BY Evans Manyonga 3 MINUTE READ

The car continues to build on QDR (quality, durability and reliability)—Toyota’s philosophy behind the creation of the first-generation Corolla

What makes a really great car? Consensus on the answer is as elusive as flying saucers. A vehicle that has been part of South Africans’ lives for the past 40 years, and of which one million units have been produced right here on home soil and 45 million sold globally deserves some credit. If that’s not impressive enough, 100 cars are being built and sold every hour—that’s one every 36 seconds. The Toyota Corolla definitely ranks as one of the best auto brands ever manufactured.

Now well into its 11th generation, and more than 40 years since being introduced onto the market, there’s no doubt that Toyota has had enough time to perfect its Corolla recipe. Not only does it remain the world’s best-selling marque in automotive history, it’s still one of the most popular vehicles in the Toyota line-up. It’s currently sold in about 150 countries, including South Africa, and accounts for approximately 20% of Toyota’s global sales.

Time and again, the Corolla has delivered as an affordable, reliable family car—now the 2017 model features an even more prestigious-looking exterior design, with strong emphasis on sensory quality in the cabin. The car continues to build on QDR (quality, durability and reliability)—Toyota’s philosophy behind the creation of the first-generation Corolla—with significantly enhanced quality in every aspect of its design and engineering, while still representing impressive value for money.


Staying true to its roots

When developing each of Corolla’s 11 generations, Toyota has maintained its original principles: building a car of superior quality, enduring durability and indisputable reliability. Furthermore, with each new model produced, Toyota has analysed customer feedback to ensure the Corolla continues to deliver on its hallmarks.

Right from the start, the Corolla was designed to have wide appeal. As a “people’s car”, it was affordable; as a family car, it was generous on space while also displaying higher build quality and considerable equipment features.

When it launched in 1966, Toyota certainly had high hopes that the Corolla would go on to be a great success. Its name is derived from the Latin corona, which means “crown of flowers”. Suffice to say, in just three years the Corolla became Japan’s top-selling model, and its success quickly spread to other countries around the world.


What’s new for 2017?

The new Corolla upgrades include exterior front- and rear-end refreshments as well as enhanced interior modifications to give it a classier feel:
• The small upper grille is flanked by new headlamp clusters, and there’s a revised front bumper incorporating a lower grille. The design is further accentuated by the LEDs (Exclusive models).
• The engine hood has been raised and the bumper corners deeply sculpted to enhance the Corolla’s 3D effect.
• To improve passive safety, both Vehicle Stability Control and Hill-Start Assist Control have become standard on 1.6 models and above.
• Rear styling has been enhanced through the adoption of LED tail lamp clusters (1.8-litre models) and a redesigned chrome garnish that further emphasises the vehicle’s width.
• Inside, the instrument panel has been updated with a layered structure that hides joins, along with a redesigned climate-control panel and circular air vents.
• Audio touchscreen/DVD has been increased from 6.1 to 7 inches (Prestige models).
• Other upscale touches in the interior include a piano-black centre-cluster surround and chrome-plated ornamentation.

Picking up where the previous generation left off, the 2017 Corolla has competent performance and consistently good fuel economy, both of which translate into attractive cost-of-ownership benefits.

The engine line-up remains unchanged, featuring a choice of a 1.4-litre D-4D turbodiesel and three petrol engines; a 1.3-litre Dual VVT-i unit; a 1.6-litre Dual VVT-i engine; and the 1.8-litre Dual VVT-i unit. All engines are fitted with 6-speed manual transmissions.

Revised tuning of the CVT transmission delivers shifts that are quicker, crisper and smoother, with better matching to engine speed. The CVT also helps generate suitable engine braking when downshifting, including deceleration control that activates the fuel-cut system and holds the pulley ratio to maintain revs and enable easier re-acceleration.

The front MacPherson strut and rear torsion-beam suspension systems adopt larger-diameter shock absorbers to enhance damping force for an improved balance between ride comfort and handling stability. Improved mounting rigidity for the upper body and suspension, plus an additional rear damper bush contribute to improved handling performance.

Other changes that reduce noise, vibration and harshness include beading on the front fender liner to reduce turbulence inside the wheel housing, a thicker inner silencer for the dash panel, and a denser material for the floor insulation.

The Corolla does everything it’s supposed to: It’s comfortable, well-equipped and affordably priced for pretty much any budget. Here’s to the next generation!

1.8 Exclusive: R336 300
1.8 Exclusive AT: R349 400

All models are covered by a 5-year/90 000km service plan and a 3-year/100 000km manufacturer warranty.