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Reader test: Toyota Corolla RXi

2009-10-30 07:38

Craig Jacobs, Cape Town

I wrote this when I was forced to sell my 2001 RXi.

She was always eager and willing to please. Even though she wasn’t my only love, she knew that she was the most cherished. She wasn’t even the best at what she did, but importantly she knew how to please me.

Her headline figures of 115 kW and 166 Nm at OPD, and a 15.6 quarter-mile at Killarney, didn’t fully express the joy she brought to me. She was no racer, she had no need for such arbitrary displays of machismo. Rather she liked to make me smile, even although our trysts were at best occasional.


After a stressful day I would walk up to her, stroke my hand upon her flanks and grin, knowing the pleasures that awaited me inside. Opening her door, I’d sink into her enveloping soft leather, run my hands over her silky smooth steering wheel, before gently placing my hands on her Momo gear knob. Now we were ready to start.

I’d slide her key into her slot and turn to awaken her slumbering, puppy dog-eager, heart.

She always awoke with a single quarter turn, erupting to 2 000 r/min before settling at 900. Ahhh, what a beautiful sound.

A light throttle blip sent shivers down my spine and dare I say, hers as well. Slotting the first of her thrilling six gears always brought a little impish grin, in anticipation of her impending scream.

Once warm, she changed from her little eager persona to a vampish tigress, egging you on to give it all to her. And I always enjoy catering to a lady’s wishes!

What a screamer!

As we ran up through her extensive vocal range - clearing her throttles at 3 000, realising the impending ecstasy she was about to experience her voice turned husky at 4 000, before changing to a snarl at 5 000.

She loved rushing onwards to those last 2 000, racecar-like revs sounding, before her 8 200 r/min limit.

But that was only first gear. She would do that in the next four gears before being halted by the rushing wind at 6 800 in sixth. But she was multi talented; we shared a few favourite adventures across some favourite roads …

I’ll always remember our dates, leaving home at 4 am, just the two of us, so that we could run up and down Franschhoek pass a few times before the arrival of the tourists and worker drones. I'd look snidely at them blissfully unaware of the delights that we’d just had.

Always in my heart

She was magnificent, not the fastest, nor the best handling or looking, but boy did she know how to push my buttons.

Her keys are now in the hands of another… She is not cheating, but rather has been betrayed by me. And as I stood watching her tail lights forlornly slinking away, I realised that she will always be in my heart.

My love, my 20V. I’ll miss you.

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