The six-speed gearbox puts it ahead of its rivals such as the Mazda3, Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza as well as the Nissan Tiida and some European rivals.
Toyota says the gear ratios were chosen to optimise performance while providing a fuel-saving top-gear ratio. The new six speed transmission (named C66) comes with the following gear rations:
- first, 3.166;
- second, 1.904;
- third, 1.310;
- fourth, 0.969;
- fifth, 0.815;
- sixth, 0.725
- reverse, 3.250.
It is matched to a 4.529:1 final drive ratio.
Similar to other six-speed manuals, a pull-type collar system is in place to prevent drivers from accidentally engaging reverse gear.
Toyota have worked hard on the new six-speed box, with the clutch supporting a new clutch plate structure to enhance wear resistance and reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Toyota says (in keeping with their green image) that the new clutch-facing material was designed with the environment in mind.
So what about the automatic? Whilst it is still a four-speed, it has come a long way. The Corolla's electronically controlled U341E Super ECT automatic transmission has some interesting features. For example the system has the ability to 'read' hills, reducing the number of upshifts under acceleration uphill, and optimising engine braking when travelling downhill.
The U341 transmission has ratios of:
- first, 2.847;
- second, 1.552;
- third, 1.000;
- fourth, 0.700
- reverse, 2.343.
It is matched to a 4.237:1 final drive ratio.
The six speed manual will be a huge selling point for the new Corolla range, it is a positive step in the right direction. However it would have made sense to bring out the Corolla with a five-speed auto, one has to wonder whether or not the 1.8L engine would have struggled with a five-speed?
Find more information on the 2007 Toyota Corolla.