• Standout styling, decent engine and CVT, handling and ride, steering, front sports seats, fun car to drive.
  • CVT can be noisy around town, handling and ride not as good as some rivals, base model Ascent misses out on touch screen.

7 / 10

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

Despite an extraordinary 47-year run for the Toyota Corolla, you’d be hard pressed to find anybody who would laud the ubiquitous small car as ever being a standout looker in its segment.

Well, all that has finally changed in a big way.

It seems Toyota’s designers have waged something of a style revolution on the evergreen hatch, in contrast to the mere evolution of conservatism we’ve come to expect over the 10-generation run of the Toyota Corolla.

Few would argue the newest-generation Corolla hatch breaks exciting new ground with its styling.

The design is fresh and utterly contemporary, with strong feature lines and loads of newfound character.

The rear end is especially attractive, with clean lines and a particularly smart-looking rear light assembly.

Overall, we think it’s one of the most attractive small cars out there this side of 20 grand ($19,990 for the base Corolla we’re testing).

Inside, the Corolla’s style revolution continues unabated with the heavily bolstered front sports seats offering the first evidence of a great leap forward. They’re good ones, too, with the lateral support running all the way up the seat for rock-solid support in the twisty bits.

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

It’s a bold departure for a model that has clearly represented a winning formula for so many decades.

The total number of Corolla sales so far is mind-boggling.

Globally, Corolla has exceeded 39 million units (the 40 millionth to be sold this year). Over 1.1 million have been sold in Australia alone.

But the 11th-generation Toyota Corolla isn’t resting on the laurels of past sales figures. The merely ‘safe and reliable’ Corolla has been given its papers.

There’s a proper sporty feel to this car and it starts with a seating position that’s lower than in the previous Corolla.

It’s not exactly Toyota 86-like, but you definitely feel more at one with the car.

The newly adopted low-profile, soft-touch dash blends well with the mix of contrasting metallic and carbonfibre-look materials used throughout the fascia and centre stack.

Even the main instrument cluster gets a sporty edge to it, with a large centre-mounted speedo and blue indicator needles on a black patterned background, offset by a slick red pinstripe.

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

Despite our $19,990 entry-level Toyota Corolla Ascent boasting a lowly polyurethane steering wheel, it is still pleasingly thick-rimmed, nicely contoured and has a good feel to it.

The base model Ascent gets a small mono screen, but unfortunately, misses out on the decent-size 6.1-inch touch screen display, which takes centre stage in the Ascent Sport, while the higher-spec Corolla models also gain a reversing camera, split-screen feature and satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic updates.

All variants come with a six-speaker audio unit with Bluetooth phone and music streaming (dead easy to pair) as standard fitment.

There’s more rear legroom than ever before – comfortable even for those standing six-foot-plus – and a 75mm-wider boot aperture makes loading easier.

Boot space, however, betrays the Corolla’s relatively poor packaging. At 280 litres, it’s no bigger than that of a Volkswagen Polo city car and 70 litres shy of the Golf’s capacity that is still well short of the small-car benchmark.

The rear seats at least fold completely flat to expand volume to a total of 1220 litres.

Power comes from the same, carry-over 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine from the previous model Corolla – though Toyota has tweaked it for slightly more power, giving it 103kW (up 3kW). Peak torque of 173Nm also arrives lower down in the rev range.

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

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but matched to the optional seven-speed CVT (replacing the old four-speed auto), the new Corolla is a surprise package.

Rarely does it feel under-done, rather there’s sufficient ‘go’ from almost anywhere on the rev range for the Corolla to feel fairly zippy.

Mid-range punch is especially good – this is where the CVT is at its best – offering decent in-gear acceleration with the least amount of audible commotion.

Tap the Sport button and the Corolla rewards with manual-style shift steps for the seven gears, or you can use the shift-lever for more fun.

Around town, though, there’s too much engine noise as the transmission tries to maintain sufficiently high revs to keep it in the optimum torque band.

Despite these minor downsides, the Toyota auto joins the Nissan Pulsar’s CVT in being on of the more effective examples of the type.

It’s also economical, using just 6.9 litres per 100km around the city over several days and up to 10.5L/100km during a more spirited test drive over several hundred kilometres.

And it’s here where the Corolla proves it has taken a step forward dynamically. While a Mazda 3 and Ford Focus still lead the way comfortably when it comes to driving fun, the Corolla feels composed and tidy when pushing on through corners, with good grip despite our base model Ascent riding on 16-inch tyres (wrapping steel wheels).

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

The small Toyota sits relatively flat through bends, resisting body roll far better than its predecessor that pitched and rolled in similar situations.

The Corolla’s electric power steering has a ratio that’s just about quick enough to properly exploit the improved handling, though in general driving the steering is frustratingly vague.

A reworked front suspension brings newly developed front upper supports and bound stoppers, with revised springs and dampers for more compliance, and ride comfort remains a strong point for the Corolla.

The torsion beam rear suspension, though, can still be caught out by bigger bumps that would be dealt with more effectively by some key rivals – such as Focus as VW Golf – that employ multi-link rear set-ups.

Toyota also bumped up the Corolla’s safety package, with seven airbags (including driver’s knee) and a full suite of active and passive safety gear including anti-locking brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist and stability control with traction control that’s now typical for the segment.

CVT models gain Hill Start Assist as standard equipment and the entire Corolla range gets a five-star ANCAP crash safety rating.

Toyota offers capped price servicing on the Corolla at $130 per service for the first six scheduled services, with service at intervals at every 10,000km.

2013 Toyota Corolla Review
2013 Toyota Corolla Review

That all helps to make the Toyota Corolla Ascent a strong value-for-money small car package in what is a highly competitive segment.

That’s not so much of a change. What is welcome, is the casting off its familiarly humble guise. The Corolla has instead adopted a truly youthful spirit, with Generation 11 also about edgy gadgetry, performance and, of course, style.

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2013 Toyota Corolla Review
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  • Galaxy

    The i30 is a better car. More refined, better 6sp auto. These days quality and reliability is imperceptible between these 2 brands (car companies should not be compared as Japan and Korea). The standard i30 has 5″ touch screen display and quieter to drive. The 5 year unlimited warranty is very compelling as is the annual servicing. Can’t imagine sitting behind one of the worst dash layouts ever made.  At the end of the day the Corolla is an i30 copy (but not as good).

    • Noddy_of_Toyland

      If you were buying to keep and drive it yourself, I can understand why you’d choose the i30. But if you’re selling after three years, the resale difference would be enough to swing it for me. But I like the new Corolla so I guess I’m biased.

      • Sam

         Well, its funny you should say that.  At Public Trustee Auctions I have been to in the last few months, its they Hyundais that are holding their value the best.  Not only are they as good as a toyota, but they have a warrantee that goes for 2 years longer than the toyota.  Also, the i30 is available with the fabulous diesel engine which sh!ts all over Corolla’s athsmatic (one choice) petrol engine.

      • Galaxy

        Prefer to buy a 2nd car with 2 years of warranty left on it than zero!

        • RUST

          If you know anything about warranties, you would have figured out by now like my friend did with his hyundai warranty, read the fine print. wondered why they had to pay back customers some duh! false claims. Only Union plants can get away with false claims, part of there deep corruption schemes. I have rustproofed over 20,000 vehicles , and hyundai cant build the same quality as Toyota. For most of you that do not see the underside of vehicles, and understand the make up, or the difference in structural engineering. cheap chines electronics wont do it for me, maybe for GM and Ford,..Hyundai still lacks some serious R/D…and you feel it in the drivetrain, as it makes it way into the cabin….

      • lee

        Agree with Sam – i30 seems to be holding its own quite comfortably – wouldn’t have either but I think the i30 a much better option

    • Sumpguard

        I drove an i30 base model manual the other day and it was a good little car and well appointed for an entry level model. I’d go the i30 for sure because I couldn’t sit at the wheel of the Toyota for too long and look at THAT dashboard. The 5 year warranty is the clincher. The resale of the i30 is pretty damned good now also after 3 years and unlike the Toyota it won’t be out of warranty.

    • Dru_555

      I don’t understand how you can say it’s a copy. The i30 was released in 2012 and the corolla has been released this year. If you understand anything about manufacturing the design would of been locked out say 18 months ago. Unless Toyota has spies at Hyundai then I don’t see how they could of copied their designs.

      • Galaxy

        Not what I meant… the fact is Toyota has no originality and Hyundai is now setting the pace in the “small” car segment far more than both Toyota (and even Honda).  They have already left behind the likes of Nissan, Suzuki, Mitsubishi.

        • $29896495

          Don’t know if I can agree with that. Kia sure, Hyundai design wise hasn’t found its way yet. The cars are terribly over styled as is this corolla. The design language is the copy, not so much a lift of the i30. On second thoughts, none of the five brands mentioned have it together, so n comparison to them, sure.

          • Zaccy16

            i agree, kias have better styling than the over-styled hyundais, the i30 is no where near class leading, about middle of the pack, mazda 3, golf, focus are much better small cars, corolla looks good from the front but from the rear in my opinion looks rubbish

    • lee

      Disagree – I think the i30 is a much better looking car – to me the Corolla is a bit ugly – not sure if the cameraman like it or hated it but he took a lot of photos….

    • $29896495

      Hit the nail on the head.

    • F1orce

      Yeah I like the top range i30

      But I hate the base i30

    • Have to agree with you on that one. The Koreans have better looking interior and exterior.

      The Japanese seems that they cannot improve on the design of their cars. 

      • Ted

        The proble with the Koreans, to me anyway, is the smell in side the car by use of cheaper material and plastics, where the japs do not.

    • Zaccy16

      id have the corrola over an i30 just, bust very close pick between them

    • BenO

      I have Driven both cars for my company and Toyota is a standout… That’s my opinion

  • Monk

    Am I the only one who finds this design hideous?

    • Sam

      N0, I think its a terrible look.  I think the writer of this article will be surprised at how many people disagree with him and his opinion on its looks.   To me, from the back its an aborted i30 attempt, totally unfinished and ugly.  From the front, its not recognisable as a toyota except for the fact that it endears the car with no personality at all.  I think its easily one of the most boring cars to look at, at any price.

      • lee

        Agree – I thought maybe some brown-paper-bag deal might have gone down here

        but then I always think that when I look at the preferrential treatment VW get. If VW sneezes this site gives it 4stars

      • Dave W

        That’s impossible. The most boring hatchback crown has already gone to the Golf and Polo.

        • Deutsch

          Agreed. Yet as VW are pretty much on the payroll for CarAdvice, they will still remain to be the best this and best that car around.

      • plutonium853

        I think Toyota engineering is superior, Hyundais are cheap copies!

    • racrepus

      I wouldn’t say hideous as such, but it is lacking some refinement. Front looks all bulgy which doesn’t really match with the rest of the more angular parts of the car. The spots for the fog lights are just a anonymous blob shape. And the rear bumper doesn’t integrate very well with the boot door either. All this mix and match styling they’ve used is going to make it date VERY fast. Frankly, it already looks more dated than the current Cerato hatch.

    • Karl Sass

      Nope. I was reading this review and thinking are we looking at different cars?

    • Jober As A Sudge

      I’d say it has polarising looks. I’m not a fan of it…but at least it’s not boring like previous Corolla designs.

      • Monk

        Or boring like your comments…

    • Marcia

      No you’re not! The rear is awful

  • Lumpycamel

    I don’t mind the outside so much… its just that 80’s flat dashboard I cant deal with… not to mention the little tiny 80’s inspired digital clock…

  • StevieP

    If only we have the Hybrid version in Australia. Knowing there’s a huge battery somewhere in the car would partially compensate for the small boot (the i30’s boot is 98 litres bigger, even the new Renault Clio’s boot is 20 litres bigger). I would much rather have a relatively-stylish Corolla Hybrid than an awkward-looking Prius Hybrid anyway.

  • RichieDuck

    Parents just ordered Ascent Sport 2013 build in pearl white, should be interesting to take it for a run.  Got a good deal and trade in dealer was happy to deal.

    • Jfg

       Yes, judging by the number of new Crapollas already in the rental yards, Toyota has been happy to do deals on it from day one.

    • Guest

      Congrats!! Good on your Parents.. They made the right choice. A very nice looking and practical car IMHO. Please post your comments after driving as I am interested in buying one as well. Ascent sport manual is a bargain at 21990 drive away. 

      • Ted

        I ahd a price the other day for the Accent Sport in manual (flat white paint) and the Sat Nav installed to replace the reversing camera (st nav has reversing camera as well) for $23900.00 drive away.  I am in Sydney.

        • Guest

          Wait for the deals when they sell the cars (rrp) minus all charges. Also car sales website also lists the price 21990 drive away but you have to keep an eye daily on the prices as these kind of deals only get advertised for a day or so with few extras thrown in as well (tint, mats, tank full of fuel etc). My advice would be Wait for the right moment plus get your finances ready for that exact moment. :)

          • Ted

            The price that I was given was for an Auto – Accent Sport with the Sat Nav installed. The sat nav is an additional $1500.00 and they quoted me $23900.00 drive away – This is already over $4000.00 discount .
            The price that you quoted is incorrect as Auto Accent (not Sport) is RRP – $25617.00 drive away without discount, and the Accent SPORT in Auto is RRP – $26647.00, without the Sat Nav installed,  in standard white colour.  Add the Sat Nav to this price and you have $28147.00 drive away.  However, the price that I was quoted was $23900.00 and thats a $4247.00 discount – NOT BAD and I do not think you would get a Accent Sport, with Sat Nav installed for that price at that many dealers.
            This particular dealer is still calling me keen to get my business, and I will do something soon.

          • Guest

            My apologies Ted I forgot to mention that I was talking about Manual.

            If you are getting $23900 for auto GO FOR IT without thinking as you cannot get any better price.Also FYI any model above ascent comes with sat nav as standard. 

            I like manuals and driven manuals through out my life. I have mazda 626 at the moment and at 200330kms it drives like a dream (manual). I have not experienced CVT driving but from all the reviews and other’s experiences i personally would not go for CVT. If you are not very picky about the CVT works then definitely go for it. Good Luck and Happy Motoring

          • Guest

            One more thing Ted… I want to make sure that we are talking about the same car. My comments relate to the new model that is being discussed in this article and it comes only in hatch disguise at the moment with sedan due in late 2013…

          • Ted

            Hi Guest,  yes it’s the current (new) model and the price of $23900.00 includes the dealear putting in optional Sat Nav – this is a good deal.  However, I have just looked at the new Honda Civic hatch that compares with this, except that sat Nav cannot be put in as an option.  this car is $25815.00 in white, that is a mettalic colour (500 more in cost).  I have been offer one of these with $2500.00 discount that makes the price $23315.00 (Auto).
            The question is what is the best car, but the Honda Civic hatch is good to drive.

            Thoughts plse !

          • Guest

            They both are excellent cars as long as one realizes the limitations of these cars that they are designed to be a reliable, comfortable transport. They are not meant for thrill seeking. Now looks are subjective and personal preferences come into play here. If you want auto then Honda’s 5 speed auto is excellent (better than any cvt or auto including mazda 3’s auto in the same segment). But beware that Honda does not offer capped servicing so servicing costs will be a bit high. If driven sensibly and maintained properly, these cars won’t miss a beat for 10 years, Hope that helps. In case of Manual I would go with Toyota. But with Automatic, Honda will be my choice.

          • Guest

            Also Ted, I do not know what do you mean by Honda drives  better because the power band in both the cars is quite similar. With new model Toyota, Engine now produces peak output at higher revs like Honda. Also new Toyota has made slight changes to suspension to make it a little bit firmer and flatter during spirited driving. If you want Hot Hatch then you cannot go wrong with Focus ST but that car is in different league and price bracket. Exceptional car with the best of both worlds. Economy, practicality and fun…:D

          • Ted

            Thanks Guest for your responses.  What I mean about the Honda Civic Hatch driving better is that it feels smoother, and is more solid.  I to have a 1993 Mazda 626 (Auto 2 litre) that I have had since new – this car is hard to replace as it’s a good car.  But after this long, I feel that I need to buy a new car.  I have tried the Mazda 3 Maxx Sport and it’s not as good as the 626, but I want a car that size (this segment is about the size of my car today).
            Any futher thoughts please.

          • Guest

            Hi Ted, My Mazda 626 is 1996 model. I too have similar requirements like you have :). I cannot fault my car as I can rev it up to 6500 in second gear to achieve 90km/hr and it’s exhilarating. Having said that, it is not a fast car (very slow in terms of today’s standards. But I am pretty impressed with the built quality of my car (Soft touch material everywhere…) I too want a new car now so I have mine on sale on car sales site (if you want to have a look at the pics- Mazda 626 ->Deluxe ->1996 on car sales).

            Now coming to your question:
            Size of my car (interior) is pretty much the same like Toyota corolla or Honda civic of today. Boot of my car is pretty big ( But I hardly need boot space). 

            Engine power is also the same i.e. My 1996 Mazda 626 has similar power and Torque figures plus slightly less economy.
            So why go for the same figures again after so many years.
            That is why, I am saving money for Focus ST and waiting for $38290 drive away price deals… (I might be dreaming … But hey dreams come true some times :D)

            The smoothness you experienced with civic hatch might be because of it’s excellent auto…Corolla CVT will be harsh as compared to Civic’s auto for sure. 

            The downsides of Honda Civic Hatch IMHO are 
            1) I do not like the rear of the car
            2) Premium Fuel. (If you are going to remote places then availability of premium fuel might be of concern)
            3) Servicing Costs
            4) Too busy dash with lots of hi tech display (my opinion, but some people love it… I guess I am old :P)
            1) Excellent Engine and specially Auto
            2) Built Quality and ride quality is sort of same with Corolla.

          • Ted

            Hi Guest, just had a look at your 626 on carsales and it looks a nice car – have you had any calls as yet ?  My 626 is a hatch and the same model, GE.  The power of mind is 85 kw and 175 nm, which is less power than the cars that I am looking at today.  I alway run my car on either 95 or 98, but the latter appears better fuel – this may lift the kw a little, but it is more responsive, and as you know, these are good cars on the freeway.  They were made well in those days and that’s why I think the Civic compares welll.  I understand that you are after a Focus ST, but I am not looking at this type of sporty car.
            I have never had a Toyota, but have driven plenty of the previous shape hire cars when interstate.  They were not good drives in that shape, but the current shape that I have tested, except for the CVT, is a good car.  This is a hard choice when swapping the 626 for one of these cars.
            Can you suggest any other that I should look at before makinh up my mind ie: thought about i30 and beleive it or not, I like the SLI Rio that I have driven and it’s a solid car as well.
            Thoughts please.

          • Guest

            Thanks Ted for looking at the pics of my car (blue one with Kenwood Stereo and JL Sub) .

            I had very few calls b’cos of manual transmission. Also, I would like to highlight the point that our cars are nearly 100 kg lighter than today’s corolla so power to weight ratio is sort of similar meaning performance will be the same (0-100).

            I use Nulon Total fuel System cleaner every 5000 kms with normal unleaded petrol.

            I cannot comment on Kia as I have not driven one. If you really liked Honda (given you are getting good price) go for Honda because I can guarantee you that Comfort Levels in Honda (Both for driver and rear passengers) will be superior to Corolla and far more superior to Hyundai and Kia.I have driven Hyundia (rental) old model (2.0 litre one) and the car was OK but Honda was much more refined (Friend’s car). Also, long term reliability of Honda and Corolla are unmatched. I agree that Hyundai has been getting awards in Oz and the UK based on price, practicality, costs (servicing, running,insurance etc) but when you have to live with the car long term you need a bit more things like comfort, refinement. Also resale of Honda and Corolla is much better than Hyundai (Kia is not worth mentioning). How can I say that: It’s b’cos I have been to auctions and seen it.Please go with Honda in my opinion you won’t go wrong.Engine and Transmission (Excellent)Fuel Economy (Very Good)Comfort and Refinement (Excellent)Looks (Subjective)Resale (Very Good)Driving Pleasure ( Very Good)Believe me all the top 3 models in the same segment i.e. Mazda3, Corolla and Civic have similar handling characteristics. Normal day to day drivers will not experience much of a difference in terms of Handling. But in terms of Comfort and Refinement, Honda is unmatched. Second is Corolla and Third comes Mazda (From sitting in my friend’s Mazda 3 —Stiffer suspension as compared to other 2)

          • Ted

            Thank you, Guest for your honest feedback.  I am on leave at the moment and will look at the cars again, eith this afternoon or tomorrow and make my mind up.
            You are right regarding the Civic with the real end, and I feel this would defer some people from buying.  The Corolla sells just because it’s a Toyota, and the majority of people that buy Corolla’s do not know that much about cars, only that you put fuel in and then drive it.  I am not sure about Honda buyers, however Mazda buyers appear to know a little aboit cars and their Zoom Zoom advertising is very good, and I must say they are good cars.  Whether I look at one on these again, I may do so.  But I had a price some weeks ago for an Auto Maxx Sport Hatch, at $26000.00 drive away (no trade) – a bit nmore that the Accent Sport with Sat Nav, $23990.00 and Civic Hatch at $23315.00 drive away, but Sat Nav cannot even be optioned in the VTI-S or VTI-L Hatch, standard in the VTI-LN.  (A Civice in red would be $500.00 off this price as not metalic colour)
            When I was at the Toyota dealear he gave me a price for thr SX Corolla (auto) for $26155.00 drive away and this includes not only Sat Nav, but paddle shift on the steering wheel, 17′ alloys, better sports instruments and a few other pits.  I suppose if you have to have a CVT, you might as well have the paddle shifts, but I think you would only use these a little.
            The Accent Sport is 3k cheaper than the SX, or just over 2k cheaper with the Sat Nav put in by Toyota.
            A hard decision…

          • Guest

            My pleasure Ted. Yes you are right, it’s not a simple and straightforward decision. but good luck with what ever you choose. Mazda is a little bit more fun to drive.Tiny bit extra dynamics at the expense of ride quality and cabin quietness.

            Also I personally do not like the vast quantity of cheap plastics used in Mazda plus the whole dash lay out and design. But that’s me. Mazda 3 is best selling model so there has to be some thing good about it. 

          • Guest

            One more thing Ted, Smart phones these days have pretty good navigation s/w. Normally 90% of the times we know what the route is but for 10% we can sure use either smart phone’s GPS or an after market GPS ($70-150). And for small cars like Toyota, Honda I do not think reversing camera makes more sense. It sure is an added advantage but All people I know hardly use that reverse camera. They still do it the old fashioned way.

          • $29896495

            I’ll just say using smart phones GPS uses their data very quickly. No matter how you slice it a built in GPS or after market (which invites thieves when they see the cradle) is the way to go.

            The old fashioned way, bumping the car in back? With the high rear ends these days and limited visibility, a reversing camera is a must. specially if kids or animals are involved. Not necessarily your own but shopping centre car parks as well.

    • Ted

      I ahd a price the other day for the Accent Sport in manual (flat white paint) and the Sat Nav installed to replace the reversing camera (st nav has reversing camera as well) for $23900.00 drive away. I am in Sydney.

  • Sam

     Just a thought….this Corolla makes a Kia Ria look very handsome.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it Toyota!

    • Yetiman

      I wouldn’t be so proud of driving a Kia or a Corolla.

      • lee

        Kia RIO over this anyday – Toyota trade on a rep. they’re not really entitled to anymore. If these journos were more objective VW and Toyo would be in trouble

        • $29896495

          Totally agree, this story smacks of advertising. They rip other cars a new one, for having fuel consumption like the corolla, but the best spin is put on it. universally agreed upon ugly dash, is is now good – looks the same to me, still a poor retro effort. Old engine under size and showing it. Design, ok, that’s subjective, but it can’t be denied that Toyota ripped off Hyundai – result, two companies with ugly over styled cars. The plus to that is that it’s different to what went before.

        • Henry Toussaint

           The Rio has a bigger boot as well i’m pretty sure

  • Vzcs

    Why does this website block any negative comments about hyundai?

    Also those photos are terrible! Had it been a hyundai the photos would of been much better

  • jekyl & hyde

    truly ugly stereo in that, and it drags down the rest to the interior with it.

    • lee

      This design is for 55+ or for 55+ who chose the car their kids drive – for the rest…

      Oh and my dad is 55+ and this would never make his short list

    • Zaccy16

      yeah very old fashioned for the retirees! 

  • Mike

    What does “good in-gear acceleration” mean with a CVT?

    Big mistake to give it a small boot – Corollas are bought for practicality, and if nothing else the car should be competitive in that regard. Fuel consumption seems ho-hum also.

    Toyota needs to work harder.

  • lee

    Wow – just had a good look at the photos. CARADVICE – you need to do this for all reviews are admit that your objectivity is seriously compromised – I have never seen a shot advertising rear leg room – seriously????????????

  • Jfg

    Why does it get a green tick for ride and handling and a red cross because it’s ride and handling isn’t as good as some rivals? If there are a few rivals better in that area, then the Corlla’s ride and handling would surely be in the average region!
    Steering also gets a green tic took, yet in the review, the steering is described as “frustratingly vague”.
    Again with the CVT, the summary says it’s decent but then marks the CVT down for being noisy?
    Then marked down for no touch screen on base model? I’m at a loss to understand why ANY car needs a touch screen let alone a bottom of the range version of a cheap car like a Corolla.

  • Shane Chislett

    As I intend to purchase a new car sometime this year, I have been road testing several cars,being
    the Hyundai Elantra & i30, Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia & Yeti, Volkswagen Golf & Tiguan.
    I haven’t driven the new Corolla yet, but I have test driven the new i30, and found that the ride comfort was too firm compared to most of others, except for the Yeti, and mayde the Elantra.
    Ride comfort is a priority for me as I do some driving on country roads, that are not as smooth as the roads in the city (Melb) / suburbs. I ‘ll wait and see what the new Cerato is like and the new Mazda 3 before I make a decision.  Chissy 

    • Tom

      Why don’t you look at a Holden Cruze?

      • Ted

        Why would you buy the Cruze as Holden keep on changing engines ie 1.4 turbo, and now the 1.6 turbo engine – why can’t they start with an engine and remain with that, like Toyota and peers !

        • Karl Sass

          Besides, the 1.4T engine is better than the Corolla engine anyway.

    • $29896495

      I think you’ll do OK as long as you stay away from a Cruze

  • Don Quay

    I find the exterior styling rather good, not fantastic, but edgy and modern. I think it is dependent on the colour and the trim level. Some I have seem look better than others. It certainly isn’t hideous though. The interior is not as adventurous but I’m sure it is very functional and with the usual Toyota quality will keep working for just about ever.

    I think it some are getting too hung up on the styling, you complain that Toyota’s are boring and now you complain that they are too wild. Make up your mind!

    I first saw it at the Sydney Motor Show and my opinion hasn’t changed since then. Give it another six months, it might grow on you. Some cars do, others don’t.

    One thing is ccertain is that they will sell all they can make.

  • AJ

    Meh..another ugly looking appliance from Toyota.

  • TG

    CA writes: “passive safety gear including anti-locking brakes with electronic
    brakeforce distribution and brake assist and stability control with
    traction control that’s now typical for the segment.”

    Typical? It’s mandatory under ADR laws (for passenger vehicles).

    • Morgasshk

      Its not even Passive safety anyway, they are active components as they can help “avoid” the impact. Useless journo’s… lol

  • Ted

    I think that the new Corolla is good looking, but not in base grade – you need to order at least the Assent Sport and the car looks better, although not much change on the inside.  The SX and ZR models are a litle better.  I am in the market and have also been looking at the Honda Civic Hatch –  a car that is subjective in the styling, but smooth to drive with a normal 5 speed auto box, rather than CVT.  However, all manufactures will follow Toyota (like Nissan) and start to offer the CVT as the auto gear box in future models.

  • TG

    Oh, bit of an echo here…


    • KiddingMe

      What about the V6 Blade!

  • GregR

    I am not ‘getting-at’ reviewers ‘per se’, or Anthony Crawford specifically, but it amazes me that so many motoring articles are biased in favour of ‘leading-edge’ design and sporting specifications. Obviously there is a big section of the buying public who focus on these attributes, if that is what they are. However not everyone is obsessed by ‘sporty’ handling, taut-steering, faux metallic/ carbon interior finishes etc. Some attach far more import to comfort ease of ingress/egress, manoeuvrability. Then there are other considerations such as interior space, adaptability, load carrying versatility, un-cluttered instrumentation and switching – I could go on for a while, but won’t.

    There are thousands of silver-haired petrol-heads like me out there with loads of mazuma who want a small car for everyday use (in addition to the powerful convertible for pleasure) which is not low to the ground, does not have harsh suspension, does have comfortable seats with endless adjustment and feels like a traditional car. I appreciate that we can choose to buy a VW Golf or a Citroen/ Peugeot or a Mercedes B class and I guess thats what the majority do; but the likes of Toyota and Hyundai may well miss-out by alienating this market producing only youth-biased models. They might be better advised to produce a ‘family’ car and then ‘sporty’ variant/s thus getting the interest of both sections of the market.

    For what it is worth I like the i30 and the forthcoming wagon-variant look interesting too, I think the Corolla is a tad over-styled.

    I may sound like an ‘Old-fogey’ but I have owned and driven performance cars most of my life and still desire them, but I don’t look at everyday cars in the same light and I suspect that there endless others – just like me. 

  • Barry

    Toyota has done a fantastic job on the exterior styling.Not like Toyota to do that radical restyling,but it works.

  • Rocket

    Not a bad little grocery getter. Sure the Focus and Golf are better to drive but most people just want to get from A to B and nothing does this better than a Corolla.

    • Hung Low

      And after 200000km the Corolla would be still running like a clock with just routine servicing. Doubt the Focus would compare and definitely not the Golf.

      • Ted

        Agree, the 118TSI Golf would had gone many ks before the Corolla !

      • $29896495

        I think you are very WRONG including the Focus. There are still a lot of old Fords of all sizes kicking around well over the 400K mark. VW on the other hand how many old Golfs do you see. “0”

        • Golfschwein

          Well, you’ll see virtually no Mk 1s from the seventies, zero of the Mk IIs that weren’t sold here, thrice yearly sightings of the Mk III that were a toe dipping exercise, quite a lot of the MK IVs considering how their $35,000 price limited their appeal and plenty of the later models that arrived from 2004 and haven’t racked up anything more than 150,000 kms yet, on average.

          Germany is probably the best place to spot old Golfs.

        • Hung Low

          The current Focus is a Euro Ford, overtly complex and like most Euro cars end up becoming a economic write off just on maintenance alone as the km pile up. Notice I only mentioned Focus and not writing off other Ford products but I will now include the Mondeo as well!

          • $29896495

            Can’t agree with I’m afraid. They can be surprisingly cheap to maintain.  The main issue any car has is making sure the spanner work is done. Taking it for granted that’s taken care of all should be well. Seriously comparing to VW, there is no comparison. reliability is better, parts will be cheaper. You do what’s required and they will keep you happy. Go to some one who doesn’t know what they are doing, like any modern car they’ll break.

  • Homer

    People who buy corolla know up front what they intend to do with the vehicle. Driving enjoyment is not on top of  their list but reliability is. On the other hand Toyota knows the type of buyers who purchase this car. As such they know they can get away with yesteryear technology costing less to manufacture than the modern, cutting edge technology such as direct injection etc. In brief: If you want latest in technology then buy European cars in general but the cost of servicing is more likely to be higher and reliability – again I use the word more likely – to be poorer than Toyota. Buy the latter if you just want basic transport, period.

  • peddy.d

    A few days ago I rented a no birds corolla for a few days and I thought it was very impressive. I’d driven a friend’s previous generation corolla and hated the seating position but the new corolla’s position is nice and low, you feel like you’re sitting ‘in’ the car instead of ‘on’ it. It was actually quite a fun car to drive and I was amazed at how fantastic the build quality was, everything was screwed together so well! And yeah the dash is a bit controversial in the pictures but once you sit in the car it you get a different view, it sort of looks not bad. The CVT suits my driving, I liked how the car can increase speed gradually without having to rev through the roof (like in my Elantra), it was so composed in accelerating even when going uphill! oh and the CVT does not drone as loud as one would think and I know how loud they get as my mate’s got a CVT Lancer Sportback and the noise is unbelievably depressing. Only complaints i had was the spongy brake pedal and how small and close the pedals were to each other, but you get used to it. It definitely surpassed my expectations of what I expected a Toyota would be like, I would recommend anyone shopping around for a small car to take one for a test drive and see for themself, happy motoring!

  • Gazza

    IMO the new corolla is the best looking car in this class i have seen a number of them driving around now and they do look hot the mazda 3 looks dated next to it, forget your HYUNDAIs the corolla will still drive like a new car in 3 years time thats the TOYOTA build quality that others cant match! 

  • Homer

    Corolla is probably the best of the “japs” but from technical perspective (Civic may be better)  the current breed of Japaneese cars in the 20 – 30K segment are inferior to their Euro competitors. Engine output wise they are below the Koreans. The Japss have either been complacement or purposedly give Australian customers yesteryear products as the buying public don’t seem to care.

    • Dave W

      Not really. If you’ve read anything about Toyoda and what he’s trying to do, you know that it all boils down to old men running the business. Old men who’d prefer to play it safe and maintain the status quo. I suspect it’s a similar situation in other Japanese car companies.

      This current Corolla was conceived before Toyoda so we can look forward to a better more exciting cars in the near future, as shown with the Furia concept.

      • Morgasshk

        Lol, yeah Akio fits the old-fogey brigade so well.

        First thing he did – push for release of IS-F – V8 Lexus sports car, the he slammed the Lexus team for not getting cracking on their first Lexus Supercar – the LF-A – though, he did have his own vested interest, Akio wanted to go take a crack at Nurburgring in the thing! cheeky blighter!

        Then he looked to Toyota and saw the bland but reliable and saw the 6 years and 4 versions of GT-86/FT-86 sitting around at various Motorshows, went and cemented a relationship with Subaru, helped source an engine and got that baby cracking and out the door.

        He has also pushed for the next generation Supra which is slated for 2015 release in Japan which we have all, worldwide been waiting for.

        There is also two more sports oriented vehicles on the horizon in Hybrid form. Should be fun times ahead.

        Most definitely not only going to be choosing between a HiAce, Camry, HiLux or Corolla 😉

  • racrepus

    Funny how Toyota’s always get pretty positive reviews for being just average, They’re the biggest and sell the most, so their car should be at least on par with the best in class. No wonder they don’t really make any huge improvements. No one pressures them to lift their game like they do with the Koreans – no wonder they are moving ahead so fast. It’s always the same excuse at the end of the day. “Oh they may not be the best, but they’re a Toyota so they’re still really good A to B transport” “Toyota reliablity this” and apparently “Toyota quality” that, blah blah. Stop using their previous success to jack up the appeal of their new cars. Judge it for what it is without that biased thinking adding extra shine where there isn’t.

  • Gogomobile

    Problem I have is with boot space, its worst than the cars in its class and below it. The looks are not the most stylish of its kind but its getting there with the 10th generation.

  • Gibwater

    The reverse angle C pillar design is straight from the Mazda3 and several Hyundais. Must be the currant fad in medium hatch design.
    I think the Corolla sedan remains unchanged. Is anyone aware if an all-new sedan version is in the pipeline? 

    • Al Tungupon

      There will certainly be a new sedan as most other markets have this body style. The hatch is basically the Auris in Europe and isn’t sold in Asia and America.

  • Al Tungupon

    This hatch design can very well form basis of an Odyssey-like 7-seater. The length can still be extended without looking like a hearse.

  • John_23

    so analog clock is better than digital clock 

  • Theo

    Corolla drivers are cool because they’re driving a car they can truly afford.

  • Deutsch

    How is this “stand out styling”when they are still using the same radio system from 1999? Nothing ever changes with Toyota, there is nothing sexy and new about the car it’s just bland. I test drove one to see as I am in the industry, thought the CVT was really loud… not mild yet sounded like an old Diesel. The back looks great, the front boring. Why anyone would pay top dollar for this is beyond reasonable.

    • Guest

      Hi Deutsch..

      “How is this “stand out styling”when they are still using the same radio system from 1999?”
               May be Corolla are using the same looking front fascia radio system but it’s not the   same. (mp3,mp4, usb,compatible).

      ” CVT was really loud… not mild yet sounded like an old Diesel. ”
                You said cvt was really loud and sounded like  an  old diesel.. LOL have you driven Mitsubishi Lancer, new Nissan Pulsar.. If NOT then drive the cars in the same segment with CVT and then decide which one is harsher…

      “The back looks great, the front boring.”          Looks are subjective… 
      “Why anyone would pay top dollar for this is beyond reasonable.”
                Well the price of $19990/- drive away is called VALUE FOR MONEY. Which is on par with most of the cars in it’s class. On top of that, cheap servicing and lower ownership costs, reliability, resale ….. That’s why one should buy one. (Mind you I am not talking about the top models but the base Models

    • Morgasshk


      MP3, WMA CD compatible – yep, everyone has that, I grant you.
      USB input – toyota has had across most of passenger range for the past 6+ years, whilst most other makers have it now, majority only implemented years after Toyota

      Oh wait, what did you say? standard voice control? In every grade? In every vehicle in the Light SUv and Passenger range? (Excluding non-high grade Camry/Aurion)

      yeah, show me other base models with voice control calling and USB folder searching?

  • Ted

    Yyes Deutsch, it’s a shame that Toyota did not excel this time with the Corolla, but they might one day.  As you are in the industry, I was wondering if I could call on you for some advice.  I have looks at all the Corolla peers and cannot make up my mind ie: Corolla (SX with paddle shilfs) i30, Civic Hatch or Maz 3.  Are you able to provide some direction regarding those cars and choices, and is there anything else i should consider.  Thank You

    • Guest

      lol!!! Ted still you have not made up your mind? Please let me know when you have finally decided and the reasons.. 😀

  • jorge

    Kia has too many problems. This car is the best. Been driving for a while now. I tried the i30 on my cousins car and it’s just so heavy. I can agree that i30 looks better, but it’s a bit heavy for me, and I’m talking about the wheels etc.

Toyota Corolla Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$15,730 - $17,880
Dealer Retail
$16,930 - $20,130
Dealer Trade
$12,400 - $14,300
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
173Nm @  4000rpm
Max. Power
103kW @  6400rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1300  Unbrake:450
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
205/55 R16
Rear Tyres
205/55 R16
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Gas damper
Standard Features
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
Cruise Control, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Power Steering, Trip Computer
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Rear Spoiler
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Front Floor
Country of Origin