50 YEARS ON: After being on sale for 50 years, the Toyota Corolla is still a stalwart product. Image: Calvin Fisher
Cape Town - Fifty years is a long time no matter how you slice it, so dear Corolla take a bow. It's cultivated a legacy of reliability and affordability for itself, from humble beginnings to market leader for as long as some can remember.
This generation alone has sold over one million units, and that's just in South Africa.
Toyota dubs it the 'Minor change' update and for good reason, there's little to distinguish it from 2016's model. The changes they have effected however, revised lamp clusters and bumpers, bring it back in line with the original Prestige Concept. It's somewhat emboldened thanks to strong horizontal lines across the headlights that appear to spread across the metal surfaces and gives the car a wider perceived stance.
New tech, enhanced interior
Drop into the cabin and again, updates are of the blink and you'll miss it variety. Soft touch materials are ride and there's now more sound absorption than before and naturally that means a ride that feels more refined. Comfortable too, thanks to a revised spring and shock combination to reduce lateral and damping forces. A 7" touchscreen replaces the 6.1 item of old, now a VFD display for an increased viewing angle and clarity.
Gallery: 50 years of Toyota Corolla
And if you're expecting a sportier cabin in the Sprinter derivative then I have bad news for you... there won't be one in the ten model range that starts with the 1.3 Esteem (R261 300) right up to the range topping 1.8 CVT Exclusive at R349 400. For which you get a hell of a lot of car.
Safety gets a decent upgrade with new acronyms into the fray, VSA and HSA, aka stability and hill assist. Rear gig lamps are standard across the range, as are seven airbags and ABS. All Corollas are covered by a five year or 90 000km service plan for peace of mind too.
The 11th generation of Corolla then, won't surprise you, which is precisely it's appeal. It's a solid C Segment offering, a deserving stalwart, and with the latest updates will continue to earn its keep.
ABS with BA, EBD
Auto Door lock
Daytime running lights: LED
Steering Wheel Switches, USB & Aux, Bluetooth
VSC (1.6 & above), HAC (1.6 & above)
15” Steel wheels
1.3 Esteem: R261 300
1.6 Esteem: R280 200
1.4 D Esteem: R294 400
Leather seats and steering wheel
16” Alloy wheels
1.3 Prestige: R281 300
1.4 D Prestige: R307 500
1.6 Prestige: R299 900
1.6 Prestige AT: R314 000
1.8 Prestige 313 500
Auto climate control
Auto Headlight levelling
Auto Interior Rear View Mirror
Speedometer with TFT Colour Display
Price: 1.8 Exclusive: R336 300
*All models are covered by a 5-year or 90 000km service plan and a three-year/100 000km