Toyota has recently released its 12th generation range where it carried over just a fraction of the components from its predecessor. The Corolla is the best-selling car in the world with more than 45 million of its models sold since 1967 with close to 2 million of those finding themselves in Australian homes.
This time around, one can expect more attributes from the 2019 Corolla line-up. Its appearance and driving range alone is better than ever, although with a slight bump up in price.
In a surprising move, the Toyota Ascent grade has been given up while its Ascent Sport is at least 7% higher for the entry-level design. The company states that they noticed buyers are shifting towards higher-grade vehicles in search for improved safety technology, which is a worthy goal, to say the least.
Toyota claims that its cabins are more refined, comfortable and affluent. If you can have a peek, it’s easy to say that they do bring about a wider look with its dash made from high-quality materials. Aside from that, the seats are bolstered well and are quite supportive to sit on.
One can expect an overhaul in the wheel and fascia’s design. Its floating tablet screen is a defining aspect already but the higher-grade models including all of the hybrids are sporting the new 7.0-inch digital instrument displays. You can even find a heads-up display if you get the top of the line ZR model.
Among the areas where this new Corolla range really shines is with regards to the safety tech it has installed. Each of the variants released has seven airbags, active cruise control that can match the car ahead of it with full stop capability, a reversing camera and an AEB or autonomous emergency braking which can detect both cyclists and pedestrians.
The brand even claims that their new hatch models are more fine-tuned in the advanced safety technology department especially in the small car category. This is especially true since it has a variety of active driver assistance features together with passive protection abilities that others don’t.
This 2019 Toyota Corolla’s equipment is decent even for the entry-level designs. There are LED headlights, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, alloy wheels, an electric park brake and digital speed with the Ascent Sport which sits at about $22,00 to $25,000. With the Hybrid, you can get additional climate control and proximity key capabilities.
Adding an extra $2,400 will give you the SX grade which incorporates privacy glass, Qi wireless charging, climate control, sat-nav, a finer steering wheel, DAB+ digital audio as well as blind-spot monitoring. That’s quite a good investment already.
Pitching in an added $3,500 will let you buy the ZR spec which comes with leather or suede seats, a HUD, larger digital instruments, ambient cabin lighting and top quality JBL audio system. Its 18-inch wheels also look better.
When looking at it on paper, many would say that the SX is the middle ground. Under its sleek and more aggressive exterior design is the same TNGA platform found in the Prius and C-HR crossover hybrids. One can expect this model to have standard alloy wheels and LED headlights.
All of these features give it better driving capabilities especially when you’re hitting corners. And that’s the truth. The new Corolla is indeed great when rounding curves. The old torsion beam rear suspension has been stripped here and is instead replaced by a multi-link setup. Aside from that, a variety of settings for the throttle and electric assisted steering can be expected.
On release, two engines came along with the Corolla: the new 2.0-litre petrol engine with better thermal efficiency, direct injection and variable valve timing and the $1,500 petrol-electric hybrid. The latter is optional and is available on all of the three spec levels.
This new Toyota Dynamic Force petrol engine is a far cry from the older 1.8-litre units. With 125kW and 200Nm, its peak outputs increased by 21% and 16% respectively. Simultaneously, less fuel is consumed by this engine with a 6L/100km rating as purported by Toyota.
The engine speaks a lot for Corolla and is definitely an upgrade compared to the past. Using it feels quite engaging and has amazing response even for corners. It makes for great city driving especially for the higher rated models in its range.
Going with the Ascent Sport will let you choose a new six-speed manual gearbox together with a matching electronic rev. The primary gearbox found on all of the 2.0-litre petrol engines is going to be the new one for automatic models.
One can expect a 10-speed sequential shifting mode which has paddles if you want to manual override. Even more interesting is that it comes with a torque converter for its launch gear. This means that it can accelerate like a regular automatic transmission vehicle until it shifts to a CVT once it reaches higher speeds.
In theory, this allows for better fuel savings. In reality, however, you’ll actually be surprised that its take-offs are much sharper even when going uphill. Toyota’s engineering design of this vehicle has made it a lot more engaging and decisive to operate.
The hybrid is the true hero in a sense. The $1,500 premium it comes with is fairly reasonable and is even better because it’s available on the entire range. No wonder Toyota predicts that this model would account for at least 20% of its sales, which is equivalent to thousands each year.
The hybrid comes with a 72kW and a 142Nm 1.8-litre engine with Atkinson Cycle for improved fuel savings. It has a couple of motor generators, a new power control unit, a 6.5Ah nickel hydride battery and an e-CVT. Another upside to this is that it drives smoother and quieter than previous models.
This new range of Toyota Corolla vehicles is a unique addition to the brand’s 12th generation release. Transforming its hybrid technology to be more affordable than ever before has made the manufacturer one of the leading safety tech providers today.