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  • Good value; roomy interior; improved handling; quieter; striking design
  • No diesel or sporty petrol option; plain dashboard; cramped boot

7 / 10

2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
by James Stanford

The new Toyota Corolla is like the Porsche 911 in at least one way – it doesn’t change all that much from model to model.

Constant improvement is a key Toyota value, but the company doesn’t make big jumps forward either.

That’s the case with the 11th-generation Toyota Corolla too – it’s better than the last one, and is even better value too, without setting a new class benchmark.

But the Corolla does everything most of its customers will likely need. It is fairly quiet, spacious and comfortable inside (although the boot is a bit small) and has reasonable but not exhilarating performance.

The value proposition is excellent. The fact you can buy a Toyota Corolla for the same price as you paid more than a decade ago is remarkable.

One of the Corolla’s weak spots is its engine. Not that it’s gutless; the power and torque figures are better than a couple of its entry-level rivals, but it does feel a bit underdone.

The power figure has inched up by 3kW to 103kW (by revving 400rpm higher), while the torque has dropped by 2Nm to 173Nm (achieving this 400rpm lower). Toyota has been generating around 100kW from Corolla engines for more than a decade.

The 2013 Toyota Corolla car gets a new two-stage intake manifold, which is not ground-breaking technology, but misses out on direct injection.

2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review

You do have to row through the gears to keep the engine in its torque band and be quite active with the gearshift to get along at a reasonable pace.

While the engine is an adequate entry-level powerplant, it’s a shame Toyota doesn’t offer a more potent version at a higher price point. Not that it needs to build a hot-hatch, but it would be good if they could just offer something with an extra 15kW and 20Nm.

It’s also a shame there is no Toyota Corolla diesel. Toyota says diesels are “good for trucks and SUVs, but not passenger cars”, which is an out-of-date view. The diesel would not be the volume seller, but at least customers could choose, as they can when they consider most of the rival models.

The six-speed manual is a smooth shifting transmission with a light clutch. It is now in the regular position on the centre console, unlike the previous generation, where it was mounted up high and closer to the dashboard.

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) actually gets off the line a little better and gives you the impression things are moving faster. It is a good example of a CVT although it is likely some people will still be put off by the changing ratios, which makes it sound like a slipping clutch. The transmission tends to make the engine get quite coarse quite quickly too.

2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review

You can use the self-shifting mode to simulate gear changes, which is a bit of fun.

Toyota has improved the way the Corolla handles. It is still a long way short of cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, which just love corners, but is better.

Toyota brought several previous-generation Corollas to today’s launch so it was possible to benchmark this car with the last.

You notice that you sit a bit lower in the new car and the dashboard and roof are also a lot lower.

There was a lot more body-roll evident when you turned in the last Corolla, while the new Corolla moves a lot less. It really feels like the centre of gravity is lower (which it is).

The new Toyota Corolla’s steering is more direct and responds to the driver’s inputs more quickly. It’s a benign car that doesn’t easily get out of shape and is predictable.

The changes to the underbody and to the suspension have been minimal, that’s why the wheelbase and width are the same. Perhaps that’s why when pushed on bumpy roads, you feel a bit of flex in the body and the suspension, which send some vibrations up through the wheel.

This really isn’t an issue for most Corolla drivers and we suspect the only Corollas driven that fast are rentals.

2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review

The interior of the new Toyota Corolla has a minimalist, bordering on plain, design.

Its dashboard is dominated by a large double DIN sound system head unit that has just been dropped in – there is no attempt to integrate it. The look is also spoiled by a retro LCD clock, which stepped straight out of the 1990s. Apparently, this clock was removed for the last-generation Corolla and Toyota was inundated with complaints.

All the dials are clear, but the instrument cluster is now plainer than the one in the last car, which had a more hi-tech look. The simple dials and controls are nice and simple and easy to use and the quality of the surfaces is fine.

Toyota spent a lot of time on reducing the noise and the new car is quieter than the last. It’s not brilliant over coarse chip surfaces though.

The company skimped on some noise suppression material in the base car, but it appears not that much louder than the other models in the line-up (which might be down to the smaller tyres, with different tread).

The interior has ample space, with more legroom than required for adults, and the middle rear seat is also quite comfortable (which isn’t always the case).

Boot space has never been a strong point of the Toyota Corolla and the new-generation car is no different. It is 280 litres and is smaller than the cargo room of cars like the Focus.

2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review

On the whole, the new Toyota Corolla is a competent small car that does just what you expect from a Corolla.

It’s a better car than the last one and while it is not a class leader when it comes to handling or engine performance, it is comfortable, relatively spacious and is excellent value.

Click here for full 2013 Toyota Corolla pricing and specifications.

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2013 Toyota Corolla Review
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  • Sumpgaurd

    More of the same from toyota. Mediocrity!

    • 5reasonreviews.com

      I think the looks are a move in the right direction

      Still gray – but much better than before

      • Ranald

        be that 49 (out of 50) ‘Shades of Grey’ less than the People’s Car equivalent..  

      • Latte Sipper

        grey or gray??

        • Igomi Watabi


    • Latte Sipper

      Better than any KIA

      • $29896495

        Can’t agree with that, I think Corolla has slipped behind Kia product. That company continues to improve – Toyota seems to be stagnating. (With the exception of the 86?)

      • Gianni

        A Cerato Hatch outclasses the blandmobile for dynamics, engine and overall design. 

        • $29896495

          Yes it does, and they have a new one coming which is even better 

        • Guest

          apart from 4 star crash safety, resale ?

  • Rice_eta

    average year of birth of Corolla buyers: 1897

    • MisterZed


  • L1011

    It doesn’t matter how it looks or drives. It is a Corolla, and it will be a best seller.

    At least it’s an improvement over the previous model… which would have been a very easy task.

  • Jacob

    Seems like an decent car.

  • Noddy of Toyland

    280 litres, christ that’s small. Hope they offer a wagon for their sake, the i30 will eat this alive in the private sector.

    • F1MotoGP

       I agree 280 liters is very small. Honda Jazz boot size is 337 liters.

      • $29896495

        And the Jazz is a lower model! Technically considered smaller.

      • Phil

        Yeah, the Honda Jazz actually has the largest boot among its competitors and it’s bigger than some of the cars in the class above.

        • F1 for help

          I agree, I was surprised that the Honda Jazz has a larger boot than the Focus and some Mazda 3 and Golf models. The Jazz is very impressive in that respect.

          • Guest_32

            Some Golf, Mazda 3 models have a smaller boot than the Jazz ?
            Why is that exactly? 

          • Linus

            The Jazz has a very big boot.

          • 42 = The Answer

            Magic Seats

      • Guest

        How big is the Focus boot?

    • Neil_Way

      They’ve already previewed an Auris Touring but who knows if it will end up making it over here.

    • Guest

      Until resale time – the biggest car expense for private buyers is depreciation

  • Martin

    I love that when a Corolla is released, it gets a collective “eh” with a big shrug but when a Golf is released, everyone has plenty to say. It surprises me that Toyota don’t try and do more with the Corolla like Volkswagen do with its Golf.

    • Guest

      Biggest selling car worldwide – almost scared to do much with it. But in Europe they have hybrid, diesel, wagons, in japan they have high performance versions – in Australia they just have the single engine – maybe Aussies wont pay more for better versions….who knows?

      • Matt J

        The toyota corolla Master Blade looks like a pretty fantastic vehicle, 3.5 V6 in a hatch. Not to mention it looks very little like the ordinary rolla’.

  • Zahmad

    Toyota owners love the dash clock!

    • $29896495

      I recon’ that’s a BS excuse

    • TG

      So do Lexus owners.

      • $29896495

        Toyota must have a stock of 1984 clocks lying around they want to get rid of.

  • KJ

    Best value for money car ever built…some things never change! Ya can’t go wrong buying a Corolla, it’s as simple as that!

    • Hehe

      Seen all the recalls lately?

      • Zaccy16

        yeah exactly, they don;t have the same bullet proof reliability that it used to have!

        • Golfmother

          They just seem to bought by nerds , Kmart  types , public servants , people who would never take a risk or holiday in cambodia , and eat maccas in paris .

          • Latin Fish Names


          • Joggers

            you are a cretin and a tool mate, u have no idea about anything fool

          • Golfmother

            Forgot your punctuation there , ” tool mate “, you stick to your sand shoes and your corrollo mateee , see yar down at K mart .

          • Monk

            hahahaha.  Legnab pontificating on punctuation.  Hell just froze over.

          • Latte Sipper


          • Phil

            Also bought by people who have their wallets burned by running VW Golfs….as we did. No fun paying 9K for an autobox at 60k kms and 5 yrs old….no matter how nice the interior or how good it drives………..

          • Amenta101

             You also forgot to mention old people?

        • Dave W

          To be fair, there’s a difference between manufacturing defect and an unreliable car.

          One is a specific problem that occurs in a specific batch of cars and the other one is random failures that can happen in any of the cars in the model range.

    • Rocket

      Yeah, that’s why I recommended my 75 year old mother buy one.

  • Zaccy16

    The audio head unit in the lower models looks like its 12 years old! terrible interior, normal course engine noise problems because of the CVT

    • mattyman

      Can’t believe they get away with the ‘insert stereo here’ design. I suspect their designers haven’t heard the words ‘i30′, ‘focus’ or ‘Mazda 3″ before.

      • Zaccy16

        very good point, maybe a multi billion dollar company like toyota  should invest in buying 4 $20,000 dollar cars -focus, i30, mazda 3 and golf

        • Guest

          the golf has the “insert here stereo design” as well. if no one has realised….which is pathetic coming from a golf.

          • O123

            Yes but it is properly integrated and not just jammed in. Look at the euro version of the auris, there audio system at least sits flush and is a better design.

          • Jim

            Yeah, Toyota’s designers have been erroneously blamed by everyone in this thread. Australia, for whatever reason, is simply missing out on the flush-fitting design. Well, I guess it’s always humorous to observe the disbelief and outrage expressed by some over something as superficial as this.

          • $29896495

            actually no, they are purpose built units in the Golf.

          • Geoff

            Erm no – a double din unit fits right in place of the dreaded rcd300/500

  • Sakdjfhlajdhfladfladf

    This article captures pretty much everything is meant to be. Adequate. Nothing great, nothing bad. Just good. Which in other words, epitomizes a corolla. I was hoping it’d be more fun to drive but apparently not.

    • 5reasonreviews.com

      Yep – hard to buy if you consider yourself a “car person”

      But I still think the looks are a move in the right direction

      • Sakdjfhlajdhfladfladf

        I agree. It looks more modern than the previous generation it replaces, which looked rather dated even in it’s first year. 


    I just love the green dashboard lighting. Yummy.

    • 42 = The Answer

      It’s such the now colour

  • peddy.d

    i sat in one at the motorshow today, i thought the interior was quite cheap to the feel, certainly wasn’t an ambient place to sit

    • Tex

      Agreed – the plastic door trimmings felt cheap… almost Proton-like!

  • Latin Fish Names

    The boot is only 280 litres!  Look Ma, a Golf class car with a Polo sized boot.

    I also have doubts about how reliable the CVT transmission is.  A RAV4 forum in the UK had owners reporting failed CVT gearboxes… this is not a good sign.  I have yet to see any manufacturer deliver a bulletproof CVT and that includes, Audi’s Multitronic, Nissan’s Xtronic and even Honda’s CVT.I guess you would buy this car on price, the Golf for all its reliability and high ownership cost bad press, towers above this conservative attempt by Toyota.  For goodness sake Toyota, is it too hard for you to build a Golf killer, I know you can do it but your committees of grey suited conservative decision makers just can’t help themselves…. maybe they need to get drunk and laid.

    Rant over… the damn thing will probably sell like hotcakes.

    • JamesB

      The Focus may have a bigger boot, but rear legroom suffers a fair bit. I’d much rather have more space for people to sit comfortably. There are many ways to make more room for cargo but not passengers.

    • John West

      Nissan has a new version of the Xtronic coming out in the new Pulsar, be interesting to see how that stacks up as I have heard of failers of the old type in Xtrails but not in Maxima and Murano (which is mated to a V6). Pulsar Sedan also will have a 510lt boot.

    • Brian

      mitsubishi maybe ? 10 yr warranty on them?
      VW dsg are very questionable durability wise…..

  • Rightindicator

    Corolla is like the meat in the sandwich and its definitely getting better with each taste. But the competition is starting to heat up as well with the likes of Mazda 3,  Pulsar and the Skoda Rapid.

    • F1orce

      The Corolla will outsell Pulsar, 3 & entire Skoda brand combined.

      • Azeng97

        Pretty sure just the 3 will outsell the Corolla, let alone the others…a new 3 is on its way next winter

        • Latte Sipper

          the new 3 looks uglier than the current one’s goofy smile

    • Mike

      The Skoda Rapid looks decent, but VW Group Australia will unfortunately likely butcher it’s release, like they’ve done with all the other Skoda models.

  • O123

    I hate the audio system. At least the euro version looks slightly integrated. 

  • F1orce

    The interior is nice.. Looks spacious and elegent.

    The Corolla is meant to be cheap transportation. Reliable, comfortable & value.

    • Sumpgaurd

        Since when is a lime green display elegant?

      • Latte Sipper

        since KIA copied it

        • Sumpgaurd

          My backlighting is red (Sportage). Still not as nice as the blue in the Hyundai’s but a damned sight better than lime green. 

  • GIG

    At least the new Pulsar and Corolla are getting in the game!

    • JamesB

      Corolla yes, but Pulsar is just insignificant.

  • JamesB

    That moron who said that diesels are for trucks should be given the sack and kept in there forever. He/she has obviously forgotten that they are now leasing the best oilers in the world, BMW.

  • MM

    Nothing inspiring about this one, simply white goods on wheels after reading the article.

  • Tex

    The only thing to surprise me about the Corolla was the full glass roof like the Dualis Ti when I stepped inside the car – WOW.

    Shame it doesn’t open though.

    • $29896495

      Glass roofs will be nice in an Aussie summer. Firstly, I bet few glass roofs will be sold, Secondly the plastics will probably curl in about 18 months.

      • Josh

        Luckily though, most panoramic sunroofs come with an internal cover/shade. I believe the i30, new Corolla and new Golf are the major mainstream players in this segment that offer panoramic sunroofs. I’m sure these manufacturers have greater foresight to overcome the potential problems with panoramic sunroofs, particularly since these kinds of roofs are becoming more and more prevalent.

        • http://www.bryanbyrtrenault.com.au/ Modern Man

          Yes but some DONT open.

          Great for a solar panel and maybe the bottom of tassie in winter but useless everywhere else. just way too hot.

  • AndyGF

    Im gonna say despite its flaws (small boot, old chassis) it does look *much* better than the old one…

    And as for the interior those gauges actually look pretty good and aren’t only an improvement over the old model, but are a huge step-up from the Lexus CT200h gauges too.

    As for my usual gripes about its lack of petrol direct-injection and no diesel option, toyota customers generally have low expectations (about life, not just their cars), so too they have low expectations from their engines, at least its PRICED to match now.

  • BlueyH

    It looks…cheap and a bit last decade.  Think I’ll hang on till Kia launch their new Cerato before choosing my next runabout, don’t think this will be on the shortlist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sellaman Albert Sellaman

       Yes, I also think the new Kia Cerato will be worth waiting for too.

  • Grantj

    I bought a current Corrolla 8 months ago, its great. It was purchased as a replacement for a VW , that was very good but in the last few years was nothing but trouble. I enjoy driving and my early cars included an MGB, Fiat 125T, Alfa Sud, triumph 200 ( A mistake),and many more . The Corolla is quite nice to drive , Im not old or  dodery, well travelled and a qualified engineer. When speed limits ,and fuel prices really should indicate, how and what we drive, a sensible cheap reliable car like the Corolla should surfice. 

    • $29896495

      Wow – target market! bingo

      • Joh

        Are you 12 or 13 yrs old?

        • $29896495

          How does that make me 12 years old. It’s stating a fact. He could even be a Toyota plant despite what he says. We as car lovers know Toyota has better  and we’d like to see it here. But the are banding to the bland. Same as Honda, which supplies the rest of the world with it’s premium products. But not here!

  • galaxy

    How can one ever look at this car as anything but a backward move for Toyota? Apart from a new shape, everything else is worse. Who would have thought that corolla now needs to be cheaper than Hyundai i30 in order to sell. No, Toyota don’t have any special secret manufacturing technology vs other car brands to make them better in the long run. My personal rank in small car segment still holds. 1. Golf 2. Focus. 3. i30. 4 Mazda 3. All other Japanese cars like corolla, impreza, new pulsar, lancer, civic are pure mediocrity with no compelling reason to purchase. Golf and Focus still probably have Euro mech issues in the long term, so for ownership value I believe the i30 is the pick.

    • Davo

      Your ranking obviously doesnt take reliability into account!!! VW?? Focus??

  • Golfschwein

    ERMAHGERD!! The return of the dergertal clerk!!! Digital clock, I mean. And hey, let’s just whack this bizarre trapezoid thing smack bang in the middle of the dash! 

    Okay. Time for balance. You know, it’s not quite as awful as the first scoop pictures made out. Whilst nothing has actually changed from those grainy catalogue shots, seeing the cars here in motion and in the context of familiar surroundings does make them look a little better. As for the reverse rake rear side window, well, it’s been done and abandoned by others already. Now it’s Toyota’s turn.

    Oh, and the interior shots show no external mirrors. Good move. No point having something that’s not going to be used. 

    Over and out. I reckon they’ll move 3,500 a month.

    • Neutral Observer

      The reverse rake rear side window? Toyota had already been doing that for a while on the Prius before this Corolla came along. I think it draws a kind of unity between their models, what with the Yaris also adopting such a motif.

      • $29896495

        Going get like that huh,Datsun 240K had it first. I think you’ll find the other brands cars predate the Prius.

        • Neutral Observer

          Before you accuse people of “going get like that”, please make sure you actually understand what they’re saying. Nowhere in my comment did I claim that Toyota originated the ‘reverse rake rear side window’. My point, which you completely missed, was that this Corolla is not Toyota’s first model to incorporate this design element, as Golfschwein’s comment, in particular the line “… it’s been done and abandoned by others already. Now it’s Toyota’s turn.” implies. Please pay more attention next time. Thanks.

          • $29896495

            I re-read your comment, Neutral Ob, as it was your’s that I was responding to, and I stand by what I wrote. Datsun/Skyline were heavily into in the 70s, it disappeared, then reappeared in the Murano, Mazda brought it to medium cars with the 3, followed by everyone else. Which does point to a lack of imagination. For example, Ford started the Edge design thing, Bangle at BM, accentuated it and called it Flame, then Hyundai pushed it beyond bad taste and called it something else.

          • Neutral Observer

            If you had read my comment properly, you would’ve noted that I wrote: “… before this Corolla came along”, and not “… before the Murano/3/Datsun 240Z/etc. came along”. Clearly, in a discussion of whether or not this Corolla was the first Toyota to incorporate this design element, talk of other brands would be a little out of place, which is why I find your attempt to put me in my place rather misguided. No hard feelings, though. Best of luck with your next endeavour.

          • $29896495

            Okay the original statement which you have so conveniently over looked which YOU were responding to referred to Toyota “taking it’s turn” referring to design elements. So my response to your statement or opinion is correct because you were trying to say that Toyota had it first on the Prius and I quote, “Toyota had already been doing that for a while on the Prius before this Corolla came along.” If its not what you meant you should be clearer in your comments.

          • Neutral Observer

            First of all, if you’re going to quote something, please quote it correctly – Golfschwein said: “Now it’s Toyota’s turn” and not “taking it’s turn” as you have misquoted. Secondly, I did not “conveniently” overlook that comment – in fact, my entire original reply was based solely on that comment. If you’re going to talk about conveniences, perhaps it was you who “conveniently” misquoted that comment. In the context of the article (which is a review of the Corolla) Golfschwein’s “Now it’s Toyota’s turn” comment implied that it is NOW, specifically NOW that the Corolla has been released (if he didn’t mean NOW, then he shouldn’t have used the word NOW), that Toyota’s “turn” at using this design element is beginning. This is a statement that he has made – not an opinion – and it happens to be incorrect, for reasons I have explained previously, and which I will repeat to avoid any further confusion on your part: “Toyota had already been doing that for a while on the Prius before this Corolla came along.” And it is true – Toyota had at least started using this design element on the 2nd and 3rd generation Prius models, which were both released before this Corolla. Hence, the Corolla was not the beginning of Toyota’s “turn” at using it. I did not say Toyota originated this design element, nor did I say that there were no prior cases of this design element being used on other vehicles of other brands. My comment had nothing to do with any other brand than Toyota. You made that incorrect assumption and I cannot be blamed for your mistake.

          • $29896495

            Thanks for elaborating on your opinion.
            Golfschwein said: “Now it’s Toyota’s turn” and not “taking it’s turn”  I paraphrased but the words mean the same thing. That’s all that need be said

          • Neutral Observer

            Well, I’m just glad the message finally got through.

          • $29896495

            like your statement that just makes no sense- you like to twist things 180 degrees. My original comment still stands 

          • Neutral Observer

            My comment: “Well, I’m just glad the message finally got through.” was just me poking fun at your rather laughable riposte “Thanks for elaborating on your opinion.” My comment: “Toyota had already been doing that for a while on the Prius before this Corolla came along.” was not an opinion; it was a statement and you even admitted so yourself when you said: “like your statement that just makes no sense”. Have you made up your mind on whether it’s an opinion or a statement? (Let me give you a hint: it’s a statement). Seems like you rather “like to twist things 180 degrees” yourself. Also, is it really that difficult for you to comprehend what the statement “Toyota had already been doing that for a while on the Prius before this Corolla came along.” means? I’ve deconstructed it numerous times. It’s rather straightforward.  Surely you could point out which bit exactly doesn’t make sense to you and I could try to help you understand.

          • $29896495

            Give it a rest, I know in your verbosity, all you want is last word and that’s what you are trying to get.

          • Neutral Observer

            You made an incorrect assumption, you tried to pin the blame on me and you failed. Deal with it.

          • Igomi Watabi

            Oh my God, you two. Get a room!

          • $29896495

            Blame? Get a life you wrote what you did, it’s there deal with that. The way you are trying to spin your words you’d think you were in politics. It’s over grow up.

          • Neutral Observer

            I’ve been consistent in all my comments in terms of the point that I have been making. Show me where I’ve supposedly spun my words. I’ve tried to reason with you, explain what I said, and have a mature conversation about this, but all you seem to want to do is throw around accusations about me “going get like that”, spinning my words or telling me to grow up. You said earlier that I should have been “clearer in [my] comments”, yet you still decided to read and infer meaning from my initial comment to your liking and to whatever was convenient for your attack against me. Then you tried to call me out when your own inferences and assumptions fell apart. If my comment was as unclear as you say, then you should have just said that from the get-go, instead of basing some attack on them and then blaming me when your attack failed.

          • $29896495

            There was no attack. I simply stated a fact. Either you had framed your statement badly (as everyone can see) or you changed your mind. Either way you then pushed a 180 degree view point. It shows you have a small mind and I’m board with you. I proved my point. Make a reply to this if you like but I’m finished with you. I have better things to do with my time than play with some one who simply can’t say I changed my mind. Reply if you want, I’ve proved my point, you continuing to post comments isn’t going to change what you meant when you first wrote something or the fact that you were wrong. That was YOU WERE WRONG! Find some one else to play with .

          • Neutral Observer

            You finally want to talk about facts now? Alright, let’s talk about facts.

            Golfschwein said: “As for the reverse rake rear side window, well, it’s been done and abandoned by others already. Now it’s Toyota’s turn.” implying that Toyota is NOW just beginning its “turn” at – beginning to catch on the trend of – using this design element; that the Corolla is the first Toyota to incorporate this design element. This is untrue, for the following reason stated in my reply:

            “Toyota had already been doing that for a while on the Prius before this Corolla came along.”

            I’ll be the bigger person and admit, in the context of Golfschwein’s comment, my comment isn’t 100% black-and-white clear-cut and it may be possible for someone to read my comment and assume that I was trying to say that Toyota was the first company to ever use this design.

            Your reply proves that someone may indeed make this assumption: “Going get like that huh,Datsun 240K had it first. I think you’ll find the other brands cars predate the Prius.”

            However, that was not what I meant when I wrote my initial comment and I explained in the replies that followed, numerous times, that that was not what I meant. Yet you continued to accuse me of lying and spinning my words. Let’s think about this for a second: Do I honestly think the Prius was the first car in the whole damn world to ever incorporate this design element? Am I seriously that unaware of other cars, such as the iconic AMC Gremlin, that featured this design element before the Prius did?

            The answer to those questions is NO. If you had thought for longer than a second, before you replied, then perhaps you wouldn’t have assumed that I thought the Prius was the first car to ever use this design element or that I thought Toyota originated it. Perhaps you would have given me credit for knowing a bit more about cars than just about those in Toyota’s range. Perhaps you wouldn’t have made the ridiculous and incorrect assumption that you’re the only person who knows a little about cars and everyone else is a completely ignorant idiot. And perhaps you would have realised how foolish it would be to accuse me of “going get like that” or trying to “twist things 180 degrees”. I can’t be blamed for you jumping to the rather unrealistic conclusion that you did. And when I elaborated on my comment and why your assumption was wrong, you continued to act in denial of that fact and accused me of spinning my words. Is no one else in the world, other than yourself, allowed to elaborate on something they said previously, particularly when someone has so blatantly misunderstood them? Since when did you become the person who gets to decide what other people’s words truly mean? I’ll tell you when: SINCE NEVER. You can’t pick and choose to interpret other people’s comments in ways most convenient to your argument and refuse to let them respond or elaborate. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the world doesn’t revolve around you. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sellaman Albert Sellaman

     The real test will be inspecting the Corolla in the showroom and then taking it for a test drive. Pictures and words do nothing to reveal what the car is truly like………..but so far of what I’ve seen……..I like!

  • Westie

    The fact they had to bring the old model along says it all, really. “Yes, it is better, see, we used the previous model as a reference”
    But, yes, they’ll sell shiploads of them to fleets, so junior managers in their generic silver Yaris’s (Yarii?) can look forward to a promotion and a white Corolla, before they get really important and a beige Camry.

    • Golfschwein

      Yarises, Westie. Just Yarises.

    • Guest

      So what’s your point Westie?

      • Guest

        I think its that he resents not having a company car

  • Car Enthusiast

    Looking much better for Toyota, however I wish they could stop going to other manufacturers and copying their design. Front off a Honda, and the rear off a Mitsubishi

  • http://www.eicher3531.in/ Mike

    i think it is a gr8 introduction from Toyota its such a nice car and features are too good.

  • F1orce

    The Corolla was at the Sydney Motor Show.. Had a look at it and I was impressed. Very nice car all round.

    • KiaK9

      i was so so so so so sad i couldnt get in and touch and fiddle around the one moving around the stand blocked with plastic walls…it was like a porsche with the doors locked

      • Dave W

         BS mate, there wasn’t any wall and people were free to get inside the car.

    • Gtr-xu1

      Agree with youF1. Corolla looks smart,nicley finished with Toyota reliability.

  • Matt

    I almost fell asleep reading this article. Most boring car on the planet, now even more boringer. 

    • Guest

      You don’t say more boringer Matt. Poor English.

  • Ted

    Why not a 2.0 litre engine, rather that continue with the 1.8.  Also, GDI however as the current i30 is not GDI (at this stage) then the Corolla followed.  maybe when the i30 goes GDI, then the Corolla will update (may have to wait another 5 years for that with the new model)

  • Simon

    Loved the opening statement, comparing Corolla to 911… lol

  • MisterZed

    I can’t believe they’ve gone back to using orange rear indicators…

    • davie

      altezza style (look it up) clear indicators are a 90’s rice rocket fad, just like civics with exhausts the size of a drain pipe. 

      Most manufacturers have grown out of that fad.

      • MisterZed

        Altezza style and clear are *not* the same thing – Altezza is where the bulbs are surrounded by chrome. 90% of cars on the market now have clear indicators, and they were around *way* before the Toyota Altezza (in fact, the 1992 Corolla sedan was one of the first models that had them). The market is never going to go back to orange indicators, because having 3 different colours (red, amber, and white) in one light cluster is just fussy looking and old fashioned. Almost every car maker that has tried to go back to orange in the past few years has gone back on that decision and re-introduced clear, usually in facelifts (i.e. latest Hilux and Murano being a few examples).

        • Still a hairdressers car…

          It’s because of the United States where orange indicator lenses are still required by law I believe. These manufacturers that put them on models for here are simply saving money using the US lights. In Europe, here in Australia and other places, orange lenses are not required only orange bulbs are.

          I agree, very fussy and outdated having three colours.

          • MisterZed

            Orange indicators aren’t required on tail lamps in the US. Over there, they can be orange *or* red (unlike the rest of the world where only orange is allowed), and the actual bulb colour can in fact be clear. The laws for the *front* indicators, however, might be different…

          • $29896495

            Right MrZ, beat me to it.

  • galaxy

    Just came back from the Sydney Motor show today. This car is SO badly made. The doors make a terrible sound when shut and even the window frames wobble. The interior is badly designed and looks very cheap. The dashboard is practically vertical. Saying its something from the 80s is polite. It’s more like the 70s. This car will definitely be a loose, rattling and squeeking piece of rubbish after 5 years (even after 1). Customers, please just visit a Hyundai, Mazda, VW dealer to see what you’re missing out on. Toyota is insulting it’s customers with this rubbish.

    • Kaas

      Lol galaxy stop trolling a corolla thread and do something better.

      You hate Toyota we get it.

      • Galaxy

        I’m sorry if you don’t agree with my opinions. I’m not a troll, I’m not a Golf fan, I’m not a Toyota hater… and I don’t have car dealerships.  I’m a regular customer who loves reading about cars. I’m sorry if I touched on a sensitive issue with Toyota fans, but please see for yourselves first hand at AIMS before Oct 28. Their’s no doubt the Toyota cars we’re seeing now are a result of R&D cutbacks due to the GFC. Go ahead and buy your Corollas if you like, thousands will and will none the wiser. BUT if you want something better… look around a bit before you sign away with mediocre motoring for the next 10 years with this rubbish.. Over and out.

        • Phil

          Nobody called you a Golf fan, but for you to so adamantly deny it, really betrays the truth.

    • Sakdjfhlajdhfladfladf

      You judge quality of a car by a door sound? You must be a Golf fan. 

      • Galaxy

        Nope… just a car fan who knows about production values.  Bought a car recently and it wasn’t a Golf – (DSG anxiety). I have no brand allegiances, only cars I like. First impressions buddy! If the door frame wobbles with every close, and the dashboard flexes.. what’s it say for the bits you can’t see.  Sounds like you’re the Corolla fan.. ouch!

      • $29896495

        rather have a thunk than a clang

    • Hullkr

      So you own a dealership with a few brands other then Toyota. I would be disappointed to.

      • Galaxy


    • Nasal Explorer

      If you listen closely, it sounds just like a troll.

      • Galaxy

        What? you mean because someone makes a comment you don’t like. I’m a car fan… that’s all. If you can’t handle people bagging out your aspirational Toyota Corolla – ring them so you can be on their payroll

      • Dave W

        Nah, it doesn’t sound like a troll, mate. A troll would be someone who’d just say something negative without giving any reason why, or make up some random score comparing it to his own favourite brand. Galaxy clearly described what he doesn’t like.

        I personally think the quality of the new Corolla is about on par with the current one, no better and no worse, it isn’t as bad as Galaxy described, but that’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it.

        • Nasal Explorer

          Beg to differ. To quote galaxy “This car will definitely be a loose, rattling and squeeking piece of rubbish after 5 years (even after 1)”. How can he possibly know that? It is an unfounded prediction, possibly based on extreme personal bias and with no proven or rational basis. Why, it’s . . . . trolling, is what it is.

          (I don’t have any great affection for Toyota’s, just accuracy).

          • Dave W

            But he also explained that he (allegedly) went and see it in person, described what he thought the problems are with the car which led him to his conclusion.

            A troll would be someone who just says something like “yuck”, “Golf: 10 Corolla:1″ or “white goods or appliance on wheels” parroting what others have said on Top Gear or the internet.

          • Obvs

            Both of you are correct. He’s just a minor league troll.

      • Galaxy

        They’re called ‘comments’ according to this website. This means I can voice my opinions as a car enthusiast and not have to fit into your rules and what suits you. I am commenting on a Corolla review and adding my 20c worth because people buy cars for tangible and intangible reasons and if I was in a car dealership or motorshow having a close look at this car, I would think build quality is quite important and on 1st impressions this car is not as good as competitors.  

        • Nasal Explorer

          20c worth? Probably overvalued.

          • Galaxy

            no problem. Go ahead and buy your dearest Corolla and no doubt will have endless hours of fun worshipping your ‘unbreakable’ Toyota

      • Guest

        If you smell closely – it stinks like a troll

    • Guest

      same post as elsewhere….

  • JamesB

    When the rear plate moved to the bumper, the centre part looks empty.

  • Wile E Coyote

    Like Audi and VW …can’t go gettin too radical with the masses…zzzzzzzzz

  • save it for the track

    Just wait for the reports of the dullards that buy them getting confused with those ‘fangled paddle things’. Absolute travesty referencing a Porsche 911 in a story about a Corolla.

    • Kaas

      Unless the referencing was on how “little” they change over the years and each model.
      travesty would be to take it out of context and moan about it.

  • save it for the track

    A modern 911 no doubt is recognisable as evolving from a 60’s models in terms of shape. The same absolutely CANNOT be said of Corolla.

    • $29896495

      They might have been referring  to the dash board, or maybe the out of date mechanicals

  • tiddy

    That dash is a shocker, it looks like something from a 60’s Cortina with that flat expanse in front of the passenger, but having said that, it will no doubt sell well simply because it’s a Toyota. 

    • http://twitter.com/SamMoss8191 Sam Moss

      That crappy looking digital clock on the dash doesn’t help the cause either, looks like something from 1990!

      • MisterZed

        That’s not why Toyotas sell well, it’s because they’re in bed with all the fleets.

    • Guest

      Show us a photo of a Cortina that looks this good.

    • Igomi Watabi

      I actually think it’s got a bit of a family resemblance to the dash in the 86. Not judging, just saying.

  • Edward

    James, i have a few concerns with this review:

    – No direct comparisons with other competitors in its class. In such a saturated market, you kinda need it.

    – No critique in levels of equipment, and across different specs.

    – A lot of detail in engines, transmissions, handling, steering, etc with no benchmark to compare to (again, other cars in the class). The average Corolla buyer isnt even that fussed about all that.

    – “The new Toyota Corolla is like the Porsche 911 in at least one way – it doesn’t change all that much from model to model.”

    Kinda sums up the review to me. It feels like you’d rather be reviewing a Porsche? Also, i think the comparison better applies to the previous generation Corolla. This Corolla looks nothing like the last one and is a wild departure in styling at least. For a Corolla, thats a big move. Its like your dad trying to dress like a uni student.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Captain Nemo®™

    I,am not suprised Toyota were inundated with complaints about the clock.   Would the average Corolla owner (someone in their 60s/70s) know how to adjust a clock that requires scrolling through a menu on a MFD.  This is so much easier just push set then hour or minute hey presto job’s. done.

    • Kaas

      but the average corolla owner these days are 18-25 year old females who are in Uni or just starting work.

      60/70 year olds are driving their 15+ year old corollas….

  • Zillmere

    Would be nice to have more power but really would still buy one … hard to go past at the price

  • Davem

    Toyota have finally put up info about the new corolla on their website today.

  • Ted

    No auto on / off lights in the Corolla – why, as I have just looked at their NZ site and they have this feature.  Why would Toyota do that to uis in Aust ???

    • Golfschwein

      In the sixties, Ted, a GM executive supposedly said, “we build down for the Australian market”. I used the word ‘supposedly’, as I’ve never seen or heard the quote independently. But I believe it. It’s almost as though, as Australian consumers, we say to these guys, “hey, send us all your grey interiors and 4 speed autos…we’ll take ’em!” After two centuries of being happy with our lot, or pretending to be happy with our lot, we get given what our national psyche tells us we deserve.

      • $29896495

        Unfortunately, you are probably right.  It’s a mode of behaviour of many Australians and it hurts us in almost every part of society.

      • Ted

        Thanks, Golfschwein – I am in the market for a new car, but there are so many around.  I currently have a Mazda GE (1995) V6 (Auto) hatch and i am having issues tring to replace this car.  I find that the car that rides as good as the Mazda is the KIA Cerato, and it peforms well.  I have driven the SP20 Mazda 3, and it is gutless.  Can you please provide some feed back and what I need to buy to replace my Mazda I have, since new.

        • Zaccy16

          I recommend a sp25 3, it has more grunt

  • guest

     I have just started
    reading these posts along with others and I just can’t believe how many cool,
    with it people there are out there driving around in their Hyundais (sorry i30’s)
    and Kias and what not. I wish I had friends like you. It must be unreal to be
    so with it.  I too could bag all those
    boring geriatrics that haven’t got a clue about anything in the world, have no
    taste etc. I hope I’m not one of them yet. They sound real bad. Why would
    anyone buy a Corolla when for around the same money, they can show that they
    have a brain, are cooler, travel to other countries, shop at other places other
    than K-Mart, are younger than seventy and so on.

  • Brodie Roumanus


  • Jilly

    We are considering buying a Corolla and trading in our 11 year old Mazda SP20.  We have test driven a number of brands and feel the Corolla is the most reliable brand with a good service record.  Could we have sensible comments as to our thinking. We want it to last a long time, be economical, reliable and be a good hill climber as we live on mountain.

    • $29896495

      Focus is a better car. That said, take a look at a related story about recalls and service. Toyota have done very badly. In fact is number one, worst.

      • Simon_trevern

        People who spend their entire lives picking on peoples recommendations/ suggestions about this and other vehicles need to get out more… Do some travelling, try some new things. Thanks everyone else for the comments.

    • Snoopy54000

       A Wise Choice Jilly.I wouldn’t recommend any Golf’s or the Focus as good as they are There’s the dreaded European Reliability Issues My family has been there with a Variety of old school Italian Cars over the years that is not worth it.Korean Cars are good but the dealers give silly figures on the change over fees I should know the fella we bought a 350z from close to ten years ago used to sell Daewoo next door back in the day.If you are willing to hold out for another month Go check out the Reborn Nissan Pulsar It comes with three years roadside and 100,000 km warranty with the option to extend

    • $29896495

      Hi, as I wrote below, Toyota have recently been outed for not such good reliability, and reluctance to fix faults. I’m not being biased, there is a story or two available on this web site and others. Cerato could be worth a look. I see nothing wrong with the Focus and there are no adverse reports of failures and the build quality is good.  Judging by what you say, you need a torque, to get up those hills. This would rule out the Corolla. So, when looking you have to keep that figure in mind when you look at the spec sheet and test drive. Torque is pulling power. 

      • $29896495

        Forgot the Opel Astra. It is a sey above the corolla and the price might be right.

  • Snoopy54000

     If you don’t mind something a Size bigger and wish to stick with Mazda Then go a CX5 or a 6 both of which I think have an identical motor.Is Your existing car a 323 from the 1994 to 1998 season or a 1992 to 1997 626 that might help me work out what to do.

    • Ted

      Snoopy54000 – my car is NOT a 323, but a 626 from 1992 to 1997.

      • $29896495

        It’s going to be a hard car to replace at the moment. Nice size, quad cam six. Only thing close might be an Aurion in today’s market.

  • ben

    Why would you benchmark your new model against the old one? surely you would benchmark against another brand!! Toyota used to be top of the pile for value and reliability, everybody has now caught up and surpassed Toyota…….Even have to use a Subara to make a sports car!!

  • Anthony

    How the heck do you know that there’s a different Euro version?

    • $29896495

      He probably went to a Euro site and had a look. You are on the internet you know. You can go to ANY country and get information on just about anything, And you don’t have to pay.

  • Johnmaynes

    It may be mediocrity but this is what Toyota does best, and build in reliabilty

  • Brennanm

    66k’s on my VW and guess what I needed new gearbox $9000 3 months out of warranty!, now trying corolla

  • Danielle

    how long does it usually take to get your new carolla sport from factory?

  • Ted

    You should not hve to wait, remember it’s a Toyota and dealeras have truck load of them..

  • Cesar Alberto Hurtado Quispe

    More of the same from toyota. Mediocrity!

    Can’t agree with that, I think Corolla has slipped behind Kia product. That company continues to improve – Toyota seems to be stagnating. (With the exception of the 86?)

  • Recordsman

    Top 10 vehicle nameplates 2012

    1. Ford Focus 1,020,410
    2. Toyota Corolla 872,774
    3. Ford F-series 785,650
    4. Wuling Zhijuang 768,870
    5. Toyota Camry 729,793
    6. Ford Fiesta 723,130
    7. VW Golf 699,148
    8. Chevrolet Cruze 661,325
    9. Honda Civic 651,159
    10. Honda CR-V 624,982

  • aranciata-oz

    Just rented one of these (Ascent, CVT) yesterday in Perth for a day trek out to the Pinnacles and back … can’t help but offer a review! :-)

    Interior – my original misgivings about the 1980’s slab-sided dash with equally 1980’s green-lit digital clock, subsided once I started to immerse myself (and my wife) during the long drive … the chrome-lined binnacles housing the speedo and tacho are actually quite upmarket, with clear (if slightly large lettered) speedo and tacho markings. The white backlits are a nice touch, but it’s clear Toyota have been somewhat 5 years late into this compared to their Korean and other Jap counterparts, presumably because their market clout does not dictate them needing to innovate too far.

    Exterior – the rear is striking, almost i30-like but a lot more fussy. The front is aggressively beautiful – never thought I’d say that about a Corolla, but the nose is a thing of elegance.

    Boot – typically Corolla small, I managed to JUST fit a front-wheel dismantled mountain bike in there with the rear seats folded. Most owners wouldn’t care about the smaller boot I would guess, so long as it swallows the shopping. The full sized tyre is a PLUS … awful that even the i30 Active has gone the bicycle “tyre” route; cannot imagine getting a puncture out in the sticks like we were in the Pinnacles.

    Steering – quite good – accurate, decent feel. Not quite BMW in road feel, but for a front drive vehicle it was admirable. The non-leather wheel was surprisingly quite tactile too; so long as it wears well without peeling a few years down the track (awful experiences with crumbling/peeling steerings of recent Nissans Dualis and Tiida).

    Performance – average – city driving is fine, there’s definitely enough grunt to pull away from stops. The CVT works better than expected – pedal to the metal basically results in the engine sitting on 4000rpm as the car picks up speed. On the highway though, this combo is somewhat lacking – 80-110km/h overtaking runs show a bit of strain, even with only two people on board and the A/C turned off. Overall it’s acceptable, but I wouldn’t count on this car to be doing regular overtaking runs like that on more hilly regions.

    Economy – outstanding when under 80km/h in the city cruising the motorways – it went down to 4.9L/100km for a while. Out in the sticks at consistent 110km/h returned 6.8 L/100km overall – not bad, but I’d happily trade an extra 1.5L/100km consumption for a bigger quieter car (I’ve experienced 7.9L/100km on a non-turbo XR6 before) if I was doing long distances on coarse chipped roads like these (see below)

    NVH – this is the killer for me – not sure if it was the Dunlop tyres or overall sound insulation (or lack thereof), but the drone and noise level in this car was simply unacceptable on coarse-chipped surfaced roads (almost all of it outside of Perth) – so much so it reminded me of trying to listen to music via my headphones whilst riding my motorbike – a waste because you really need to turn up the music volume to overcome the ambient noise. Around the city on smoother fine-chipped surfaces it was acceptable, but for most of our trip out on the Indian Pacific Hwy and back it was impossible to listen to lower volume music; overall not exactly a restful experience. I do wonder what the i30 is like in this respect – that would be the next model I’ll be hiring next time I do a similar trip.

    Little touches – 1980’s Mercedes-like headlight level adjustment switch – a surprise inclusion for a base model. No auto locking of doors past 30km/h (I’ve been spoilt by my Sonata and other Hyundais in the past), but it may have been a driver programming thing. Headlights were good though – a good spread to the sides whilst on highway runs – important when keeping an eye on kangaroos skipping out during dusk. My Sonata headlights are annoyingly mid-focussed in comparison. High beam on this Corolla was especially good and focussed – almost HID like.

    So overall, would I recommend this to my friends (who often do seek my advice)? If I was a Toyota fan (you’d be surprised how many are, and don’t Toyota know this!) who’s main need is a small high quality car with acceptable economy and enough space to carry no more than 2 small kids and the week’s shopping, an unequivocal yes … but if you were depending on this car for regular long distance trips on coarse-chipped roads, I’d say no, because I can imagine you’d be driven tired by the drone of the cruising noise.

    So there you have it … Toyota have built another … Corolla. Beautiful, for Toyota afficianado’s, but (IMO) not necessarily the clincher for other buyers. I can’t wait to hire the i30 on my next trip ….

  • Granny

    2013 SE Audio is NOT good. Fades in and out!

  • sekelo

    I like it just like a baby in a cage. I really love it.