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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. 

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

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