LONG-TERM UPDATE 2 | Our Corolla Hatch continues to impress

28 April 2021 - 12:51 By Waldo Swiegers
Ride quality is good despite the low-profile 18-inch tyres.
Ride quality is good despite the low-profile 18-inch tyres.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

Consumers are spoilt for choice in today’s car market. The majority of people don’t need more than a basic hatchback or sedan though.

Our long-termer, Stylish Smurf, is proving that the new Corolla model line-up is certainly built on Toyota’s vast experience in the segment. 

The latest model almost feels like the ultimate Corolla in terms of everything and gives the simple sedan and hatchback segments a new lease on life.

Toyota’s dependability and quality is legendary, and from the moment one sits in the driver’s seat of this Corolla hatchback, one is reminded of this. The interior is a great place to be in and features soft touch panels and switchgear everywhere.

Two-tone option looks good and offers a retro touch to an already stylish design.
Two-tone option looks good and offers a retro touch to an already stylish design.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

I honestly can’t find any ‘cheap and nasty’ bits in the cabin – it screams quality, in a much more stylish way than Corollas of yesteryear. The seats are terrific. Comfort levels are extremely high for front occupants, with the rear passengers’ legroom a bit tight. The ride quality that the chassis and suspension offers is impeccably good, despite the low-profile 18-inch tyres.

I had to do a quick Google search to establish how to get the Android Auto to work. There is a setting that needs to be turned on in the infotainment system’s setup menu, and the location of the USB port is not blatantly obvious.

Out on the road, the 1.2T engine performs well. It’s still a small capacity engine, so planning overtakes is necessary – especially on single-lane country roads. The 85kW and 185Nm is more than enough to navigate busy city roads and cruising at the speed limit on the highway is no issue at all. 

The adaptive cruise control with lane assist works extremely well. I’ve relegated my right foot to city driving only and the odd occasion when I feel like I don’t need to maintain the radar’s suggested gap to the car in front of me. The CVT gearbox is definitely not my cup of tea, but in normal driving I can’t say that most people would even care that it’s not a torque converter auto.

The interior is a great place to be in and features soft touch panels and switchgear everywhere.
The interior is a great place to be in and features soft touch panels and switchgear everywhere.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

Fuel consumption could be better for such a small engine. I averaged around the 8l/100km mark with a very decent mix of considerate highway and urban driving.  

To me, the exterior looks miles better than previous Corollas, with many people commenting to me on the good looks of Stylish Smurf. The two-tone option looks good as well, and offers a retro touch to an already stylish design.

It’s an extremely capable car that offers Toyota’s trusted reputation in a polished, modern package.     

TOYOTA COROLLA HATCH 1.2T XR CVT Bi-T: UPDATE 2 

PRICE: R444,600 

ODOMETER ON DELIVERY: 850km 

CURRENT ODOMETER: 4,092km 

AVERAGE CONSUMPTION: 8l/100km 

PRAISES: Ride quality is impeccable, interior’s build quality, classy looks 

GRIPES: CVT gearbox, rear legroom quite limited


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