Impressive. I enjoyed the Toyota Corolla Hatch 1.2T XS (Manual Transmission) for a week and wished I had it for a longer period of time. That's how impressed I was with this swift, quiet and agile vehicle.
You can barely hear the engine when started and in idle mode. Both the interior and exterior has handsome features with a striking design. Also impressive was the excellent ride quality in both urban traffic and on the highways.
Zippy around the corners, and fast on the straights. Imagine this: You are cruising along the N2 in sixth gear at 120kmph and you need that extra power. No problem at all. Just press on the accelerator and you get that added power without changing into fifth gear. Gear changing is a breeze as the gear lever slips in and out to lower or higher gears with relative ease. The car is spacious with plenty of legroom.
The Corolla is longer, lower and therefore sleeker than its Auris predecessor. The striking nose features all-LED lamp clusters, with integral daytime running lights beneath the curved edge of a flatter, clamshell bonnet and narrow upper grille.
The body frame projects powerfully forwards with a grille surround that generates Toyota’s signature shape at the front corners of the car. It emphasises the car’s width and gives the Corolla that aggressive broad, sporting stance. A lower rear lip features a black-out design matching the roof spoiler and shark fin antenna.
Wrap and feel
A spacious and modern cabin with new textures, colours and trims that are both practical and well styled. The driver’s cockpit has that real wrap-around feel and the sporty nature is re-affirmed in a front seat design that has also optimised comfort and reduces fatigue on long journeys.
The revised rear seats feature a new seat cushion material that allows for more even distribution of the occupant’s weight and, as standard, all rear seats can be folded using a remote lever to create a fully flat extension to the boot space.
On the road
Handling stability, steering response and ride comfort are notably improved. The latter is also thanks to a new shock absorber valve design in both front and rear suspension systems also reduces friction by 40% resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride. Under that stylish front bonnet is a 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that delivers 85kW and a constant torque curve of 185 Nm between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm through the 6-speed manual transmission gearbox.
The Corolla Hatch features a host of active and passive safety features. There are a total of 7 airbags – driver and passenger, along with two side and curtain, as well as one for the driver’s knee – plus Vehicle Stability Control is standard, along with the full suite of electronic aids present (ABS, EBD, Brake Assist and Hill-assist Control). It also comes standard with ISOFIX attachment points for child seats.
With the all-new Toyota Corolla hatch, one of the most successful model names in automotive history makes a striking return and makes a memorable history in this country – mostly with sedan models, but also the Corolla Conquest and Avante variants of the 80’s and 90’s – and this new hatchback builds on its predecessors celebrated qualities of contemporary design, driving dynamics and efficiency.
Range and pricing
There are three models in line-up:
- Corolla Hatch 1.2T Xs 6MT: R336,800
- Corolla Hatch 1.2T Xs CVT: R347,400
- Corolla Hatch 1.2T Xr CVT: R367,100
All Corolla Hatch models come standard with a 6-services/90,000 km Service Plan and 3-year/100,000 km warranty. Service intervals are set at 12 months/15,000 km.