With the all-new Toyota Corolla hatch, one of the most successful model names in automotive history makes a striking return.
Taking over the Auris name badge in South Africa, the Corolla recalls a memorable history in this country – mostly with sedan models, but also the Corolla Conquest and Avante variants of the 80’s and 90’s – and this new hatchback builds on its predecessors celebrated qualities of contemporary design, driving dynamics and efficiency.
With the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) chassis as its basis, the Corolla is longer, lower and therefore sleeker than its Auris predecessor. The striking nose features all-LED lamp clusters, with integral daytime running lights beneath the curved edge of a flatter, clamshell bonnet and narrow upper grille.
Beneath that, trapezoidal lower grille features a new mesh design and a frame that projects powerfully forwards with a grille surround that generates Toyota’s signature ‘catamaran shape’ at the front corners of the car. It emphasises the car’s width and gives the Corolla that aggressive broad, sporting stance.
Like the front, the rear styling is more rounded than before and a 14-degree increase in the angle of the rear screen and muscular haunches above the rear wheel arches combine to give the car a more compact appearance. All-LED light clusters, located as far to the two corners as possible emphasise the car’s width, while the rear bumper styling echoes the ‘catamaran’ look of the front. A lower rear lip features a black-out design matching the; and all versions of the hatchback feature a roof spoiler and shark fin antenna.
The new Corolla hatch comes in six exterior colours, including three new colours – Scarlet Metallic (Red), Oxide Bronze and Caribbean Blue.
The highest levels of visual and tactile quality were the goals of the dedicated Toyota Motor Europe Sensory Quality team (also responsible for the Toyota C-HR crossover’s acclaimed interior) when styling and designing the Corolla’s drivers and passenger environment.
The result is a spacious, modern and cohesive cabin with new textures, colours and trims that are both ergonomically practical and eye-catchingly styled. The slim instrument panel, for example, is not only key to generating a sense of spaciousness, but it improves forward visibility, while still allowing for the driver to be positioned lower and closer to the car’s centre of gravity for a more engaging driving position.
The driver’s cockpit has that real wrap-around feel and the sporty nature is echoed in a front seat design that has also optimises comfort and reduces fatigue on long journeys. The high-grade Xr models also have slim Alcantara-covered front sports seats with wide shoulder supports that combine with solid, thick side bolsters to really grip your upper body and thighs when cornering.
The revised rear seats feature a new seat cushion material that allows for more even distribution of the occupant’s weight and, as standard, all rear seats can be folded using a remote lever to create a fully flat extension to the loadspace.
The Corolla Hatch features a host of active and passive safety features. There are a total of 7 airbags – driver and passenger, along with two side and curtain, as well as one for the driver’s knee – plus Vehicle Stability Control is standard, along with the full suite of electronic aids present (ABS, EBD, Brake Assist and Hill-assist Control). It also comes standard with ISOFIX attachment points for child seats.
All Corolla Hatch models come standard with a 6-services/90 000 km Service Plan and 3-year/100 000 km warranty. Service intervals are set at 12 months/15 000 km.
Pricing: R336 800 – R367 100.