Hidden behind the slimline new nose of the Thailand-built Corolla are radar sensors for automatic high-beam, lane-departure warning, pre-collision warning and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems that now become available across the sedan range.
Unlike its Mazda3 arch rival, which includes AEB across the range, the new safety suite will be standard only on the Corolla ZR sedan that starts from a hefty $31,920 plus on-road costs – $930 higher than before.
The quartet of safety features cost an additional $750 on the mid-level Corolla SX and $1500 on the entry-level Corolla Ascent sedan, as they are also packaged with 15-inch alloy wheels replacing hubcap-covered steel rims.
This is on top of price rises for each, with the Corolla Ascent sedan up $500 to $21,490 (plus orc) with a new 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with ToyotaLink apps connectivity, colour trip computer screen and more upmarket instrumentation all newly added. The Corolla SX sedan rises $830 to $23,820 (plus orc) with satellite navigation now featured as standard.
An automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) continues to add $2250 to the price on all but the Corolla ZR sedan, which does not offer a standard six-speed manual.
According to Toyota, the CVT has been improved to deliver quicker and smoother response, while the 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offers unchanged 103kW/173Nm outputs but is promised to offer more linear acceleration thanks to a tweaked valve timing system.
Chassis performance has also been revised, with larger-diameter dampers and improved suspension mounting rigidity cited to improve both ride comfort and handling, while greater firewall and floor insulation and renewed wheelarch lining has targeted noise reductions.
Along with new LED tail-lights across the range, the Corolla sedan also picks up cabin revisions, such as new air vents and piano black trim, from the smaller Japanese-built Corolla hatch that was updated in 2015 – three years following its release.
While the updates seemingly bring the roomier Thai-made Corolla sedan into line with its sibling only two years after it was launched, it is hatch buyers who will now need to wait a few weeks before the safety-system updates are available in that bodystyle.
The revisions arrive in the month the Toyota Corolla range was named 2016's best-selling passenger car and the second-best selling new vehicle behind only the HiLux pick-up range.
Corolla Ascent sedan manual $21,240
Corolla Ascent sedan $23,490
Corolla SX sedan manual $23,820
Corolla SX sedan automatic $26,070
Corolla ZR sedan automatic $31,920
Safety pack Ascent $1,500
Safety pack SX $750
Premium paint $450
Note: pricing excludes on-road costs
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