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Stability for Corolla
Toyota finally joins its rivals by offering ESC across its popular small-car range
20 Jan 2009
AUSTRALIA’S second most popular car finally has electronic stability control (ESC), with this week’s release of the upgraded 2009 Corolla.
Toyota’s best-selling model joins most of its small-car rivals to offer the potentially life-saving safety technology as an optional extra at base level and standard on more expensive variants.
For entry-level Corolla Ascent hatch and sedan and Levin SX hatch buyers, Toyota’s Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC) costs $1500 as part of an upgraded Enhanced Safety Pack that previously cost $750 and included front-side, side curtain and driver's knee airbags.
VSC/TRC is now standard on the mid-range Corolla Conquest hatch and sedan and the flagship Levin ZR hatch and Ultima sedan.
As previously reported, price rises accompany the MY09 “tech change” for most Corollas as part of the Japanese maker’s wide-ranging 2009 price hike, with the Ascent hatch now opening Toyota’s small-car bidding at $21,490 (up $500) and the Ascent sedan priced at $21,740 (up $750).
In an off-again-on-again affair, Toyota Australia said at the launch of the new 150 Series Corolla in May 2007, when its $21,990 starting price made it the most expensive ever, that ESC would become available by September 2008, but three months later said it would not arrive until midlife facelift time by 2010.
Australian Corollas have now come into line with those in Europe, where the Auris has long been available with VSC, following the earlier than expected completion of local testing.
Senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said on January 19: “The VSC system for our 1.8-litre Corolla required special calibration for the unique engine/road surface combination in Australia.
“Engineering resources from Japan became available in time for 2009 Corolla to benefit from VSC.
“The addition of VSC and TRC makes Toyota's best-selling passenger car a significantly safer vehicle for drivers and others on the road.”
Toyota’s 10th-generation Corolla, which in 2008 almost ended the Holden Commodore’s reign as Australia’s top-selling nameplate since 1996, now joins all of its direct rivals in the Mazda3, Ford Focus and Holden Astra in offering ESC.
The soon-to-be-replaced but still popular Mazda3 range also starts at $21,490 (as does Mitsubishi’s Lancer, on which ESC is standard) and costs $2000 extra as an auto, while its similar DSC and six-airbag safety pack costs $1700.
Similarly, Ford’s DSC system costs an extra $1600 on the base Focus CL sedan and hatch (from $20,490), and although Holden’s ESC system is standard in all Astra hatches (from $22,290), it is not yet available in the $18,790 Viva.
Hyundai was one of the first small-car makers to offer ESC in Australia via its Elantra, and now fits the technology as standard across its Elantra and i30 ranges.
Read more:Corolla ESC delay
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