Can’t even fault the looks of new Toyota Corolla

Eleven generations in, the Toyota Corolla has sold over 1 Million units in South Africa and counting. The company’s legacy has propelled the Corolla to near cult status and regardless of how good this one is, Toyota will most like keep selling Corollas.  We visit some unique destinations in the 2017 model and see if Toyota has chosen to rest on its laurels, or keep moving forward with its “Minor face-lift” Corolla

The Changes

If one criticism could be levelled at the bestseller it would be the non-aggressive and almost cutesy look of the 10th generation model.  The eleventh gen design is more angular, more aggressive and comes with funky changes to bumpers, headlight clusters and bonnet.   The interior has been tweaked too with the  smaller touch screen being upgraded to at 7 inch unit and minor changes on the remainder of the dashboard.

The Range

Available in three model variants, Esteem, Prestige and Exclusive, the prices start at R281 300 for the 1.3 Esteem and ends at R349 400 for the 1.8 Exclusive.

The 1.3 Dual VVT-I pushes out 73kW and 128Nm of Torque with 6l/100 is achieved on the combined cycle. The 1.6 Dual VVT-I has a punchy 90kW engine with torque figures of 154Nm and uses 6.6l/100.

My pick of the cars I sampled on the day was the surprisingly quiet and capable 1.4D which enters the market at R294 400. With not much diesel clatter to mention, at least not when on the move the little D4D Toyota Corolla does most of what the petrol Corollas do, but with less fuel (4.5l/100) and more torque(205Nm).

At the top of the range is the 1.8 petrol which starts at R336 300 and pushes out 103kW. With a refined cabin and a chassis that feels tight and surefooted, the 1.8 Corolla is the ultimate family and rep mobile.  With Toyota Quest now servicing the fleet market, Corolla can now be tasked with offering clients a more premium feel, which it does.  The 6 speed manual feels slick and works well, just like everything else on this car. Toyota Corolla is a fantastic all-rounder.

For those wanting to be free of rowing through gears, a revised CVT model is also on offer which according to Toyota delivers quicker, crisper and smoother shifts.  Providing engine braking while downshifting, it also comes with a fuel-cut system to aid efficiency. Unfortunately the CVT was not available on the launch. What’s Toyota afraid of?

Celebrating its 50th year in production, Toyota Corolla probably isn’t going away anytime soon.  Toyota SA has taken strategic measures to keep Corolla on top of the segment by a factor of five, whilst most its competitors are suffering losses in sales.  All in all “Minor change” Corolla has improved and if you can believe it, offers even more value and refinement in its revised guise.


1.3 Esteem: R261 300
1.6 Esteem: R280 200
1.4 D Esteem: R294 400
1.3 Prestige: R281 300
1.4 D Prestige: R307 500
1.6 Prestige: R299 900
1.6 Prestige AT: R314 000
1.8 Prestige 313 500
1.8 Exclusive: R336 300
1.8 Exclusive AT 349 400

* All models are covered by a 5-year/90 000km Service Plan and a 3-year/100 000km








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