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Toyota Corolla RZ joins the dark side

Paint it black: Toyota's special-edition Corolla RZ comes packaged with more equipment and arguably better styling, but with a $1000 price increase.

Limited-run Corolla RZ boosts Toyota’s chances of retaining top-selling car crown

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Toyota logo25 Nov 2014

By TUNG NGUYEN

TOYOTA has released a special-edition Corolla RZ hatchback with extra equipment and tweaked styling to lift its top-selling small car as it battles for the 2014 best-selling car crown in Australia against the Mazda3.

The limited-run RZ – based on the Corolla Ascent Sport hatch – can be had in manual form from $22,290 before on-road costs. An automatic CVT transmission adds $2250, raising the price to $24,540.

While the Corolla RZ commands a $1000 price premium over its donor car, Toyota claims to have included $2000 of added features.

Headlining the exterior design changes are a host of black accents, including 16-inch gloss black alloy wheels, darkened grille, blackened rear garnish and RZ decals along the front, sides and rear.

Interior equipment levels also get a bump thanks to the inclusion of satellite navigation and RZ-themed front floor mats, in addition to the standard 6.1-inch touch-screen display, reversing camera, six-speaker audio system and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Corolla RZ comes in a choice of six exterior colours, all of which are optional extras on the Ascent Sport. Wildfire, Inferno and Tidal Blue colours feature silver-accented decals, while Crystal Pearl, Silver Pearl and Positano Bronze get orange highlighted decals.

The RZ retains the same 103kW/173Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the standard Corolla, along with seven airbags, ABS and vehicle stability and traction control that afford all Corollas a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The release of the Corolla RZ comes after the similarly styled Camry RZ was released earlier this year.

Sales of the Toyota Corolla have climbed steadily this year, reaching 36,925 units to the end of October, representing a 2.9 per cent increase over the same period last year and making the small car the top-selling vehicle in the country.

The Mazda3 is following close behind on 36,011 vehicles sold over the same period, a shortfall of only 914 units.

Toyota Corolla hatch pricing*
Ascent $19,990
Ascent Sport $21,290
RZ $22,290
RZ (a) $24,540
Levin SX $23,990
Levin ZR $28,390
*Excludes on-road costs.

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