by George Skentzos

Toyota Australia has introduced two new passive safety features across the best-selling Corolla hatch and sedan range.


From today, 2009 model Corollas will now be offered with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC) as standard on most models.

On Corolla Conquest hatch and sedan, Levin ZR hatch and Ultima sedan the new safety features will be included at no extra cost, although remaining models in the range will attract an optional $1500 premium.

“The addition of VSC and TRC makes Toyota’s best-selling passenger car a significantly safer vehicle for drivers and others on the road.” said senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner.

This additional safety package also includes front-side and full curtain shield, and driver’s knee airbag – making it a must-tick option especially for new drivers.

As one of only a handful of markets in the world to offer the Corolla with a 1.8-litre dual VVT-i engine, Toyota engineers had to specifically calibrate the system to suit Australian roads.

“The VSC system for our 1.8-litre Corolla required special calibration for the unique engine/road surface combination in Australia,”

These new systems are a welcome and responsible inclusion by Toyota with the Corolla finishing 2008 as Australia’s second highest-selling vehicle.


    “most models”,what b.s.!!!ascent must be 80% of all sales

    toyota should make ALL corolla’s with all the bags and esp standard.charge the inflated price,and be done with it..

    given astra and corolla are currently at the same price(manual drive away)the superior build quality,panel thickness,and esp is standard makes astra my winner…

  • Cupid Stunt

    Good move Toyota but at least include it on the lower cars which are the bigger sellers and not for a increase of around 6% of the cost of a basic car, especially when unique Australian road surfaces require the special tweak to suit. This would reduce risks of accidents further.

  • Myke

    Definitely should be standard, especially on the volume seller. I agree the Astra is a much better option, amazing build quality.

  • Pauly

    Myke your kidding right? Ive driven both cars, and imo the Toyota has much beter interior fit and finish. It is a much much much more refined car.

    But getting off track. It is a real shame Toyota didnt offer this sooner. Since they are happy to admit it is a volume seller, what they should be ashamed of, is the vast quantities of corollas driving around WITHOUT this.

    Heres hoping Toyota learn and offer the same models overseas do, to make the whole process alot easier for everyone.

  • Wheelnut

    The Mazda 3 has roughly 80% private sales.. the Corolla has roughly 80% fleet sales [mostly rentals] says it all

  • David

    I appreciate that there are at least two different definitions on active vs passive safety but as far as a car is concerned (as opposed to a nuclear reactor!)I would have thought stability control and traction control are ACTIVE safety devices, not passive.

    Both of these devices actively work to keep you out of trouble, unlike an airbag or seat belt that only minimizes the effect of an accident once it’s already happened.


    Hope its not tuned the same as the other VSC system as in the Kluger!!!

  • Yoho

    WTF since when did Astra have superior build quality over the Corolla. Say that to the mechanic and you’ll be a goose. Astra’s are one of the most unreliable cars out there.

  • RoFlmaTiC

    Funny that you bring up the mazda 3 wheelnut… of which only the very premium spec models (>30k) come with DSC as standard.

    Also, considering that total corolla sales are several times that of the mazda 3, corolla wouldn’t be that far behind mazda 3 in total private sales anyway. (It could even be ahead!)

  • George

    David, normally I would agree with you although Toyota refer to them as passive safety systems.

  • milobob


    I’m sorry to say I do believe the Mazda 3 is ahead in private sales, constantly tops them but the corolla is not far behind. Plus with all the fleet buying the corolla sales will always be more than the Mazdas. Hence the very very slight higher resale of the Mazdas (redbook gives about a 2-3% difference).

    I am disappointed that it is not std in the base model. I cannot justify the price increase now. What? it cost them roughly $300 to fit it in? Seeing how most of the corolla sales are base model sales, I guess that is where Toyota will save their money.

    At least now it is an option (but I’m guessing only 10% of base model buyers will opt for the safety pack).

  • Horse

    Hear’s a idea
    Learn to bloody drive !!!

  • jekyl and hyde


    where have you been lately.have a real look at a my09 astra.don’t worry about the old ts astra 60k belt changes either.try pressing your finger into the body panels.take a diesel to 110mph,and feel the ride…(ok 60mph).no contest to me,and hey,i’ve sold more than and few corolla’s in my time

  • jekyl and hyde

    pauly,what ya smokin?

    thai build vrs euro build.want to go there.refinement is not just fit and finish,its durability,n.v.h.,ride quality,handling…in this country,for volume of sales,corolla wins.the rest of the world???want a cruise control with your rolla?tick the option box.

  • ZoomZoom

    Mazda 3 is way ahead of the Corolla in terms of private sales!
    In fact the Mazda 3 was australia’s best selling car of 2008 in terms of private buyers(real buyer not cheap fleet). Check
    The Mazda 3 has been available with the option of ESP since the facelift model in 2006. Toyota who sell a lot more cars than Mazda only just put it on thier Crapolla.
    Mazda have VSC available on every model except for the BT50. As for Toyota it is very limited.
    So next time check your facts.

  • Pauly

    Jekyl what are you smoking buddy.

    First off the Corolla is not Thai, its Japanese.

    the Durability and NVH of the current Corolla is actually up there with the best in the segment. Read any review out there.

    Ride Quality and Handeling arnt things Corollas are famous for. But they sure as hell arnt crap.

    For this country and the rest of the world Corolla/Auris is a massive seller.

    Cruise Control is standard on every single corolla except the base model. But for the extra you pay to get the Conquest or Levin models, you do get ALOT more kit for your money.

  • jekyl and hyde


    astra sold to the uk last year what australia has sold in the last i’m sitting here trying to think just how many models of any brand are still made in japan.just can’t think of any euro,nissan murano and micra,gtr.must be a few other premiums…are you sure?

  • Pauly

    Jekyl. The Toyota Corolla has been selling world wide since 1966!

    The Astra was released in 1991.

    Total Global Sales of the Corolla compeletly blow Astra sales out of the water.

    In 1997 the Corolla became the best selling name plate in the world, with over 35 million cars sold since it was released.

    You keep crapping on about no Toyota being made in Japan, when the Corolla that we get here in Australia, is made in Japan, as is the Mazda 3 too I might add.

  • milobob

    jekyl and hyde:

    I’m not sure, correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t most toyotas here built in japan? Minus the Camry and Aurion of course.

  • Cupid Stunt

    Pauly – Wrong the Astra Opel orVauxhall was intorduced in 1984 as the LD series. Cream or icecream on your humble pie. Tee Hee

  • Lukaas

    I’m pretty sure corolla since previous model are manufactured in South Africa. Which I think, where current golf is also manufactured.

    Sorry, but Astra (previous and current) are not generally perceived or judged as better “quality” than corolla.

    The mazda 3 is the better bang for your buck compared to the corolla but in terms of built and quality they are similar, toyota being cheaper to maintain.

    And to Wheelnut,
    That there are a lot of fleet sales for corolla… 80%??? fleet. This cannot be fact. Please do not post opinion based figures as facts.

  • Wheelnut

    I said Corolla sales are roughly 80% – it wasn’t exact.. However; given how popular they are for both government departments and rental car companies together with how often they update their fleets it would be somewhere close to that.

    Mind you the percentage of fleet sales to private sales doesn’t really matter because Corolla is still the most popular selling Hatch just like the Commodore is Australia’s most Popular selling car OVERALL!!!!

  • RoFlmaTiC

    ZoomZoom, I was talking about DSC as being available as standard, not whether it was an option. Read what I wrote again. It was in response to earlier criticism that this new VSC for the corolla should have been standard across all trim levels.

  • ZoomZoom

    Fair enough RoFlmaTiC.
    Still IMO Toyota should try and be more innovaztive with their products than what they are currently doing.

  • Adam (aka Mada)

    Great way to hide a price increase with the new stability control. Clever.

    Mazda 3 sell to far more private buyers than the corolla, i work in the auto industry and rarely see ex fleet/rental 3’s while there are many more corolla’s.
    As Milobob said, resale values for the 3 are above the corolla.
    Thats fact.
    When it comes to fleet sales, Toyota is jogging along side Ford and Holden.

  • Adam

    The fact that they have excluded VSC as standard on the ascent model is a bit disappointing, but we are still at a point where a lot of small cars are in the same boat regarding availability of stability control.

    What is REALLY annoying is that you potentially fork out $27,500 for the so called sporty SX and there is no VSC or TC at this level!

    Come on Toyota, I’m guessing 90% of this model is sold to private buyers, show some goodwill.

  • Sean


    Astra nameplate has been around in the UK since about 1980 when together with the identical Opel Kadett it replaced the RWD GM “world car” T-car that we knew as the Holden Gemini.

    The Nissan Pulsar based LB Holden Astra 1.5 hatch hit our market in ’84. The LC was the minor facelift with a 1.6 for ULP in ’86. The LD Astra in ’87 was all new but also shared Pulsar body in sedan and hatch, but had Holden built Family II engines. The Astra was laid to rest in Australia in ’89 and revived in ’96 with the European Astra F. We know it as the TR.

    Corolla sales lately are more fleet than private and our Corolla comes from Japan.

    It still is no match for the Astra.

  • VW Freak

    Lukaas Says:
    January 20th, 2009 at 5:25 am

    I’m pretty sure corolla since previous model are manufactured in South Africa. Which I think, where current golf is also manufactured.

    Nope, you’re incorrect in all areas. Previous model Corolla for Australian compliance (ZZE-122R 2001-2007) was mostly built in Japan. Only a handful of Ascent hatches and all Sportivos came from Seth Efrika. All current models (ZRE-152R) come from Japan. Most MKV Golfs were built in Seth Efrika, however, GTI 3 door and all R32s came from Germany. All MKVI Golfs for Australia will most likely come from Germany (not confirmed yet).

  • VW Freak

    Ah bugger, forgot to quote Lukaas’ comment. Just on a further note, Toyota are spinning rubbish again. David Buttner went on as quoted “The VSC system for our 1.8-litre Corolla required special calibration for the unique engine/road surface combination in Australia,”

    It was a cost cutting exercise, nothing unusual for Toyota. It doesn’t take 2+ years to work out calibrations for stability control. Utter rubbish Toyota! I hope the new Golf takes a large chunk of your dreadful Corolla sales away!

  • VW Freak

    Oh, and another thing too Toyota, how in the hell do you justify $1500 for the safety pack now it includes VSC and TC?!? The safety pack used to be $750, which for the extra bags was reasonable value. But another $750 for tweaks to the ABS system?!? What a rip-off!!!

  • realcars

    Don’t get angry Fellas just buy a Lancer.LOL.

    You get the lot ans it actually looks like a car and not a Toy.

    With Toyotas randon pricing the base LANCER ES is at least 5k cheaper than a base model Corolla anyway and made in Japan as an added bonus.

  • realcars


  • realcars

    Late nineties/early 2000s they imported one model of Corolla then resumed local production with successive models till present?

  • milobob

    my only gripe about the lancer is the hard plastic in the interior, but on all other accounts it seems to be a much better car to drive. Next stage for Mitsu is to provide cars with soft squishy plastics 😛

    Anyway, on topic, Toyota has made itself a brand name (reputation), and just like any other industry, you pay for the name, they know it, I know it, which is why they get away with charging more for less. Though I have to say mercs and bimmers (+ probably lexii) are worse in that respect (markup is considerably more).

  • Tyson

    Lol Corola Thai made…. The only Thai Made Toyota on the Australian Market is Hilux, The rest come in form Japan at this time….

    And would people stop whingeing about the fact that toyota has released a safer corolla? If even for a premium what price do you put on your family or your own life?

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Rollers are made in Japan, USA, UK, Canada , Malaysia, China (Tianjin), Taiwan, South Africa, Brazil , Turkey, Philippines, Thailand, Venezuela, Pakistan, India and Indonesia.

    So if Corolla’s track record for saftey is that bad based on what the stats say below {we all know Toyota lovers like their stats}why are they making you pay for the safety they should have anyway? One word M O N E Y …

    In Australia, Corolla models built between 1982-2004 were assessed in the Used Car Safety Ratings 2006:

    * (1982-1984) — significantly worse than average level of occupant protection
    * (1986-1988) — worse than average
    * (1989-1993) — worse than average
    * (1994-1997) — average
    * (1998-2001) — significantly better than average
    * (2002-2004) — average

  • VW Freak

    Bavarian Missile (.)(.) Says:
    January 20th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    “Rollers are made in Japan, USA, UK, Canada , Malaysia, China (Tianjin), Taiwan, South Africa, Brazil , Turkey, Philippines, Thailand, Venezuela, Pakistan, India and Indonesia.”

    All current model ZRE152R Corollas brought into Australia are made in Japan.

    Tyson Says:
    January 20th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    “And would people stop whingeing about the fact that toyota has released a safer corolla?”

    Safer? Nah, they’re not any safer. All VSC and TC will do is stop the everyday sheep from doing powerslides and burnouts! :p

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    I realise that VW my point was they make them else where as well.

  • Andrew M

    1500 bucks for ESP/DSC/VSC?????

    When Ford added DSC to the utes, the base price only went up a bit over a quarter of that. Talk about a rip job.

    its not that ford may use a “cheaper” system either, because fords stability feature has been proven to be more efective than toyotas

  • Yoho

    Definately built in Japan. I’ve even went to the factory tour in Nagoya and seen it in action.

    Not the best car in its class, that goes for the Mazda 3 and the new one looks sensational.

  • SamR

    Yoho Says: “Not the best car in its class, that goes for the Mazda 3 and the new one looks sensational.”

    The new Mazda 3 is a good car but the front “smile” grill is hideous. Looks completely ridiculous.

  • jekyl and hyde

    andrew m,

    thats what i thought too.but read the rest.side and curtain bags,knee bag.good package.pity its factory fit only.what will toyota bring in?

    sorry about the thai bit toyota lovers,got my wires crossed bm said,they are made everywhere.

    noise and ride would be the biggest winge that tradional large car buyers complain of when trying out a smaller car.not many good ones out there…

  • Andrew M

    true, but ford only charges an extra 300 for more door pillows in their base model.

    maybe a figure of around $1000 would seem not so rip-me- off-ish

  • http://australiancaradvice FCAI Facts

    Att : Wheelnut, your comment is not even close.

    2008 FCAI published statistics show 47 000 Corolla’s were sold in Australian in 2008

    23 000 were fleet and 24 000 Private which equates to about about 47% fleet and 53% fleet.

    Your cliam of 80% fleet is just ridiculous.
    Please do get it right.

  • http://australiancaradvice FCAI Facts

    I believe Mazda charge or charged a similar amount for the optional VSC on the Mazda3 but no one complaining about that or the fact that base model came with optional VSC aswell.

    Alot of these comments seem heavily hypocritical to me and remember, Toyota never sold any 2 star crash rated tin can Barina either.

  • Al Juraj

    That’s one down. Now add a V6 and 5-speed auto across the 4-cylinder range.

  • Cupid Stunt

    Paul – Your’e partly correct – Astra History as follows (In Europe at least) (source Cars Directory as confirmed by other websites and NOT Wiki which is crap): –
    Astra history
    There have been five main versions of the Astra:

    1979–84 Vauxhall Astra Mk 1/Opel Kadett D/Chevrolet Kadett
    1984–91 Vauxhall Astra Mk 2/Opel Kadett E/Daewoo Le Mans/Daewoo Racer/Daewoo Cielo/Daewoo Nexia/Pontiac LeMans/Passport Optima
    1991–8 Opel Astra A/F/Opel Kadett (South Africa) F/Vauxhall Astra Mk 3/Holden Astra TR/Chevrolet Astra
    1998–2004 Opel Astra B/G/Vauxhall Astra Mk 4/Holden Astra TS/Holden Astra Classic/Chevrolet Astra (Brazil)/Chevrolet Viva (Russia)
    2004–present Opel Astra C/H/Vauxhall Astra Mk 5/Holden Astra AH (uses the GM Delta platform).

  • SteveC

    Safer? LOL.

    This is something they should have done years ago. But then again, when you’re at the top, why bother changing anything.

    What would be interesting is if they scrapped all that safety crap that weighs a car down and say “Buy our car and we’ll send you to driving school”

    People will actually learn to drive again. WOW! What a concept.


  • Wheelnut

    Quote [Steve C]: This is something they should have done years ago. But then again, when you’re at the top, why bother changing anything.

    Steve – as the saying goes It’s easier to chase than it is to lead..
    Because when you are chasing [the leader] you have something to aim at. Whereas when you are leading you’re always having to be on the alert as sometimmes you are unable to see who is behind you..

    Sure you may be able to see a competitor in your rear view who you think is your closest rival but there may actually be someone in your blind spot.. who shoots past you when you least expect it.

    Toyota Corolla is still the leader; however; over time its competitors [VW Golf] have caught up and are right on Toyotas tail. So now Toyota are on the defensive trying to save their positon as No.1 – they may be able to do it but for how long?