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First look: Toyota Corolla steps up in value

Geared up: Prices of some Corolla Hatch models have been cut $1000 in the latest facelift.

ESC and side airbags standard as Toyota revs up Corolla Hatch for 2010

25 Nov 2009

TOYOTA has made side airbags and electronic stability control (ESC) standard across its top-selling Corolla Hatch range in an extensive facelift that includes a new-look nose and tail, plus additional popular gadgetry such as Bluetooth and USB connection.

Prices of two of the four models – the mid-range Conquest and sporty flagship Levin ZR – have been chopped by up to $1090. Prices of the other two models – the entry-level Ascent and SX – have risen marginally, up $250 and $190 respectively, but are clearly better value with the addition of the new safety equipment and other features.

The improved value equation of the Japanese-made import reflects the imminent five per cent duty cuts to be introduced by the federal government on all imported passenger cars from January 1 - a saving that was pre-empted by Mazda with price cuts last month.

The facelift for Corolla - Australia’s top-selling small car - was revealed on Toyota's public website.

The makeover is designed to inject new vigour into Corolla sales, which have slipped 20 per cent so far this year.

By contrast, sales volumes of its biggest rival, the Mazda3, have edged up by 3.8 per cent, to trail the Corolla by fewer than 3000 units year to date – 29,397 to 32,200.

While the Japanese-made Corolla Hatch has been spruced up for 2010, the Sedan version will have to wait until early next year for its makeover.

8 center imageExternally, the biggest changes to the Hatch concern a new bonnet, grille, front and rear bumpers and front and rear light clusters.

The new two-bar grille, new-look lights and re-designed bumper are identical to those of the new Japanese variant revealed in October, as reported in GoAuto at the time.

And as also flagged by GoAuto, the big news on safety is the addition of Toyota’s VSC electronic stability control on all four Corolla Hatch models. Previously, VSC was standard only on the Conquest Hatch and Levin ZR, while available on the other two models in a $1500 ‘Enhanced Safety Pack’.

Side air bags, which were standard on the Conquest and Levin ZR, have also been added as standard fitment to the base Ascent and SX.

While an MP3 jack was standard on all models previously, the 2010 hatch range also gains a USB jack and Bluetooth as standard.

All models get a multi-information display switch on the steering wheel, which itself has been replaced across the range. The top three models gain a premium wheel with a race-style squared-off bottom. This steering wheel is optional in a special pack with cruise control on the base Ascent.

The new optional safety pack loses ESC and side airbags which have become standard, but now consists of curtain and knee airbags. The price has been cut from $1500 to $500.

The Conquest, SX and Levin ZR all get new alloy wheels – unique on ZR – while the SX gains fancy ‘Optitron’ instrument lighting that was previously only available on the ZR.

As well, the ZR gets an automatic dimming rear-view mirror.

There appears to be no change to the Corolla Hatch powertrain, which retains the 100kW 1.8-litre VVT-i four-cylinder engine and choice of four-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox.

Prices now start at $21,740 for the Ascent manual (a rise of $250), with the optional auto costing $2000 more.

The Conquest Hatch is $1000 cheaper at $24,500 for the manual ($2000 premium for auto), while the SX goes up $190 to $25,690 for the manual and $27,690 for the auto.

The top-of-the-range Levin ZR enjoys the biggest price cut – down $1090 – to $28,900 for manual transmission and $30,900 for the auto.

2009 Toyota Corolla range pricing:
Ascent hatch $21,740
Ascent hatch (a) $23,740
Conquest hatch $24,500
Conquest hatch (a) $26,500
Levin SX hatch $25,690
Levin SX hatch (a) $27,690
Levin ZR hatch $28,900
Levin ZR hatch (a) $30,900
Options:
Metallic paint $350
Enhanced Safety Pack Ascent & SX $500
Cruise Pack Ascent $750
Sunroof $1500

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