2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review

The brand new Toyota Corolla is finally here and looking to overthrow the Holden VE Commodore as Australia’s number one selling vehicle.

Made in Japan and powered by a 100kW 1.8-litre engine, the new Corolla is taking on the aging Mazda3, the soon to be updated Ford Focus and Mitsubishi’s nearly replaced Lancer. In essence, the Corolla arrived first, ahead of all its competitors. If you are after technical specifications, click here.

Today I found myself behind the wheel of a six-speed manual Corolla Conquest Hatch followed by a Corolla Conquest Sedan (auto). First impressions? It really isn’t as ugly as it looks in all the photos, infact the Hatch conquest with the foglights (pictured) looks a treat both at the front and the rear, I called it ugly before, and whilst I think the Sedan is still hideous (at least at the front), I can live with the Hatch (in graphite colour).

The Corolla suffered a very early setback with the steering column clips, but all cars that have made it to dealerships have been checked now. As far as interior quality goes, the Corolla is leaps and bounds ahead of its smaller brother, the Toyota Yaris which resembles a cheap and used Korean motel stuck in a time warp.

The Hatch has a slightly different interior to the Sedan with the gear stick sitting up slightly higher and with the addition of a few cup holders here and there, apart from that, it’s pretty much the same.

2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review

The base model Ascent, is really not worth the price. For the extra ~$4,500 for the Conquest, you get fog lights, cruise control, seven airbags, a bluetooth compatible stereo, 16″ alloys, rear and front power windows and a spoiler. It give sthe car a whole new perspective, definitely worth the upgrade.

Comparing the quality of the interior to say, the Ford Focus or the Mazda 3, despite its old age, the Mazda 3 still feels better built on the inside. However the Corolla’s new innovative use of space gives many nice and hidden compartments to store nearly everything.

When I started up the six-speed manual, I was a little pessimistic, sure six-gears is great, but does the Corolla really need it? Or it is just a marketing ploy? After about an hour of driving, I realized I still hadn’t really gone into sixth gear, there is just not enough power to use sixth gear apart from highway diving, and after all thats really what its there for.

Does it really need a six-speed? The gear ratios were a little shorter than I would have liked – and the clutch – what clutch? It felt just as light as the one in the Yaris. Nevertheless having to jump between third and forth constantly was a bit of pain, but overall if there was still an option for a five-speed instead of the six, I’d still tick the six-speed as it gives better fuel economy and lets be honest, you don’t buy a Corolla for its performance.

2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review

Toyota says the manual Corolla gets from 0-100km in 9.7 seconds and has a fuel economy of 7.4L/100km (using 91 RON fuel), however in reality unless you are going to be brutal on take off and on the gearbox, the 0-100 times are going to be around the 11 second mark. In other words, incredibly slow.

So onto the Auto and truth be told, I would never buy the Corolla in a manual, although a great deal of private buyers opt out for the manual (to save $2,000), given the type of car the Corolla is, I think the auto would be the ideal choice. Unfortunately, the car is still driven via an ancient four-speed gearbox, and it really does struggle.

With 3 people in the car, the aircon on and pushing the pedal all the way down, the gearbox hesitates before changing down and power delivery is a little on the down side, however casual driving is smooth and the gear changes are seamless up or down. But I will admit, the auto gearbox is not as responsive as the one found in the Mazda 3 and the Ford Focus (although they are both powered by a 2.0-litre not a 1.8)

The Automatic uses a little more fuel (7.7L/100km) and does the 0-100km/hr dash in 11.1 seconds, which means you’ll be keeping your foot all the way down when merging on the highway.

The steering is incredibly light, this car is aimed at everyone and the steering and general feel easily reflects this. Driving around roundabouts and corners the Corolla felt incredibly stable, although the car lacks Electronic Stability Control (a feature available on the Mazda3), the Corolla’s chassis is capable of some hard cornering without complaints.

2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review

The seats are relatively comfortable, however I wouldn’t plan a trip from Brisbane to Sydney in this thing. This isn’t a cruising car, on the highway the car feels incapable of basic overtaking, you simply dont have the power to overtake, which is a big problem if your a right foot driver.

The steering wheel comes equipped with audio controls and whilst I couldn’t work out how to connect my phone via bluetooth, I was assured that the feature was there and it was easy to setup. The rear seats felt a little too cheap for my liking, and don’t expect to comfortably (and effortlessly) take five large adults on long trips.

The Corolla has some nifty features such as adjustable headlights, so you can adjust the angle of your front lights incase your car is weighed down or if your going up hill. However this is done manually at can be a huge distraction while driving (as I found out).

Would you buy the Hatch or the Sedan? I would buy the Hatch, the Sedan is 20cm longer, and whilst it has a bigger boot, the sedan has the option of carrying larger items with the rear seats folding down. Furthermore as mentioned, the gear stick is in a far more practical location in the hatch whilst the centre storage compartment in the sedan is placed in a very unfriendly location causing a great deal of discomfort if your used to resting your left arm.

2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review
2007 Toyota Corolla Review

Overall the new Toyota Corolla does exactly what it is designed to do, the car felt great around the city and although it lacks some power on the highway, it makes it rather license friendly. As for the brakes, it was a case of either push it hard or you don’t stop. But that seems to be the case with all small cars.

The 2007 Toyota Corolla is a winner in my books, it can really do with another 15-20kW of power, and so far there are no figures for the cars performance on 98 RON fuel, I suspect it will achieve another 5kW. The 0-100km/hr times are just too slow and merging onto the highway becomes a little scary especially if there is not enough road to get up to speed. Nonetheless, for its target demographic – ’till the new Mazda3 arrives – I really can’t fault the Corolla.

Expect to walk away with the Corolla Conquest Auto (hatch or sedan) for around $28,500 drive away with a little haggling.
Pricing Table Follows :

Grade Hatch Sedan
Ascent $20,990 $20,990
Conquest $25,500 $25,500
Levin SX $25,500
Levin ZR $29,500
Ultima $31,990 A/T
Automatic transmission $2000
Metallic paint $300
Enhanced Safety Pack $750
Luxury Pack $750
Moonroof $1500

  • Damo

    Not too bad to be quite honest. The hatch is funky, but is still looking a little dated. The sedan actually does it for me, as it looks remarkebly similar to the new Camry. The interiors are great and fairly sophisticated and the engine and fuel economy are also good. The Conquest model seems to be a great deal, when you consider all the stuff you get; 7 airbags OMG. Toyota 1 Holden 0. You still get that on the upcoming basemodel Mitsubishi Lancer, but this is a great improvement on the world’s best selling car. Take that Holden Epica!

  • leigh

    Cant really fault the new Corolla? you say it is not a comfortable vehicle to drive long distances in and it is very under- powered………..arent these faults ? i would say if a family of four in a Corolla was mergeing into traffic and had no power left to accelerate was a pretty big fault !!!!!! and a major safety concern !! If the Corolla was loaded up i dont think the fuel ecocnomy would be any better than a Falcon six speed auto as the tiny engine would be working very hard to pull the weight. Even unloaded the Corolla uses only about $3.50 per 100 k more than a six speed Falcon, not much in the real world.

  • Paul

    Yes Leigh but what you have mentioned as ‘faults’ as faults of the Corolla, rather the inheritant nature of ALL these small engines cars.

    Uncomfortable for long distances : Most, I have driven the Focus for eg and the interior including seats aernt great, these cars are for the city mainly.

    Struggling with 4 in car to accelerate : Doesnt get anymore generic than that, all the cars in this sector have similar power and torque, in fact the Corolla’s 100kw is impressive considering its a 1.8L, so they will all struggle.

    Loaded would have same fuel ecnomoy as a Falcon : I think not, it might work harder but its still got an engine half the size of the Falcon… unless your an idiot who is impatient and has to floor it with 4 people in the car this isnt an issue. Not that it matters, any less fuel economy under loan is again a generic issue.

    So your ‘faults’ aernt Corolla faults are they!? For what its designed for, this is a great car.

  • http://www.dewacorp.com isadewa

    Love new Toyota Corolla. But looking at picture (first one), that doesn’t look like Corolla Conquest that I know. It looks like smaller than previous model … does it? Unless I’m comparing with Corolla Seca Conquest?!?!


  • 280ZX

    Paul get those Toyota coloured glasses off and wake up! If going by what Leigh has said in regards to the “faults” i think he maybe right! The article states a lot of faults like No power,cant overtake,cant put 5 adults in the stupid thing,cant work out how to work the bluetooth and anything else on the steering wheel, and wouldnt go more than 50ks out of the nearest city as it has no comfort! So these are “faults” if your planning on driving 5 of your biggest friends to Queensland from Melbourne and you want to overtake every now and then so yes they are “Faults” and in my opinion and this car would appeal to someone living in the city who wants to zipp around and not spend more than half an hour at a time in the car. Alborz the engine is not slow but then again im not sure what your comparing it too? This is fast enough for the city thats all!

  • trackdaze

    Mmm, car supplied by a Toyota dealer. Glossed over corolla’s weak point being ride & handling because of its halfbaked chassis. Coincidence?

  • Paul

    Get off my glasses? Those ‘faults’ are generic 280ZX, if you are denying to this then Im sure you would deny the grass is green and the sky is blue!!

    QUOTE = Glossed over corolla’s weak point being ride & handling because of its halfbaked chassis. Coincidence?

    Maybe I missed something but these cars aernt designed for performance, its handling and ride will be adequate. Wait for the TRD Corolla if you want a sporty hatch.

  • CJ

    Has anyone that has commented on here actually driven the new Corolla? I had the opportunity on Friday to drive the ZR hatch and must admit that it took a while to get used to…. The position of the gear stick (which Toyota say is for ergonomics) is a lot higher than I am used to, the design of that centre consol with the big gap in the bottom looks bloody awful, however the dash is impressive. It does have some guts and would be perfect for metro driving, as for long distances, I will reserve my judgement until I have actually driven it for a long distance so I can work with facts (rather than assumption which seems to be the trend of a lot of people commenting on this site recently). The smart start has some issues, i.e.: if you stall the vehicle (and yes I did) you need to have your foot on both the clutch and brake before you full restart it, which could cause potential issues at an intersection and result in an eager driver (hoon) running up your rear end.
    Let’s move onto the sedan, the boot has a huge amount of room and I would argue more than the omega. There is enough room to hold the average family, however the styling looks ordinary and the leather seats in the top of the range come in one colour, GREY, which look cheap and nasty. There is a deadlock feature on the sedan that allows you to lock the boot with the key, you can not open it with anything but the key. Not bad if you use valet parking and you don’t want anyone to look inside your boot, making it the perfect kidnap vehicle for the underworld down here in Melbourne! You can also deadlock the doors and if you car gets broken into (through the window) they cannot open the doors, not so good if you visit the pokies a lot and lock the kids in the car…..
    Overall the cars are not that bad and you do have to evaluate them separately as they are designed by two different factories (that’s what Toyota say). The sedan would be perfect for a Novated lease or someone on a car allowance and a cheap small family car. The hatch is a small girls car and that is who Toyota are marketing it to, the youth of Australia and it will sell regardless of what people think of its shape and styling.

  • mistertwo

    I had a drive of the New Corolla at Easten Creek about 3 weeks ago. We drove it back to back with the Nissan Tiida, Mazda3, Holden Astra and Honda Civic. Lack of power is an issue with all cars in this class which have 1.8/2.0 engines and not just with the Corolla. If you are used to driving a car with lots of power then the Corolla will feel slow. If you are coming out of a small car then you won’t feel much of a difference. In fact of all the cars driven the fastest one seemed to be the Tiida, altough it had done 16,000km whereas all the others had about 500km on the clock so were not run-in.

  • Craig

    The Conquest is $4510 more than the Ascent, based on the model prices you listed (which is $1500 more than the $3000 you quote in your write-up).

    Also, for only $750 more you can get the cruise control and audio controls on the steering wheel, which makes the base model with this package very attractive. Alloy wheels can be bought elsewhere.

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    Craig, you are quite right, I didnt check the price myself, I went with what Toyota told me, which was obviously wrong.

  • Paul

    Went passed the dealership today, I think the pics dont do the car justice… its looks alrite. Certainly not a bold statement, but not an ugly car.

  • JW

    Personally I think the Ascent is a better deal than the Conquest.

    The price difference is $4500, yet all you get over the Ascent is:

    Cruise Pack
    Enhanced Safety Pack
    Alloy Wheels
    Rear power windows

    Think of it this way, the two most valuable things on that list are the cruise pack and the enhanced safety pack and together they cost $1500.

    So in other words, you are paying another $3000 for a load of unnecessary cosmetic things like alloy wheels and foglights. The rear power windows are useful, and the bluetooth is a bit of a novelty, but I’d hardly call all this worth another $3000.

  • Sam Richards

    I also think the Ascent is the better vaue with the $700 safety pack.

    Plus, I have to say, to recommend the Auto is blasphemy, how can you say that?

    No-one buys the manual to save $2000. They buy it because they like manuals and they run FAR better.

    People spend $2000 because they cannot drive a manual and don’t know better. 4cyl autos are horrible.

  • Al Juraj

    They added a gear to the transmission that doesn’t really need it. The automatic keeps begging for a fifth cog yet Toyota insists on placing a primitive four-speeder. How is it supposed to compete with the automatic Civic that has five gears? It doesn’t do justice to the new engine that’s designed to be really economical. Fuel efficiency would certainly not be maximised, if not performance.

    I myself would choose the 6-speed but my parents and sister prefer an automatic, so that’s a 1-3 vote. That four-speed automatic alone is reason enough for us not to queue up for the Corolla.

  • JW

    Well Al Juraq, considering most of its direct competitors have four speed autos, I don’t think the Corolla suffers from it.

  • Hugo

    Had a look at the hatch at our local dealership. At first glance, it looked a lot like the outgoing model…

    Though look closer and you notice the wider track, more muscular stance and higher window line. As you would expect, it looks very well-made – even more solidly built than say the Golf.

    Didn’t get a chance to sit in it but if previous models are a good indicator, it should be comfortable, spacious and user-friendly.

    Wasn’t too sure about the looks at first but now, having seen it in the flesh, it’s much better than I expected…

  • Arun

    Does anyone know, how much bluetooth and sat nav kit will cost and also steering contol with audio??


  • Peter

    I quite like the console. The design is sleek and elegant (inspired by cathedral architecture in the 14th C- cool!), but the gear is abit higher than normal- not that ergonomical if you ask me. The exterior looks abit sporty, yet classy at the same time and thats a big plus for me. it’s not bad on deisng inside and out. i didn’t like the lighter placed right next to the handbrake…are they encouraging us to smoke?
    i haven’t driven it, but i hope it would feel smooth on the road

  • Davo

    I just had a drive of the auto corolla ascent today. Really enjoyed it actually. I test drove the civic vti, focus zetec (cos they didn’t have CL to test) and corolla ascent back to back and what I found was that the civic’s engine felt like it had more torque at lower revs. The focus running gear I found was horrible, it was struggling up a hill. In all the tests we had 4 people in the car. To to rank the 3 cars in order to engine performance, it’d have to be 1. civic 2. corolla 3. focus. In terms of ride quality, 1. Corolla, 2. Civic, 3. Focus. Interior fit and finish 1. Civic, 2. Corolla 3. Focus. Mind you, we did drive the out-going model of the focus… but it was a zetec with sportier suspension.
    I’m serious about buying the corolla auto sedan with a safety pack in the graphite (metallic) colour. What do people reckon is the price I should haggle for? I’m on a pretty tight budget. The guy offered $25,500. Which is outside my bracket.
    What do you guys think? I’m new at buying cars. The RRP for the auto, safety pack and paint is $23,990 before dealer fees and government fees.
    What do people think is a do-able price?

  • mitch

    KIds, please.

    What you need to remember is that the Corolla is a small car….key word is small. so with that in mind obviously a full far of people will not have the same power and ability of a commodore or falcon. So to complain and say that it is a stupid or soft car is ridiculous.
    I have seen this car in the flesh and considering size vs power, the car that is is, it’s not that bad. you have to consider what you logic is for purchasing a car, if it is for size, power, durability whatever. I you want a big car with power don’t buy the corolla. if you want a stylish new car with all the features in the book, safety and fuel ecomony with the ability to take four passengers and are wiling to sacrifice the power aspect, then the corolla is the car for you, i would know i’m going from a commodore S to a LevinZR

    The only thing i wouldn’t buy with it is the Sat Nav system. For the price of 3,500 beans you could just buy a tomtom for 600.

  • LM

    My 5 cents,
    Just over a month ago I took the corolla hatch for a run out at the local dealer not bad at all. I was that impressed that I forked out 26k for one. its perfect for me (having 2 points left on my licence. :P). Now, I travel syd to liverpool every day my previous car was a falcon so I wanted somthing cheap on fuel, I am also in the process of teaching my wife how to drive so I wanted somthing safe reliable and solid plus im planning to keep it for a while so its gotta look ok too. We chose the corolla for these points and for the price of the conquest (not including on-road)we drove off with a hot little red Ascent with all the trimmings that we wanted (Lux Pack, Tint, Alloys and a few other odds and ends).
    I totally disagree on the last comment in the article about the breaks:

    “As for the brakes, it was a case of either push it hard or you don’t stop.”

    I’ve nearly put myself thru the windscreen several times adjusting to the new car.
    handeling is great, the car feels solid, the seats are a little un-comfy but if it was any more comfortable I’d fall asleep (its a car not a lounge) take off isnt too bad but it is a little sluggish on the HWY, but seriously, I’d get in too much trouble if I was given power again.
    I did however pay for the 4sp auto….. not because I cant drive manual, but because im sick of mucking around with gears in traffic (I drive down the M5 motorway to get home and to those out there who dont know it, more often than not its a carpark) I do miss the power from the falcon but its a small price to pay so I can keep my licence.

    Here is my Advice,
    1. to those out there in the market for a new car, im not telling you to suck eggs, but seriously do your homework,
    *If you race, the 07 corolla is not for you, unless you are looking to spend some extra $$ but that is with most small cars.
    **280ZX :If you want comfort for a long romantic drive with 5 of your biggest boyfriends,from Melbourne to Queensland, Hire a bus its cheaper, the 07 Corolla…nah, correction NO SMALL CAR was made for that! (Re: what 280ZX said at the top on May 21 2007… Meathead)
    Basicly the final decision is up to you, the buyer.

    Actualy i think that was more than 5 cents worth

  • Another LM

    I travel interstate a lot and hired a new corolla early this month in Adel. I was impressed enough to think seriously about buying one. But I can’t decide which one of my 4 V6 cars to sell to get one. I’m not game to bring home another car to the family without selling one of the existing fleet as this could cause some problems with the wife. It’s an addiction you see.
    I hired a hyundai two weeks before and that was awful. I generally get a commodore which is my personal favourite. Had a A380 in July which was not good, not bad, just non descript. Had a honda euro a few weeks back. That was a dissapointment, not worth the money, more road noise than my VY one tonner. Had a ford about 18 months ago and was impressed but scared off by the plumeting resale values. Next week I think I’ll hire another corolla after reading all the above comments to see if they are as good or bad as the comments suggest. Need to pay more attention this time as I certainly like the last drive.

  • Tandria

    I am considering buying the new Corolla Ascent, however I am a little disappointed that the rear spoiler isn’t as nice as the spoilers that are on the other two models. Also wondering if a person could purchase an Ultima spoiler separately when they are buying an Ascent. Cheers

  • Shado

    I posted this on another page on this site but I think it would be better here.

    I currently own a 1991 twin cam corolla hatchback which I love but which is showing signs of wear so I thought I would test drive the current 2007 model. I tried the sedan which although it is a bit different from the hatch would still give an idea of how the hatch drives I would presume.

    The new model is horrible. No rear visibility – I had to use the mirrors to reverse and felt really unsafe. I also notice big pillars at the back in the hatch as well. The side windows are also really narrow and high from the ground. I really dislike convex side mirrors – I want to see things flat not in dizzying weirdness. No amount of adjusting the seat could get it in the right position in relation to the pedals for me and I ended up with a really sore back.

    The 6 gears are an awful concept and make it difficult to drive as the gears have short ratios and you have to keep changing. I didn’t like the pull up ring for the reverse and its position at the front.

    It doesn’t sit well on the road. I have never liked the fact that my 1991 corolla tends to wander all over the road unless you keep steering it – The current model is not a lot better. Also the styling on the sedan in particular is not that great. The hatch also has a ‘bridge’ where the allegedly ergonomically placed gear stick is. How long will it be before it is grotty and disgusting in the space underneath this bridge?

    I test drove the mazda 3 and that was a nice car. Really easy to drive and see out of and it also looked good inside and out.

    My 1991 corolla is a comfy luxurious car with fantastic visibility and drives along nice and smoothly (apart from the wandering on the road problem). It also has a really nice shape at the back. I want a new one of those, not the poxy current one!

  • Mark

    We have just returned from a quick return trip to Newcastle from the Sunshine Coast in my wife’s new Corolla Ascent auto sedan. It certainly didn’t struggle with a family of four + luggage & used just 6.3 l/100 (and I certainly don’t drive for economy.) Didn’t even need to adjust the headlight height as it wasn’t sitting down at the back even though it was pretty heavily loaded. I have driven this route many times before in both V8 & V6 Commodores and couldn’t believe how comfortably the Corolla handled the trip. I have owned 2 new Toyotas now and believe that the billions of $ Toyota spends on R&D does make a difference.

  • john

    I bought a new 2007 corolla, and did a mod on air box and tubes. Your test drive fique 0-100 is 9.7sec and also 11 sec. Thats NOT TRUE. corolla is not a SLOW CAR. I think, its to do with the driver. I managed to get under 8 sec. Come on mate, who has paid you to give this suck ugly set back on toyotas new 6 speed duak vvti…..

  • Toyota Paul

    Under 8 second lol mate I think you are dreaming… the figures released are done accurately with proper equipment… although 11 second doesnt seem slightly high. Using stop watch based on the speedo (which are always not accurate… usually 5km/h or so LESS so your doing 95 when you think your doing 100) is not accurate.

  • Toyota Paul

    * DOES seem slightly high

  • Nabeel

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned the acceleration lag for this car!
    I tried this car a week ago for a whole week. At first I thought it might be due to the weak motor. Then I pressed the accelerator in neutral and it did the same. There is about 2 sec delay in the accelerator response and then to make things worse the engine response remains for 2 secs after taking your foot off the accelerator! I’m wondering if it’s due to a drive-by-wire system or what but it was extremely annoying driving the carin the city (which is where this car was built to be used) where you need to go, stop and change gear very frequently. I was tearing my hair out and ready to nuke the car by the end of each drive.
    I thought maybe this was a fault in the car that I got, but a friend of mine told me the same thing.

  • WP

    I’m currently looking for a new small car and have driven them all. My favourite is the new Corolla, in manual form I found it zippy and very structurally strong. It is very quiet and handles well.
    As for the Mazda 3 I was very disapointed. Before I started looking I had the 3 picked but I found it a very noisy car, which to me gave it a very unrefined feel.
    So the Corolla Levin it is for me.

  • Maximark

    I really wanted to get a Corolla conquest sedan but it doesnt have ESP and TC so I decided to buy the i30..Come on Toyota,mitsubishi lancer,hyundai i30,ford focus all have these important safety features already.

  • Ultima

    I road tested many opposition makes and models before settling on our third new Corolla – went for the top of range Ultima this time. Overall a great car BUT as we’ve got to know this new model it has several really annoying “feature” that Toyota can’t or wont fix:

    Unlike previous Corollas this one does not have a matching alloy spare wheel. It’s a cheap and nasty black steel thing that costs a fortune to make a matching alloy. (At least it’s not one of those fake space saver spares that are useless if needed during a country trip)

    Unlike previous models it doesn’t have a duel horn – just a cheap and nasty embarrassing single note thing that Toyota – even with the soaring Australian dollar – could see as making an extra quid. Not good Toyota for especially the top of the range model.

    Unlike previous models there is nowhere to CONVENIENTLY store a common A4 sized UBD street directory (such as in the glovebox). It has heaps of nooks and cranny storage spaces but not practical spaces

    Unlike previous models it does not have a third key (hundreds of dollars extra to buy a third “key” for emergeny use)

    There are clacks and noises from both the brake area and engine on especially cold start up

    The stupid drive-by-wire throttle has a flat spot at drive away speeds – can’t be fixed – “normal backwards feature” compared to previous models

    The auto headlights don’t have an indicator to show whether the park lights or headlights are “on” – just the one indicator for both so in certain low light conditions when you want the headlights on (low beam) for safety you can’t be sure the auto feature has switched them on

    The instruments black out in daylight when you pass under the shadow of a freeway overpass – most disconcerting – it needs a longer delay before the auto lights mechanism kicks in – the other problem is that following cars think you’ve jumped on the brakes when you haven’t

    The brakes squeak when driving off first thing in morning (rotational squeak – again embarrassing)

    Unlike previous models the front brakes generate copiuos quantities of black dust on the nice alloy wheels – Toyota has obviously gone backwards with the brake pad material composition and wont do anything about it – with their leading sales figures they seem to have become very arrogant and no longer listen to “the Customer”

    The dangerous drivers side exterior aspheric mirror is a road rage maker – I don’t know how many people I’ve inadvertently cut off when changing lanes because the following vehicle appears furhter away than it is – no good for reversing use either. Whilst Toyota wont change it – fortunately there is a place that will (at my cost)

    The in-dash computer is not accurate – especially fuel range – also the “average speed” but see next item

    The speedo has been checked by the Dealer and proven to over-read. This will not get me a speeding ticket but is NOT GOOD ENOUGH for a modern electronically controlled speedo. Toyota wont fix it because they fall back on “it conforms with ADRs” (the lowest denominator) but what they overlook is “credibility and quality”. A modern speedo should read close to accurate – not 5km/h out at 60 and 8km out at 100km/h. Again a potential road rage maker when you are unwittingly travelling slower than the speedo indicates and following drivers get annoyed

    One excellent feature is the fuel economy – on a country run it consistently returns 5.9 to 6.2 litres per 100km – about 47MPG in the old measurement

    Also they’ve put a cable back on the fuel cap and a little storage box thing back in the boot.

    Toyota needs to be more Customer responsive and not go backwards on specification like they have with the spare wheel, the horn, practical storage space and ugly dirty front wheel excessive black brake dust

    Please only respond if you own a new model 2007 Ultima and thus have experience with the model. No dreamers and guessers please!

  • Watto_Cobra

    Ultima, I have to say that is more than 4x the complaints I have with my AU. Why did you buy a Corolla? In most comparos it isn’t even in the top 3 of its class. I really don’t understand why it sells so well.

  • http://xr6 Ford4eva

    Why you get it… should have got the Typoon, it costs about the same the run.

  • reality

    Ultima, in regards to the dust generated by the brakes, they actually might be the same kind of pads used in european vehicles. They actually perform better but the trade off is dirty alloys.

  • Watto_Cobra

    Sounds about right Reality. Most cars these days seem to generate more brake dust than the old ones because of softer materials improving the braking performance. The other problem with that of course is more frequent pad changes, rotor machinings, and then new rotors.

  • Ultima

    You’re all correct about the brake pad material – low volume European composition – the point I make is Toyota have “gone backwards” – their previous model brakes were efficient and noise free AND NO EXCESSIVE DUST.

    The reason I went for Corolla again? After sussing out many competiors the Ultima was the best to suit our needs – one of only two having a full sized spare wheel which is essential for country trips, the seven airbags and 5 star crash rating plus easy access boot and generally well specified. And I stupidly “trusted Toyota”. This is our fifth new Toyota.

    The speedo error seems to be a current Toyota failing – please use the following link and see how that guy with his Yaris finally got Totota to come to the party. Boy, what a story – worse than pulling teeth!


  • Alan

    I read these comments with interest. I am in South Africa and have bought a 2007 Corolla Exclusive. As I read it this is the equivelent of your Ultima. It is 1.8 with a six speed gearbox.
    I have the same problem with the drive by wire accelerator which has a flat spot on pull off as mentioned By Ultima above. I have been driving for 30 years and never stalled a car. I drove out the showroom and stalled in the busy street and then about 5 times in the month I have had the car. Besides annoying, this is dangerous.
    I also feel that the response from from standstill is slow, presumably due to the slow accelerator response or something.
    If anyone has information on how to improve the accelerator issue, please let us know. Toyota South Africa are looking into it and they will let me know.

  • Ultima

    Alan – my Ultima is an auto trans so doesn’t stall when it flat spots at take off like I can well understand a manual trans would. As a suggestion, have your Dealer check the co-ordination of the sensors between the accelerator pedal sender and the engine’s throttle body receiver. Mine was checked but found to be set correctly which indicates an annoying, and as you rightly point out, dangerous design fault – something the mighty Toyota Corporation should investigate and come up with a fix instead of just saying “all our drive by wire systems do that” (so “like it or lump it” as the saying goes)

    In regards the driver’s side external aspheric rear view mirror, I understand the claimed advantages but the old flat type mirrors are overall safer(aspherics are OK on the passenger side. My Dealer says these aspheric “convex” mirrors attract a high volume of criticism from drivers of all new Toyota models fitted with these new “global” mirrors to the driver’s side(not just the Corolla range). So again there is a message there for Toyota to provide “what the Customers want”. Does your Exclusive have such a mirror? If so how do you find it? Especially for judging the distance of a vehicle not far distant following in the adjacent lane (the’re OK for vehicles following well behind where it doesn’t matter when changing lanes) plus how do you find it for use when checking for obstacles when reversing in relatively confined spaces?

  • Ultima

    Alan – I learned today that Toyota Yaris (previously known as the Echo model)manual gearbox drivers who want to drive off smoothly have to learn to carefully co-ordinate the accelerator and clutch pedals! Until they work out how to make drive by wire work properly it sounds like it’s time for Toyota to go back to the proven reliable mechanical cable throttle control!(on all models)

    My Dealer carried out some further checks on my speedo and please have a look at the shocking following results (I’ll use this data to again contact Toyota hoping they’ll fix the darn thing). I’m confident all current model Corollas with similar speedos will be the same (as was Yaris model.

    True speed 40km/h = 42 indicated on the speedo
    50 = 55
    60 = 63
    70 = 78 (cop that error)
    80 = 84
    90 = 98 (again cop that error)
    100 = 107 (ditto)
    110 = 120 (shocking!)

    I don’t know how Toyota expects a driver to memorise these varying errors so they can keep to a correct speed (as is the expectation with a new model vehicle) plus not annoy following drivers by unwittingly driving too slowly when relying on the speedo indicated speed.

    I’d like to hear from anyone else who has “had cars continually pass them or worse, being tail gated” because of the inaccurate Toyota speedos – plus their experiences with Toyota who need to improve their speedometer quality and Customer Service

  • Maximark


    It’s amazing that Toyota has this incorrect speedo indicated problem passed their final check. I hope this is only an isolate case. It would be a disaster if it goes the other way which you will get a lot of unfair speeding tickets,and also risk to kids while driving in school zone areas. I hope they can fix yours.

  • Boost-Juice

    Me and my girlfriend have been looking for a small hatch for ages. I will start off saying I have always had some power on my rides (Rex ’03 ,Skyline ,SS ’04,bmw325ci ’02) so that is my stance on cars, basically. Though the new Levin ZR is PIMP! My favourite are the gas lights, the new muscular body gives the puncy golf the shake up it deserves. ANd it has bluetooth 6 disc and the doors have almost Bimmer heft to them. For 30 odd grand, in my opinion you cant beat it. 6 speed is nice. People who say its(the 6 speed) not necessary are not quite with it, are they. I mean after all {its}(increasing economy and drivability isn’t it?)

  • Boost-Juice

    I just read someone’s post regarding a 1.8 corolla costing as much too run as a Typhoon… HAHAHAHHA@@@!!!!

  • ichi ban

    Ultima are you stupid?
    No, I repeat,NO car speedo is 100% accurate, NO CAR SPEEDO!
    And for the steel wheel, have a look around, all manufactures are doing it, Toyota were one of the last to start doing it!
    If your so un happy,sell the bloody car.

  • Ultima

    Poor Ichi Ban – the answer is “no” – I am far from stupid! Who said anything about a speedo being 100% accurate? Not me! So read the story again and then direct your question to yourself. Because other manufacturers do it doesn’t mean King Toyota has to with their top selling car – quality, value and improvement over previous models are the words – not cheap skating backwards. You are obviously unaware that most REPEAT MOST manufactureres do not fit full sized steel spares but instead fit fake spares (those skinny things on yellow rims that only let you drive 100km at 80km/h) – no good for Australian country travel. You aren’t up with the no spare run flat mob either. Regardless of what cheaper versions have fitted the expectation is that for the most expensive top of the range model it should retain a matching alloy. Got it stupid? I’m not unhappy – I simply reserve my right to make objective and accurate comment plus want other prospective Ultima buyers to know the latest model pitfalls so they can negotiate at time of purchase and have Toyota make good their cheapskate faults.

  • nathan

    ichi ban your a moron, Ultima good posts your spot on.

    I have the brand new corolla 2007 ascent,

    1) The Fly By Wire Throttle lag is pissing me off! I prefer my old 2003 Corolla with manual throttle cable! much punchier performance. This Fly By Wire is SHIT! I have a colleague that designs after market ECU’s and im going to ask what is causing the issue and if/how it can be fixed.

    2) The Drivers side rear view mirror is retarded and does require getting used too, I cut off two or three people last week! Why put something on a car that actually makes it more dangerous and harder/less enjoyable to drive?

    3) Why if the base model Ascent comes with a full size spare does the ultima not? massive profit taking if u ask me, you pay more for a car and get less wtf!?

    I do not have break dust issues/ or break squeaking etc on my vehicle yet, but i dont have alloys so its harder to tell anyway and its been raining regularly! plus ive only done 2000 Km’s.

    Bigger glove box to hold my gregories so i dont have to roll it up would be nice!

    I like that the petrol cap is restrained, the interior is of high quality, it comes standard with 6×9’s in the rear and a decent abse model MP3 Cd player etc, and fuel economy is perfect.

    If only they had a normal damn rear vision mirror and Old fashioned throttle cable id be laughing!

  • Ultima

    Good news – finally Toyota have agreed that the Ultima speedo inaccuracy is not up to Customer expectations and I’ve been informed they are making running changes in manufacture and will fit a more accurate speedo to my car as soon as they become available. It’s just such a pity one has to make a fuss to get the obvious fixed!

    I’m still battling them on some other electronic inaccuracies – ho hum – all this should be so unnecessary….

  • asdf

    Ultima, just wondering what sort of real world fuel economy you are getting, and how well you find the cruise control works? Thanks

  • chris

    I have had a top of the range Corolla Levin ZR hatch for one year now and I think its great. I regularly drive the car in 6th speed and I rarely go on highways! Ive done over 12,000kms now and I still think its great.

    Cruise control is fantastic, although I’ve only used it once for a trip from Brisbane to Gympie (about 2 hours each way).

    Fuel economy.. well I drive this car to its limits (I flog the crap out of it, truth be known) and I still manage to get 550km out of a full tank.

    The only thing I can fault with my ZR is that a full windscreen replacement costs around $600 because of the rain sensing wipers! My insurance policy doesn’t cover windscreen replacements at the moment, but it sure as hell will when I renew!

    The sound system is high quality! It has a plug for your ipod but you do have to buy the cable to link them.

    The ZR also comes with bluetooth so I’ve got my mobile linked up and I can take calls through my stereo.

    Ive hardly seen any ZR’s around and I would say this is because you are paying I think $3000 more from the SR which looks the same, but you get the crazy features that you dont really need like rain sensing wipers, push button start, keyless entry (my all time favourite!), bluetooth etc. I could’ve lived without these features but I preferred the interior design of the ZR over the SR (the SR looks like the ascent and kind of like the Yaris on the inside?).

    Overall, I love it! The ZR bloody rocks for a Corolla. I never thought I would drive a Corolla because grandmas drive them right? I was actually on my way to the Ford dealer to sign the papers on a Ford Focus when we decided to stop by the Toyota dealer and find out what all the fuss was about with the Corolla. Never did make it to the Ford dealer – THANK GOD!

  • GirlieGirl

    I am wondering when the new 2008 Corolla comes out – I want to buy a Levin ZR but also want DSC. I was also looking at VW Golf/Ford Focus but don’t want a car that’s made in S.Africa.

    So – Corolla or Mazda 3. Somehow the Mazda 3 looks boring inside and isn’t that comfortable. The one I like is an SP23 but that’s too gas guzzling for me…

    My current car is a 2003 Echo (the cute one not the ugly one) and it’s great so maybe I’ll just go the Corolla this year. Should I wait for DSC? It’s rumoured to be selling from this yer but all the dealers are playing dumb cos they want to sell all the old stock first…

    Any advice boys?



  • Ford GT40

    I sat in a Corolla and found it rather bland compared to the Ford Focus and Mazda 3 and uninspired driving but that’s my opinion, we currently own last years model Focus for about a year now and have not had any trouble, with 17000Kms on the clock, don’t be worried about where they are made because the quality is as good as that way overrated common Corolla, have a thorough test drive before racing off to Toyota.

    CHEERS :-)

  • Ultima

    Sorry for the delay in replying Asdf – overall to date my manually calculated “average fuel consumption” is 8.98l/100km. Best ever on a trip was 7.15l/100km (but that was driving at about 90km/h when the speedo showed 100km/h so “speed” makes the difference)- according to the inaccurate trip computer was 6.2l/100km!

    Don’t ever believe their trip computer because it tells lies. Actually the trip computer is what is giving me huge hassles – Toyota have shocking cutomer relations – they just bury their head in the sand and hope you’ll go away. When they include these features (that us suckers pay for) they should provide on that works properly.

    The Cruise Control works a dream.

  • Micaella

    Not sure if anyone can help me…i recently bought the new toyota corolla seca conquest….all is great except for one problem…when the tank is between half full and up, it makes the weirdest noise…it sounds like the fuel is sloshing in the tank..and it doesn’t make you feel too safe. I have taken it back to Toyota and they replaced the fuel tank, however, this hasn’t helped the issue at all..the noise is still there. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced the same problem?

  • realcars

    Put a chalk/texta mark on the fuel tank in an inconspicuous spot then take it back to Toyota and have them replace the fuel tank. When u get it back check and see to make sure the mark has gone i.e they actually replaced the tank.

    Some fuel tanks have attached internal baffles which can break off but shouldn’t.These baffles stop the fuel sloshing around.

  • Andrew

    This test seems a little off-touch in some areas. Firstly a Corolla in Auto?? Sure if you really hate changing gears and using the clutch and if its just a city runabout its probably alright but the test is rather contradictory in this manner in that it mentions the sluggyness of the 4-speed auto whilst recommending it over what is probably a very easy-shifting 6 speed manual (old 5 speed with 6 added on the end for good measure). We drove our Yaris sedan (4 people in the car) basically from Melbourne to Numurkah and though it is a brand new car basically seemed fine, so to think a Corolla in hatch or sedan form is probably even more spacious and a little bit more sprighty makes me think this review is a little critical. My personal car is a little 1.3L twin-cam ’97 Starlet which as a long-distance driver I am sure is several times behind the new Corolla but still have done it in the Starlet several times (therefore the Corolla must be really good) and its always good to have the peace of mind that you are in a car made by a brand who you can trust.

  • Concerned

    My lovely, brand new 2008 Toyota Corolla Conquest has had an issue with the throttle jamming open – this is a very frightening and potentially life threatening situation. I recently heard of someone else this has happened to in a 2007 model and have discovered other cases online. This has been a widely reported situation with Toyota Prius in the US. I have found Toyota Motor Corporation’s customer service and technical departments to be very helpful in this situation, but am fearful of the same thing occurring again. I would be interested to hear of other owners/drivers this has happened to?

  • Bb

    I am going to buy a Corolla, its a world class car. No doubt…….all those who have Toyota they are enjoying.

  • wayne

    i bought a new corolla seca fully optioned in 2007.its a nov/dec 2006 model hatch.using standard unleaded and manual gearbox i run 8 sec 0-100km.and crap on any ford 6 cylinder standard boat anchor.i recently got caught speeding at 170+kmh on the free way going up mountains the policeman couldn`t catch me in a v6 commodore station wagon for 26km untill i slowed down for an 80 zone frequently manned by police.i had 3 in the car he only had himself.he was quite impressed that he was going hammer and tong and i pulled away from him.i have raced many 95-97 xr6 non turbo and shamed them.as for a tip well if u buy your car new well when u run it in for the 1st 1000km when u get to 800km flog it so at 1000km the chip and computer will set at power not economy improving accelleration and speed but decreasing economy slightly.i owned many a commodore including vl v8 LE and since i went to toyota i will never change again what technology these cars have as well as reliability.do your sums 6.0 litre 320kw 1.8L 100kw+ 1050 kg vs 1870kg,Xr6 185kw 1870 kg weigh up the power to weight ratio the technology lies with toyota not some 50 year old redesigned fossil guzzler mind u the corolla is a small family car not an aussie lamborghini competitor like the ss or xr8.the corolla is a great car and always has been unlike some.Reliability is written in its name and the number 1 selling small car it is for a reason.also read about some of the supercharged corollas with 250+kw maybe u can compare ur crappy ford xr6 turbo with this,haha jokes

  • HAL

    ^ Oh dear Wayne, I hope you’ve got a thick skin. Because you’re absolutely gonna need it after your above comment on this website. Good luck :-)