncommon to find 2.0 engines these days and I don’t know how long this will continue with cars having to adhere to stricter emission laws each year. I really hope we get to keep it, it just suits this car so well. The gearbox is a CVT and while I would have preferred a manual in this exact model, does not really bring the overall praise down for me on how much I have been impressed.
The interior is completely updated, with sporty partial leather seats, a thick steering wheel with paddles mounted behind them and all the controls are easily in reach. The infotainment lacks navigation and is still missing apple car play and android auto. One day we will have it grace us with its presence, but for now, we wait. It’s not a requirement of mine, but for some this might be an inconvenience.
A lot of improvement has gone into this model. Not only does it ride better and feels more sporty than the outgoing model, its also more spacious. It feels weird to call a Corolla sporty, but this is a good thing, considering that most of the Corolla models in the past have been a little vanilla and ordinary.
The Corolla is loaded with features, including cruise control, blindspot assist, lane departure warning, single climate control, and even an electronically adjustable front seat. The latter is a real surprise for me, especially given that this is a Corolla and usually only found in much higher specced vehicles.
The boot is a very healthy 470l and the seats do split in the conventional 60:40 way. This makes its really practical and loading larger items also a breeze.
The new Corolla 2.0XR CVT is a breath of fresh air to the brand. While I was particularly fond of the hatch, I always felt they should have kept the sedan and now that its back, its better than ever. This top of the range Corolla comes in at R433 000 for this CVT model and R420 000 for the manual version. Well done Toyota!