The Toyota Corolla doesn’t stray much from a familiar formula that has made it one of Australia’s most popular cars for several decades.
That formula includes a relatively roomy small sedan/hatch body, some handy features, good pricing, and reliable/proven engineering.
That’s what Toyota has kept a laser-like focus on with its Corolla over the years and as they say, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”
There really is very little visual excitement outside or in.
Inside, too, the focus here isn’t excitement; rather freeing up space and keeping things simple.
People who choose to drive out of necessity and practicality are going to find everything they need from the Corolla’s performance, but those who like to drive may find the experience…uninspiring.
The Corolla’s, 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine produces 103kW/173Nm and there’s six-speed manual, and seven-speed auto transmissions available.
It is fair to say that the Toyota small car lacks the sporty and modern panache of many of its rivals.
On the road, the Corolla rides along alright, the suspension feels just a little on the soft side and this translates to less than sports car-like handling.
The power steering also is a bit dull, and particularly light.
Functionally though, the Corolla hits all the marks - especially with respect to seating space and comfort.
The front seats are a bit short and spongy, but otherwise there’s plenty of headroom and legroom as well as decent space for average-size adults in the back seat.
Some of the materials used around the cabin let the overall feel down just a little and there’s a little more engine noise than I might have expected.
Oh, and don’t forget there’s a Corolla hybrid today as well (hatch only) - reviewed here.
Standard features in the base-model Ascent include:
- Six-speaker stereo
- Tilt and reach steering adjustment
- Reverse camera
- Cruise control
While an optional safety pack is probably worth ticking the box for as it adds (for an additional $750):
- Forward Collision Warning
- Forward Collision Mitigation
- Lane Departure Warning
- Auto High Beam Dipping
While all grades and variants of the 2017 Toyota Corolla boast a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing up, heading into 2018 the Toyota Corolla remains an honest car that offers a good combination of features, fuel economy, creditable engineering and proven quality.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Toyota Corolla
- Engine: 1.8 litre four-cylinder producing 103kW/173Nm
- Transmission: Seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual
- Safety: Five stars
- Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km
- Origin: Japan (hatch), Thailand (sedan)
- Price: hatch from $20,190, sedan from $21,240