TOYOTA’S super-popular Corolla hatch will gain a substantial boost to performance and economy when it arrives in August with a choice of petrol or hybrid power and manual or CVT gearing.
The new generation hatch also has a more athletic look, improved handling and ride comfort, better front-to-rear weight balance, with a 60 per cent increase in body rigidity.
A new 125kW/200Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine takes over from the long-serving 1.8 unit, with respective increases of 21 and 15.6 per cent.
The hybrid system is said to be an improved version of the 1.8-litre Atkinson Cycle powertrain from the Prius, and Toyota claims the new Corolla will rival the Prius’s fuel economy.
Both powertrains will be offered with a new continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with 10 programed steps, plus a sport mode and paddle shifters.
The CVT will also have a launch gear, which Toyota says will give it powerful and predictable acceleration.
The alternative six-speed intelligent manual will be available with rev-matching on downshifts. It’s smaller and lighter, also contributing to fuel efficiency.
The car will come with a load of driver aids, among them autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning with assist, auto high-beam, seven airbags and a reversing camera.
Grade-dependent equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, 8.0-inch satellite navigation screen, dual-zone aircon, an 8-speaker JBL sound system, keyless smart entry and start, 7.0-inch colour multi-information display, colour head-up display and wireless phone charger.