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Toyota Corolla

150 series Corolla

Toyota logo1 May 2007

By THE GOAUTO TEAM

TOYOTA’S 10th-generation Corolla was a ground-up redesign, aimed at the premium end of the small car class against the Mazda 3, Holden Astra, Ford Focus and Honda Civic.

Longer, wider and (in hatchback guise) taller than before, it packed in more features, space, safety and performance, and came in two body styles – a European-styled five-door hatchback and the Japanese-designed four-door sedan. The wagon was discontinued in Australia.

Dual airbags and ABS anti-lock brakes became standard, while an “Enhanced Safety Pack” featuring front-seat side and curtain airbags and a class-first driver's knee airbag, was an option on the Ascent and Levin SX, and standard on all other models.

The Corollas fitted with the Enhanced Safety Pack scored a maximum five-star rating in the European NCAP crash test results.

Other new-to-Corolla features included height and telescopic adjustable steering, electric power steering, MP3 compatible CD/radio audio and a revised U341 four-speed automatic gearbox with driver-adaptive shift technology. On manual cars, six forward speeds replaced five.

An all-new 1798cc 2ZR-FE 1.8-litre twin-cam four-cylinder unit deliverws 100kW at 6000rpm, 174Nm at 4400rpm and 2008 Euro IV emissions-meeting capabilities.

As before, Toyota’s VVT-i variable valve timing technology was utilised to plump out both low and high-rev performance, but this time it featured a segment-first infinite adjustment on both the inlet and exhaust camshafts, rather than on just the former.

Although weight rose by around 200kg for each model, Toyota more-or-less maintained the previous Corolla’s fuel economy figures.

The Corolla continued with a variation of the old car’s MacPherson strut front and torsion beam and trailing arm rear suspension set-up, which brought cost and space-saving benefits.

In December 2009, side airbags and electronic stability control (ESC) became standard across the Corolla hatch range in an extensive facelift that included a new-look nose and tail, plus additional gadgetry such as Bluetooth and USB connections.

Externally, the biggest changes to the hatch concerned a new bonnet, two-bar grille, front and rear bumpers and front and rear light clusters.

March 2010 saw the sedan variant get ESC as standard, shortly followed in June of that year with the arrival of a 2.0-litre engine producing 102kW at 5600rpm and about 195Nm at 3900pm, for the top-spec and automatic-only Ultima sedan variant.

The new engine coincided with a facelift for the sedan, which unlike the five-door hatch, side curtain and driver’s knee airbags were only standard in the mid-range Conquest and premium Ultima sedans.

As with the Corolla hatch, a new range of MP3/WMA-capable sound systems was included, with Bluetooth and USB/iPod connectivity, plus new instruments. The entry-level Ascent offered a single-CD player, while Conquest and Ultima got a six-CD unit with 4.3-inch TFT colour screen.

The Ultima also gained Xenon headlights, a rear spoiler and reversing camera as standard, the latter linked to a 3.3-inch LCD screen built-in to the rear-view mirror with static guidelines to assist reverse parking.

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