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Toyota corolla – practical, reliable and assertive

The toyota Corolla is one of the best nameplates ever man- ufactured. Now well into its 11th generation, and more than 50 years since being introduced onto the market, there is no doubt that toyota  has  had  enough  time  to perfect the Corolla recipe. Not only does it remain the world’s best-sell- ing nameplate in automotive history, it is still one of the most popular vehicles in the toyota line-up.

Cumulative worldwide Corolla sales exceed 39.7 million, since the nameplate was launched in 1966, and is sold in more than 150 coun- tries. the toyota Corolla is the quint- essential economy car. It is small, inexpensive, fuel-efficient, and reli- able. put gas in it, give it the occa- sional oil change and it will provide dependable transportation well past the 100,000-kilometre mark.

the    11th    generation    model, which has been on sale since 2013, has received numerous upgrades include exterior front- and rear-end refreshments and enhanced interior modifications to give it classier feel.

Design

the Corolla adopts toyota’s ‘ Under priority and Keen  Look’

design lan- guage, which was introduced by  the  C-Hr sUV concept. the     front     has been   complete- ly restyled to highlight a wider vehicle stance and a more prestigious design. the front end fea- tures a small upper grille is flanked by new headlamp clusters, and there

is a revised front bumper incorpo- rating  a  lower  grille. the  design  is further accentuated by the LeDs. the bonnet has also been raised and the bumper corners have been deep- ly sculpted to enhance the Corolla’s aggressive look.

muscular front and rear wheel arches dominate the Corolla’s pro- file. the door handles receive a new chrome trim finish, enhancing the character line running from the front to the rear of the vehicle. A choice of new 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheel designs  is  available.  the  rear  styl- ing has been enhanced through the adoption of LeD tail lamp clusters. the  redesigned  chrome  boot  han- dle further emphasises the vehicle’s width.

Performance

the  Corolla  engine  options  remain unchanged.  the   entry-level   power plant is a 1.3-litre Dual Variable Valve timing-intelligent  (Dual VVt-

i) unit with an output of 73 kW (97 hp) and 128 Nm of torque. Fuel con- sumption is pegged at 6 l/100 km while 0 to 100km/h is dealt with in

12.6 seconds. the dial will continue to the 180 km/h mark. paired with the 1.3-litre engine is a six-speed manual. the  mid-spec  performance package  is  a  1.6-litre  Dual  VVt-i engine that churns out 90 kW (120

hp) and 154 Nm of torque. the 1.6- litre power plant consumes 0.6 litres more compared to the 1.3-litre unit. Acceleration times are 10.5 and 11.1 seconds for the manual and 7-speed multidrive s automatic (CVt) trans- mission respectively.

maximum speed is 195 km/h (manual) and 185 km/h (multidrive). top  of  the  range  models  are  fitted with a 1.8-litre unit, which deliv- ers 103 kW (138 hp) and 173 Nm of  torque.  the  7-speed  multidrive s automatic transmission is paired with   the   engine   as   standard.  the 0-to-100km/h dash comes up in 10.2 seconds and top speed is recorded as

195 km/h. Fuel consumption rate is a reasonable 6.4-litres per 100 km. the  Corolla  retains  the  proven front macpherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension systems of its predecessor. However, significant revisions to both front and rear sys- tems promote improved ride comfort combined with greater agility.

the    multidrive    s    automatic (CVt) transmission has been revised to deliver shifts that are quicker, crisper and smoother with better matching to engine speed. the CVt also helps generate suitable engine braking when downshifting, includ- ing deceleration control that acti- vates the fuel-cut system and holds the pulley ratio to maintain revs and enable easier re-ac- celeration.

Interior

taking  styling  cues  from  the  bold new exterior, the saloon’s indoor environment plays up the width of the cabin with a strong horizontal dashboard   design.  the   instrument panel has been updated with a lay- ered structure that hides joins, along with a redesigned climate control panel and circular air vents. topped by a soft, non-reflective upper sur- face, which flows seamlessly over the driver’s instrument binnacle, the dashboard face combines convex, soft touch padding with a recessed centre console panel finished in piano black. the Audio touch screen/DVD increased from 6.1-inches to 7-inch- es. the operational feel of the pedals and shift lever has also been refined. the pedals have been positioned

to help prevent unintended opera- tion, and the stroke and firmness of the shift lever have been optimised

for a smoother shift feel. All occu- pants benefit from the capacity and usability of the Corolla’s compre- hensive range of storage space. they include a glove box, coin box and lidded compartment in the dash- board, a centre console box and cup holders, overhead sunglasses storage, front door pockets designed to hold a 1.5 litre bottle or a road map and rear-door-pocket space for a 0.5 litre bottle.

verdict

Toyota   has   always   remained   true to its original principles of building a car of superior quality, enduring durability and indisputable reliabil- ity, with the Corolla. If you are looking for a small sedan that covers the basics well, the toyota Corolla is a smart choice. Although rivals have sportier designs and more entertain- ing driving dynamics, a Corolla none- theless makes an excellent choice for those seeking a comfortable, reliable, and economical compact car. Visit toyota  Kenya, located  along  Uhuru Highway in Nairobi, for more infor- mation on the Corolla.