Ntsako Mthethwa
3 minute read
14 Mar 2017
10:05 am

New Toyota Corolla tested

Ntsako Mthethwa

Features include lots of legroom, and an exceptional ride over rough surfaces.

For all these years, Toyota cars have proven to be reliable and an easy set of wheels to drive. And now Toyota has introduced its eleventh-generation Corolla.



The Toyota Corolla marked its 50th anniversary last year, and this isn’t an all-new model but a facelift with changes mostly visible on the 1.8 Exclusive model I tested, for which Toyota charges you only R336 300.

And yet Toyota’s sedan still gets little respect from car critics. The 2017 Toyota Corolla doesn’t make great strides in changing that, but there’s still a lot to like.

The outside changes you can see in the pics, and the interior has a fresh and stylish edge to it with an easy-to-use infotainment system, and loads of rear legroom, compared with most other sedans, such as the Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic.



Like its predecessor, the Corolla has enough space to fit five individuals. Seating position is spot on, you get full leather seats as default, the only thing missing in this model is the heated seats feature which I believe, as this is the top of the range model, should come standard.

This particular model comes with all the safety, comfort and convenience spec that Toyota could throw at it, including rearview camera, ABS with EBD and brake assist, six airbags, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and an audio system that can play CDs, USB devices and a Bluetooth connection.

Under the bonnet lurks an unchanged 103kW / 173Nm 1.8 litre engine matched to a six-speed manual gearbox.

The engine performance is best described as acceptable as you can see from the road test data we got at Gerotek. The ride is exceptional, even over nasty, aggressive surfaces. It remained settled, and the dampers soaking up all the bumps with impressive comfort.



The steering wheel felt well-weighted and not overly-assisted as some of its rivals. What has proven to be a bigger bonus was the 6.9 litres per 100km average fuel consumption the car, beating its claimed 7.0 litres per 100km, which is something that almost never happens these days. So in 2017, the Toyota Corolla is not a flashy pick, but it’s a smart one.

Road Test Data Toyota Corolla 1.8 Exclusive

  • Gearbox: 6 Speed Manual Transmission
  • Engine: 1.8 litre 4-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated
  • Power: 103 kW @ 6 400 rpm
  • Torque: 173 Nm @ 4 000 rpm
  • Licensing Mass: 1 230 kg
  • Power to Weight: 83.740 kW / Tonne
  • Power to Capacity: 57.286 kW / Litre
  • 0-100 km/h: 11.26 Seconds
  • ¼ Mile: 19.20 Seconds @ 129.65 km/h
  • 1 Km: 32.29 Seconds @ 164.51 km/h
  • 60-100 km/h: 7.65 Seconds (in 3rd Gear) / 11.32 Seconds (in 4th Gear)
  • 80-120 km/h: 11.97 Seconds (in 4th Gear) / 15.11 Seconds (in 5th Gear)
  • 60-140 km/h: 18.41 Seconds (in 3rd Gear)
  • True Top Speed: 206.84 km/h @ 6 500 rpm in 5th (Clock 218 km/h)
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.0 litres / 100 km Claimed (6.9 litres Test Average)
  • Fuel Tank Size: 55 litres
  • Fuel Range: 786 km Claimed (797 km on Test)
  • CO2 Emissions: 165 g/km
  • Vehicle Odometer: 814 Km
  • Test Temperature: 18 Degrees
  • Tyres Size: 205/55 R16
  • Tyres Make: Continental Conti Sport Contact
  • Service / Maint Plan: 5 Years / 90 000 Km Service Plan
  • Warranty: 3 Years / 100 000 Km
  • Test Date: 3 March 2017
  • Priced From: R336 300