Toyota Corolla Photo: Supplied
Toyota Corolla Photo: Supplied
Toyota Corolla Photo: Supplied
David McCowen | Aug, 08 2018 | 0 Comments

Toyota is confident the new Corolla hatch will remain Australia’s best-selling passenger car following an update that brings sharpened styling, dynamics and equipment for a higher price than before. 

The Corolla’s entry point has increased by $2680 to $22,870 plus on-road costs following the decision to remove a bargain-basement “Ascent” model from the range.

The new machine represents a bold direction for the brand, featuring aggressive looks and technology which makes the Corolla one of the most advanced cars in its class.

Standard safety equipment in all models includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection systems, along with speed sign recognition, active cruise control and lane departure warning features unmatched by the entry-level Mazda3, Hyundai i30, Honda Civic or Holden Astra.

The cheapest Corolla Ascent Sport also features seven airbags, a reversing camera, active high beam assistance and LED lighting at the front and rear. Other kit includes an 8-inch touchscreen, 4.2-inch driver display, air conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels for $22,870 plus on-road costs in manual form.

Mid-grade SX models add blind spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, smart keys, digital radio connectivity, sat nav, wireless phone charging, premium steering wheel, gear lever and more for an extra $2500.

Buyers looking for one with the lot can get hold of a Corolla ZR with cosmetic touches such as 18-inch wheels, interior ambient lighting and sports seats trimmed in a mix of leather and suede. 

Further tech includes a colour head-up display system, premium JBL stereo, bi-LED headlights, 7-inch driver display and an electro-chromatic rear view mirror for $3500 more than the SX.

All three grades are fitted with a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 125kW and 200Nm outputs (increases of 21 per cent and 15 per cent) and 6.0L/100km claimed fuel use as standard. Customers can also choose an updated hybrid option featuring a 1.8-litre engine teamed with an electric motor and battery pack to bring 90kW of combined power and the promise of 4.2L/100km fuel economy for a further $1500. Ascent Sport customers who choose the hybrid option also benefit from dual-zone climate control and smart keys.

Entry-level variants can be had with sat nav and tinted rear windows for an additional $1000, while metallic paint costs $550 across the range. 

Maintenance for the Corolla is due every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, with capped price servicing available for the first five years of ownership.

Key omissions for the model surround a lack of Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and a three-year warranty that looks increasingly stingy as rivals such as Ford and Mazda adopt five-year guarantees.

While Ascent Sport models are available with a manual option, Toyota’s new “direct shift” continuously variable automatic transmission is the only choice for higher grades. 

The world-first gearbox blends a mechanical launch gear with a CVT arrangement intended to result in the car offering the crisp initial response of a conventional automatic combined with the flexible ratios of a continuously variable auto.

Lower, wider and longer than before, the Corolla rides on new architecture shared with the Prius and CH-R.

Toyota Australia vice president Sean Hanley says the brand has plenty of confidence in its latest model. 

“This all-new Corolla hatch leapfrogs everything in the affordable small-car segment and sets the new benchmark,” Hanley says.

“Corolla has become the world’s and Australia’s best-selling passenger car – and the new Corolla hatch is even better through our commitment to produce more appealing and dynamic cars.

“Many of its ground-breaking technologies and class-leading features would normally be found in more expensive, prestige models.”

The new Corolla is available to order now. 

Visit Drive later this week for driving impressions from its Australian launch.

2019 Toyota Corolla Pricing

Ascent Sport petrol manual $22,870 (+$1660)

Ascent Sport petrol CVT $24,370 (+$1120)

Ascent Sport hybrid $25,870 (new)

SX petrol CVT $26,870 (+$870)

SX hybrid CVT $28,370 (new)

ZR petrol CVT $30,370 (+$350)

ZR hybrid CVT $31,870 (new)

2019 Toyota Corolla specifications

Engines: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol or 1.8-litre four-cylinder hybrid

Power: 125kW at 6600rpm (2.0) or 90kW combined (hybrid)

Torque: 200Nm at 4400-4800rpm (2.0) or up to 163Nm (hybrid)

Transmission: Six-speed manual or CVT automatic, front-wheel-drive

Fuel use: From 6.0L/100km (petrol) or 4.2L/100km (hybrid)

Filed under corolla Toyota
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