Corolling in ultimate style
- 2009 Toyota ZRE152R Corolla Ultima 1.8-litre, automatic, sedan - $31,990 (RRP)
- Metallic Paint $350 (Fitted - Shimmer)
That being the case then in our push-button, touch-screen world it could well be said that the Corolla Ultima is indeed white goods motoring in the truest sense of the meaning - albeit with a stainless steel finish.
Handsome 16-inch alloy wheels with front and rear mudflaps, xenon-bulbed auto headlamps with washers and height adjustment, front fog lamps and chrome bright work under the side glass all do their bit in adding to the car's overall appeal, without that is challenging convention or making any elitist statements.
Inside the roomy and well laid-out cabin you'll find all the mod-cons you would expect of a top shelf small sedan including leather upholstery, leather wrapped tilt/slide steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, single-zone climate control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, smart card entry with push button starter, trip computer, power windows and mirrors and a six CD tuner with Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and auxiliary input.
Developing 100kW @ 6000rpm (and 175Nm @ 4400rpm) the written down figure isn't really the issue, it's the car's ability to utilise the power effectively which is hampered primarily by a dated and slow to react four-speed automatic.
Although the transmission is very smooth of shift it is reluctant to kick-down in a timely manner meaning overtaking opportunities need to be a long planned affair. But should you intend a more leisurely, city-based role for your own Corolla Ultima this may not prove such an issue.
Add to this dual front, side, curtain and a driver's knee airbag, as well as ABS with EBA and EBD, then it is a given the Corolla Ultima will achieve maximum points when next ANCAP tested (Corolla has not yet been tested with ESP - previous model scored 34.96 out of a possible 37 points to achieve five-stars).
An ample boot allows 450-litres of cargo to be carried with the seats up though this can be nearly doubled thanks to a 60:40 split fold back seat. The boot also houses a full-size (steel) spare wheel under the floor.
Were it a little cheaper the Corolla Ultima would have scored higher in our ratings but with Korea's top-shelf rivals offering the same level of spec' for much less coin it's a worthy 3.5 wheels.
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