--
 
New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Driven: Toyota Corolla 1.4D Prestige

2017-08-21 12:11

Image: Motorpress

Cape Town - I really like what Toyota has done with its updated Corolla. It looks good and does what it's required to do - be a comfortable mode of transport. At least that's why it was originally created. 

In 2017, it's competing against a sea of sedans, SUVs, crossovers and luxury hatchbacks as consumers search for the right mix of safety, space and comfort. 

Comfortable ride

Any preconceived notions that the Corolla is a 'boring place to be' or lacking in quality was quickly omitted after a week-long test behind the wheel of the 1.4-litre (actually 1364cc) diesel model I drove. 

Toyota quotes 66kW/205Nm from its small engine. The torque peak is available in a narrow band between 1800r/min and 2800r/min, which meant swapping cogs was often required in the six-speed manual.

This particular model has a top speed of 180km/h and can reach 100km/h from standstill in 12.5 seconds, according to Toyota.  

The Corolla, fitted with a conventional MacPherson front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension offers a plush ride that soaks up bumps and undulations. 

There's little to no feedback from the electrically-powered steering, however the front-wheel drive system is solid enough to give me the confidence of tackling Michell's Pass with gusto.

The gearbox is a slick six-speeder as I mentioned, but suited the nature of the engine with its meagre power. It felt refreshing to change gears and even in traffic, I wasn't craving for a CVT (the Corolla isn't offered with automatic.) 

For the record, I managed to average an impressive 5.9litres/100km over a seven day period. 

Image: Motorpress 

Admittedly, the thing I enjoyed most about the Corolla is how comfortable it is. The Prestige-spec offers leather seats with great support. A weekend-away to Wolseley had the Corolla swallowing five adults plus a ton of luggage in its 452 litre boot with aplomb. 

The reverse camera is perhaps a tad overkill but is a nice considering the price: starting at R310 600. 

The Corolla is offered with a service plan spanning five years or 90000km and three year or 100 000 warranty.  

In summary, I didn't expect to enjoy the sedan as much as I did. But charm of the Corolla got the better of me and I can see why it's popular with Uber drivers and fleet owners. And while consumers ache for a higher ride height and hatch back looks, Toyota's ubiquitous Corolla keeps on doing it, and doing it right. 

NEXT ON WHEELS24X
Read more on:    toyota  |  sean parker  |  south africa  |  review  |  corolla  |  road test

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.