The world’s top-selling car has come in for a radical overhaul for its latest generation. Here are just some of the reasons you should pay attention.
The dreary, cardigan-like Toyota Corolla of old has been replaced with a sharp, sophisticated design boasting sculpted extremities and fine attention to detail. From the technical LED driving lights to the sloping rear hatch, the Japanese brand has crafted something very un-Toyota here.
Autonomous driver aids
Imagine a mainstream small car that can steer, brake, and accelerate by itself. The new Toyota Corolla will do just that with semi-autonomous driver aids such as adaptive radar-based cruise control, lane departure assist and autonomous emergency braking.
In addition to seven airbags, a reversing camera and pre-collision detection system, new standard safety features coming to the 2018 Toyota Corolla will include automatic high-beam headlights and an AEB system that can detect not only cars, but people and even bicycles — and take action to avoid them.
Entry-level models will get leather steering wheel and gear shifter trim as standard, not to mention a very effective road sign recognition system that identifies give-way signs, stop signs and speed limits and displays them on the fancy new high-res colour instrument panel. Top shelf models get wireless phone charging, a colour head-up display, and a 10-speaker JBL sound system, and the car can even be started and unlocked via your smartphone. Oooh-lah-lah!
The revamped interior design of the Toyota Corolla matches the exterior with an elegant, modern motif. The cabin reduces complexity with a minimal approach and neatly clustered controls, tightly packed around the large 8.0-inch touch-screen display. Reworked sports seats and tasteful finishes around the dash and doors suggest the car is looking to up its game against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Mazda3.
Toyota has dropped a bigger, more powerful 2.0-litre direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine in the 2018 Corolla that generates 22 percent more power (126kW) and 18 percent more torque (205Nm). Despite the extra brawn the new engine is said to be more economical than the 1.8-litre engine it replaces, which means it should deliver figures of less than the 6.1L/100km.
There’s also a clever new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with 10-stepped gears to sweeten the deal. A Toyota Corolla hybrid model that could deliver Prius-like fuel economy of less than 4.0L/100km will be launched at the same time too.
Toyota has developed an all-new chassis for the 2018 Corolla with reworked MacPherson struts up front and a new multi-link suspension set-up at the rear, complete with a stabiliser bar. The new Corolla is also longer, wider and 10mm closer to the ground, giving it a lower centre of gravity.
World’s best-selling car
The new Toyota Corolla is no Johnny-come-lately — with around 45 million examples of the Corolla (and Auris, as it’s known in Europe) sold globally since it was introduced in 1966. Of those 45 million vehicles, Toyota reckons about 30 million of them are still running! Do the maths and that means every 37 seconds a Toyota Corolla is built and sold somewhere in the world! It’s currently the world’s best-selling vehicle, besting the next two most popular models — the Ford F-150 (40 million) and Volkswagen Golf (33 million) – by a fair margin.
Hot hatch coming
The new 2018 Toyota Corolla already looks a bit like a hot hatch with its large roof spoiler, low riding body work and 18-inch alloy wheels. But there’s already some very positive juju from Toyota executives about an even hotter version that’s expected to be developed by Toyota’s high performance motorsport partner, Gazoo Racing. The new Toyota Corolla GR hot hatch could be just what the car needs to stamp its new-found confidence all over the small car market. — The Independent.