2017 Toyota Corolla Sedan road test and review…
There’s a lot to like about the current-edition Toyota Corolla and it doesn’t surprise me at all that despite the stiff competition it remains at the top of the new car sales lists.
Toyota handed me the keys to the entry-level Corolla Ascent to review and I came away with two clear thoughts – it’s a well thought-out and easy to live with vehicle and secondly – a driver’s car it isn’t.
It does everything with ease, it is an easy car to drive and live with, but it certainly will never get your pulse racing.
Across all the main driving attributes the word ‘satisfactory’ comes to mind, nothing really stands out as being particularly great, nor particularly disappointing.
Perhaps the only thing I could mention from the Toyota Corolla sedan drive is the steering feel.
Firstly, it is certainly on the heavy side and secondly it’s more than a bit dull – especially the ‘turn back to centre’ feel (i.e. when you are straightening the wheel after making a turn).
For most Corolla buyers this will be of little to no interest though.
The engine is quiet and efficient, I used only 7.0L/100km in my week of city driving.
The 1.8 litre unit delivers good enough performance and the overall feel, even at speed, is one of quality and refinement.
A good turning circle, very attractive driver info screen, extremely clear and wide-angle reverse camera, and better than average visibility from the driver’s seat help complete the package.
Wow, I can’t believe how much legroom the 2017 Toyota Corolla sedan boasts!
And boot space is also very generous and this only helps make the Toyota a really easy car to get about in.
There’s a couple of things that you should watch out for with this current Corolla.
Firstly, if the car is wet, when you open the backdoor the water tends to trickle in and right on top of the person getting in/out (there is no gutter at all).
Secondly, the 2017 Corolla range comes with the latest generation infotainment system and while this system is a step up from the old one in terms of attractiveness and software functionality, you lose the traditional volume knob.
I think many Corolla buyers would be put off by the smooth buttons that replace the traditional stereo controls and it just feel like it is really missing the volume knob (was that a function we really needed to do away with?).
Sure, there are volume buttons on the steering wheel, but I don’t think the change away is a step forward.
Perhaps you also notice it that bit more because Toyota has resisted the urge to get ‘sexy’ with the climate control knobs/buttons – those found in the 2017 Corolla are about as basic and easy to operate as they get.
Oh, and it would be nice to have key in pocket central locking just to make getting in and out that bit easier (this kicks in on the next model up).
So, easy to drive, efficient, safe, (most likely) extremely reliable and well proportioned, the only thing really missing from the 2017 Toyota Corolla Sedan is some flair…oh, and a volume knob!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Toyota Corolla Ascent Sedan
Engine: 1.8 litre petrol producing 103kW/173Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or CVT auto
Safety: Five stars
Price: from $21,240 (manual) and $23,490 (CVT)