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Toyota levels up Corolla hatch safety tech

Give it a go: The new safety pack is available as standard on the flagship Corolla ZR hatch, but Toyota is asking an additional $750 for the technologies in the Ascent, Ascent Sport, SX and Hybrid (left) variants.

AEB and lane departure alert now available across updated Toyota Corolla hatch range


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11 Jan 2017

NEW safety technologies, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure warning, are now available across Toyota’s popular Corolla small hatch range, but the optional gear will wear a $750 pricetag on all but the top-spec ZR variants.

While pricing for the rest of the Corolla hatch range remains static, with the entry-level manual Ascent kicking off the range at $20,190 before on-roads, the new kit means the ZR will incur a $450 price rise to $30,020.

Toyota has also ditched the manual SX variants, making the second-to-top petrol-powered Corolla hatch an automatic-only affair from 2017 onwards.

Also included in the package will be a pre-collision braking system and automatic high beams, with the safety tech bringing Toyota’s small hatch range in line with the new accident-avoidance systems introduced for the Corolla sedan line-up earlier this week.

The pre-collision system uses a windscreen-mounted camera and lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor to scan the road ahead for obstacles and will activate audible and visual warnings if an impact is imminent.

According to Toyota, the system “primes the brakes for extra stopping force” and if the driver does not intervene, “initiates autonomous emergency braking to reduce the vehicle’s closing speed”.

The lane departure warning system also makes use of the camera and lidar sensors to read road-surface markings to warn drivers if the vehicle is straying from the lane. This system can be toggled on and off via a steering wheel-mounted button.

These new safety features are in addition to the Corolla hatch range’s existing standard equipment including seven airbags, vehicle stability and traction control, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and reversing camera – enough to score the maximum five-star Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash-safety rating.

All petrol Corolla hatchbacks are powered by a 103kW/173Nm 1.8-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, with continuously variable transmission (CVT) models returning a fuel economy figure of 6.1 litres per 100km, while six-speed manual-equipped versions will do 6.7L/100km.

Hybrid versions, which have a 1.8-litre four-cylinder paired with a 60kW electric motor for a combined power output of 100kW, will return a fuel economy figure of 4.1L/100km.

Last year, Toyota’s Corolla finished second in the sales charts and was Australia’s most-popular passenger car, clocking 40,330 new registrations over the 12 month period.

Despite a 4.1 per cent drop over its 2015 total, the Corolla beat out the Hyundai i30 (37,772), Ford Ranger (36,934) and Mazda3 (36,107) for silver medal honours, with only its HiLux stablemate outselling the small car with 42,104 sales.

2017 Toyota Corolla hatch pricing*
Ascent Sport$21,210
SX (a)$26,000
Hybrid (a)$27,530
ZR (a)$30,020
*Excludes on-road costs

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