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New models - Toyota - Corolla - 5-dr hatch range

Two-look Toyota Corolla touches down

Freshly hatched: Corolla hatchback fans now have the choice of either more traditional Ascent and Ascent Sport European styling, or sportier SX and ZR designs borrowed from the US market.

Toyota keeps facelifted and more frugal Corolla hatch under $20,000 BOCs


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9 Jun 2015

TOYOTA has treated its Corolla small hatchback to a mid-life refresh with a choice of European or American-inspired styling, revamped interiors and a more frugal powertrain for the 2015 range.

Pricing has also seen a minor shake-up with the top-end ZR reduced by $1000 to $28,990 plus on-road costs, a price freeze for the mid-range SX at $23,490, and while base variants have increased by $300, the entry-level Ascent remains below $20,000 at $19,790.

Output is unchanged for the range-wide 103kW/173Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, but fuel consumption has fallen thanks to a revised induction and dual variable valve system.

When fitted with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the Corolla uses 0.4 fewer litres per 100km at 6.7L/100km on the official combined cycle, while the optional ($2000) seven-speed Multi-Drive automatic has cut fuel use by 0.5 litres to 6.1L/100km with a revision of its lubrication system.

All versions have a fettled suspension set-up with the front MacPherson strut arrangement including revised shock absorbers, reshaped coil springs and stabiliser bushes made from a new material. The rear rear torsion beam suspension has been retuned, while the differential has a different pre-load setting.

According to Toyota, the result is sharper handling, greater straight-line stability, improved steering feel (with remapped electric power steering), smoother uptake when accelerating from standstill and better occupant comfort.

The new-look range kicks off with Ascent and Ascent Sport which adopt the exterior design of the European Corolla (badged Auris in the UK). Toyota describes the styling as “stronger” with a full-width chrome grille, redesigned headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels for the Sport and steel versions for the base version.

Higher-end SX and ZR Corollas derive their looks from the United States market and wear a sportier bodykit aimed at a younger audience. A more “aggressive” look is complemented by a gloss-black honeycomb grille.

Lower front, rear and side skirts complete the differentiating look along with a roof spoiler and 17-inch machined alloys, while the top-of-the-range ZR gets bi-LED headlights.

Inside, the aesthetic updates continue with a less-imposing shaved-down dashboard housing redesigned features including the air vents, doorhandles and gear selector surround.

An updated information and entertainment system is controlled by a 6.1 inch touchscreen with CD player, USB, MP3 player and Bluetooth connectivity for base Ascent.

Moving up to the Ascent Sport brings a screen size increase to 7.0 inches and ‘Toyota Link’ application-based services, while the SX and ZR pick up satellite navigation.

All versions have a new ‘cool blue’ instrument illumination with a central 4.2-inch colour multi-information display for SX and ZR. A reversing camera is also standard fare across the 2015 range.

Ascent and Ascent Sport seats are covered with black cloth, SX has orange inserts, or leather inserts for the ZR flagship. The new Corolla also has a sportier steering wheel design, a choice of eight exterior colours including new Citrus and Blue Gem.

The Corolla has been top-selling nameplate in Australia for the past two years and is currently leading the market in 2015.

More than 1.3 million Corollas have found Australian homes since the model went on sale 48 years ago.

2015 Toyota Corolla pricing*
Ascent $19,790
Ascent Sport $20,790
SX $23,490
ZR $28,990
*Excludes on-road costs.

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